SE on IG: Peter Fonda in Newfoundland Circa 1966 + More

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Peter Fonda in Newfoundland circa 1966…

Three years before Easy Rider, late Hollywood actor Peter Fonda took a moose hunting trip to Newfoundland in 1966 for American Sportsman magazine. Later that same year, Fonda would break into counter culture stardom co-starring alongside Nancy Sinatra in a cult classic Roger Corman biker film entitled The Wild Angels.
This American Sportsman excursion to Lake Ambrose was not the first smattering of Newfoundland moose hunting to make American print. Only a few years prior to Fonda’s hunt, a publication called Gun World featured some now well-circulated photos of Johnny Cash on the mighty moose pursuit in 1961. Unlike the popular Cash photos, this shot of Peter Fonda is a rare and candid snap taken by a local that did not appear in the pages of any publication. Thanks to Cynthia Soucy for the photo.

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Canada’s first Sumo Wrestler…

John Tenta was the first Canadian sumo wrestler to compete in Japan in the 1980s. While he made his shikona name of Kototenta Toshikatsu as a Western Rikishi who was undefeated in his brief stint as a sumōtori, he is most recognized for his eventual pro wrestling career in the WWF by the name of Earthquake in the late 1980s and early 1990s. You might best remember him for “injuring” Hulk Hogan, or for the time he jumped on and “squashed” Jake the Snake’s pet snake Damien in the ring (fun fact: it was actually a bag full of pantyhose stuffed with hamburger meat and a motorized wind up toy).

But why did his undefeated and history-making sumo career in Japan end so abruptly? First, Tenta’s tiger tattoo on his left bicep caused a major problem. In Japan at the time, tattoos were largely associated with organized crime. Tenta would cover his tattoo with tape during bouts (as seen in the first and second photos in our gallery). In order to graduate to a higher level of competition in the sport, Tenta was told he would have to remove the tattoo via a skin graft. Additionally, Tenta recognized the toll Sumo was taking on his body in such a short period. Tenta opted instead to capitalize on his celebrity status in Japan, and under the tutelage of the legendary Giant Baba, Tenta entered All Japan Pro Wrestling. His athleticism and his large 420lbs frame made him an instant success. Less than a year after his wrestling debut, Tenta was brought to the WWF and packaged as Earthquake in 1988.

Tenta passed away on this day in 2006 at the young age of 42. While he is a memorable character for his time in the WWF, I believe his accomplishments as a Sumo are sorely overlooked highlights from a life spent breaking ground as an agile big man.

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