Wrestling Legend Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, Founding Member of the Hart Foundation, Is Dead at 63
He is survived by his daughter, former WWE Divas Champion Natalya.
It’s a sad day for pro wrestling.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, former WWF legend, founding member of The Hart Foundation and father to current WWE Superstar Natalya, passed away on Monday morning at the age of 63.
The news was confirmed by WWE, and reactions started pouring in immediately.
Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now. pic.twitter.com/fcO8Skuuhz
— Bret Hart (@BretHart) August 13, 2018
So sad to announce the passing of my friend and longtime colleague, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. Your thoughts and prayers for the family are deeply appreciated! @CACReunion @JimValley @allan_cheapshot @mattfarmer93 @WrestlingIWF @davemeltzerWON @SlamSports @jumpinjbrunzell
— B Brian Blair 🇺🇸 (@Killerbee1B) August 13, 2018
Jim Neidhart was a big part of my love for professional wrestling growing up. He was the perfect high energy powerhouse to back up the technical prowess of Bret Hart as one half of the Hart Foundation and it's incredibly sad to hear of his passing. RIP. pic.twitter.com/SUf4Vs0MaG
— Adam Pacitti (@adampacitti) August 13, 2018
Here’s a bit of background on the icon from WWE.
Neidhart began his ring career after playing professional football with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys. He was trained by WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart in the infamous Hart Dungeon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and earned his ring nickname, The Anvil, after winning an anvil throwing contest.
Neidhart married Stu’s daughter, Ellie, to become a member of the legendary Hart Family before making the move to WWE along with Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith when WWE purchased Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling.
Initially, Neidhart and Hart were managed by Jimmy Hart as The Hart Foundation and went on to win two WWE World Tag Team Championships.
After several years of teaming with Bret’s younger brother, Owen Hart, and some singles competition, The Hart Foundation was re-formed in controversial fashion in 1997. Consisting of Neidhart, Bret, Owen, Smith and Brian Pillman, the pro-Canadian faction stirred United States crowds into a frenzy with their anti-American sermons.
Neidhart last competed in WWE in 1997 but his legacy lives on today through his daughter, Natalya, who displays her father’s signature charisma and toughness every time she steps in the ring.
Below, some of his greatest moments, as collected by Uproxx: