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Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart (1955-2018)


As one of the most recognizable visages—and owning one of the most maniacal laughs—in professional wrestling, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart was a stalwart of the industry. With his trademark attire in Hart Foundation pink and his menacing goatee, Neidhart brought a sense of power and brute strength into one of the most iconic stables in wrestling history.

As a professional wrestler, Neidhart was known to be a consummate tag team specialist. A former football player, Neidhart parlayed his physicality and agility into a decorated career in the squared circle. It was at Calgary Stampede where Neidhart earned his moniker "The Anvil," throwing an anvil more than 11 feet. It was also at his days at the Hart Dungeon where Neidhart became a full-fledged part of the Hart Foundation, through his marriage with Ellie Hart.

Neidhart's career is sometimes overlooked, despite the many accolades and honors that he earned plying his craft. The Hart Foundation—Neidhart and Bret Hart—made their pay-per-view debut at WrestleMania 2 in a battle royal, where they were the last two men eliminated. Initially starting off as heels, their cool demeanor and mix of agility and strength slowly endeared them to fans around the world. As Bret's star rose in the 1990s, Neidhart began his journey around the world—from ECW to NJPW—before a short stint in WCW.

Neidhart is known to many fans as the aggressive, persistent heel who started his comeback by conspiring and teaming with his brother-in-law, the late great Owen Hart. Following a short stint at the sidelines, Neidhart returned to the main event picture by teaming with his brothers-in-law as The Hart Foundation. 


Being one of the most polarizing heel groups in professional wrestling history, Neidhart was instrumental in the success of Hart Foundation storylines: whether he was an active competitor or as a scheming conspirator. Being in this position also meant being at the epicenter of the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997, which resulted in his eventual departure from the World Wrestling Federation. After short stints in other federations—and a return to a WWE ring 10 years later—Neidhart walked off to the sunset, but not without leaving behind a legacy of a dozen championship titles, and an assurance to today's wrestling fans that the Hart family legacy will live on.


Neidhart was, of course, the proud father to Natalie Neidhart, whom we all know as Natalya. One of the most successful and respected women in WWE, Natalya continues to forge the future of the Hart Foundation, learning her lessons well from her father.

Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart passed away today at the age of 63, leaving behind a career that spans generations of wrestling fans the world over. As a sports entertainer who has left behind a legacy of longevity, strength, and recognition, "The Anvil" will be missed by legions of fans who, at some point in their lives, witnessed the full power of the Pink and Black Attack.

Images sourced from Flickr, Tumblr, and Comicbook.com.

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