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RIP: Jim Neidhart

It was announced today that former WWF World Tag Team Champion, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away today at the age of 63. According to Ross Hart the cause was a seizure, which was brought on by complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Neidhart was a shotput specialist on the national level and played football and was good enough to be invited to both the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders pre-season camps, though he failed to make either team.

Like many football players, Neidhart got into professional wrestling and trained under Stu Hart in Calgary, where he would work for the promotion for four years. He would earn the nickname of “The Anvil” for entering an anvil toss contest at the Calgary Stampede. Neidhart would begin working for other promotions (Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid South, Championship Wrestling from Florida, New Japan) and he would join the World Wrestling Federation in 1985 after Stampede was sold to Vince McMahon and he was part of that deal.

Neidhart began his WWF run as a single under the management of Mr. Fuji but that would quickly change when his contract was sold to Jimmy Hart and he would later be paired with Bret Hart to form the Hart Foundation. The tandem would wrestle in the mid card for two years until they won the Tag Team Championships from the British Bulldogs in early 1987. They would hold it until November of that year until they lost it to Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana) and for the period between Wrestlemania IV and Wrestlemania VI they would continue to team up though they both pursued solo careers at the same time. They would regain the Tag Titles at Summer Slam 1990 and would lose it to the Nasty Boys at Wrestlemania VII and shortly after the team split for good with Bret Hart embarking on a successful solo career and Neidhart going on a different path.

The Anvil would try his hand at commentary, which was not really his forte and he would return to form a tag team with Owen Hart as the “New Foundation”. The new tag team didn’t go far as he was fired for unprofessional conduct. Neidhart would work in the indies and briefly in WCW and would return in 1994 again at the side of Owen during his feud with his brother Bret. Neidhart would receive World Heavyweight Title shots against Bret in ’94 was he was fired shortly after for no-showing events.

He would return in 1996 for a brief run as the masked “Who”, but in 1997 he was back on the roster with the five man Hart Foundation, though following Bret’s departure to WCW, Neidhart and Davey Boy Smith would follow their brother-in-law to Atlanta, though Neidhart was basically used as enhancement talent.

Neidhart would suffer from drug addiction in his later years and would be in and out of rehab. He would also make appearances on Total Divas with his daughter Natalya, who has been with the WWE for the last ten years.

We here at would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart.

The Hart Foundation named to the WWE HOF

The WWE has announced that the Hart Foundation (Bret “Hit Man” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) will be inducted into their Hall of Fame.  This has been speculated over the last month and it was made official today.

Both Hart and Neidhart joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1985 as part of the deal where Vince McMahon bought out Stampede Wrestling.  They were not paired together when they arrived as Neidhart was put with Mr. Fuji as his manager and Bret was a babyface character but within a few months they were a heel duo under the management of Jimmy Hart.

The tandem would regular have the best matches on the card and they were usually competing against The British Bulldogs or The Killer Bees.  At Wrestlemania 2 they were the last two in the ring left with Andre the Giant (who won) in the 20 man Battle Royal and in January of 1986 they would defeat the British Bulldogs for the WWF World Tag Team Titles, which they would hold for eight months until they lost them to Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk). Following Wrestlemania IV they would compete in singles as often as they teamed together and they turned babyface. At Wrestlemania VI they beat the Bolsheviks in under a minute and they would chase Demolition for the Tag Team Titles and would defeat them for the Championship at Summer Slam 1990.  This would last until Wrestlemania VII where they lost to the Nasty Boys.  Following this loss, the tag team would amicably disband with Bret going on to become a multi-time singles champion.

Bret Hart is already a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and he is the fourth person to be inducted twice.  This includes Ric Flair who was inducted a second time with the Four Horsemen, Shawn Michaels (who will be inducted a second time with D-Generation X) and Booker T (who will be inducted with Stevie Ray as Harlem Heat).  Neidhart is ranked #56 on our WWE list for those to consider for the WWE Hall.

We here at would like to congratulate the Hart Foundation on becoming the lastest members of the WWE Hall of Fame.

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart

We remembered one of Jim Neidhart’s last WWF appearances when Shawn Michaels courted him to join DX.  He told Neidhart about how he used to carry Bret Hart and he became overlooked.  This may have been a scripted line, but in the early years of the Hart Foundation, it was actually true.

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