|Ring name(s)||Jim Neidhart
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||281 lb (127 kg)|
February 8, 1955 |
|Resides||Land O' Lakes, Florida|
|Billed from||Reno, Nevada
"Who Knows Where"
|Trained by||Stu Hart|
James Henry "Jim" Neidhart (born February 8, 1955) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his appearances in the 1980s and 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation as Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, where he was a two-time WWF Tag Team Champion with Bret Hart as The Hart Foundation. He headlined two pay-per-views for the WWF: Survivor Series 1989 and In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 2.1 Early career
- 2.2 World Wrestling Federation (1985–1992)
- 2.3 New Japan Pro Wrestling (1992)
- 2.4 World Championship Wrestling (1993)
- 2.5 Later WWF stints (1994; 1996; 1997)
- 2.6 World Championship Wrestling; Second run (1997–1998)
- 2.7 World Wrestling Entertainment (2007)
- 2.8 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009)
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Media
- 5 In wrestling
- 6 Championships and accomplishments
- 7 References
- 8 External links
At Newport Harbor High School, Neidhart first gained athletic acclaim for his success in strength-oriented track and field events. He held the California high school record in shot put from 1973 till 1985. After graduating, Neidhart pursued a career in the National Football League, where he played for the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys in practices and preseason games.
Professional wrestling career
Following his release from the Dallas Cowboys, Neidhart traveled to Calgary to train with Stu Hart and pursue a career in professional wrestling. He worked for Hart's Stampede Wrestling from 1978 to 1983, and again in 1985, during which time he married Ellie Hart, one of Stu's daughters. He thus became the brother-in-law of fellow wrestlers Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Ross Hart and Keith Hart, and later the uncle of wrestlers Teddy Hart and Harry Smith. He was a two-time Stampede International Tag Team Champion, with Hercules Ayala in 1980 and Mr. Hito in 1983.
Stu Hart, seeking publicity for Neidhart, promised him $500 to enter and win an anvil toss at the Calgary Stampede. He did, throwing it 11 feet, 2 inches. This earned him the nickname "The Anvil", replacing his prior, "The Animal".
Stampede had a working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Neidhart worked on their Big Fight Series tour in 1982, the New Year Golden Series in 1983 and two shows on March 2 and 3, 1984.
Neidhart teamed twice with King Kong Bundy for Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1983, and worked for Mid-South Wrestling from September till February 1984, where he and Butch Reed held the the Mid-South Tag Team Championship for two and a half months.
From April to August 1984, Neidhart worked for the Continental Wrestling Association. He then left for Championship Wrestling from Florida, winning their versions of the NWA Southern Heavweight and NWA United States Tag Team Championship, before leaving for the WWF in January 1985.
World Wrestling Federation (1985–1992)
When Stu Hart sold Stampede Wrestling to Vince McMahon, owner of the World Wrestling Federation, Neidhart and Bret Hart were included in the deal. Initially a singles wrestler, managed by Mr. Fuji, Neidhart debuted on January 21, 1985, in Madison Square Garden, defeating Tony Garea. Eight days later, he wrestled Hart, who had a face cowboy gimmick, to a draw, and another the next night. Neidhart finally pinned Hart on February 8. Fuji soon sold Neidhart's contract to Jimmy Hart (no relation to the Hart family). Bret, upset with his gimmick, suggested he tag with Neidhart.
Initially a heel team managed by Jimmy Hart, The Hart Foundation made their pay-per-view debut at WrestleMania 2, where they were the last two eliminated from a 20-man battle royal featuring wrestlers and NFL players, by André the Giant.
The Hart Foundation won their first WWF World Tag Team Championship on the February 7, 1987 episode of WWF Superstars (taped January 26), from fellow Stapede alumni, The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid), with the help of heel referee Danny Davis, who was continually "distracted" by checking on Dynamite (laid out of the match early by a megaphone shot from Jimmy), allowing the challengers to double-team Smith. Davis was subsequently fired as referee, and began wrestling, aligned with The Hart Foundation. They lost the belts on the November 7 episode of Prime Time Wrestling (taped October 27), to Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) when Neidhart submitted to Martel's Boston crab.
The Hart Foundation wrestled in another 20-man battle royal at WrestleMania IV, before starting a feud with The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. In the summer of 1988, Jimmy Hart began managing the Rougeaus, and got them a pay raise at the expense of a 25% cut to The Hart Foundation's. This led them to fire him and turn face.
The Hart Foundation unsuccessfully challenged Demolition (Ax and Smash) for the tag title at the 1988 SummerSlam, where Ax hit Hart with Jimmy Hart's megaphone for the pin (Hart accompanied Demolition's manager, Mr. Fuji, solely to further his feud with the challengers). The Hart Foundation continued feuding with Jimmy Hart's wrestlers for the next year, teaming with Jim Duggan to defeat Dino Bravo and The Rougeaus in a 2/3 falls match at the 1989 Royal Rumble, then defeating The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine at WrestleMania V.
In April 1989, both Hart Foundation members began wrestling singles matches at house shows, though they often teamed for TV tapings, and at the 1989 SummerSlam, where they lost a non-title match to tag champions The Brain Busters. For the rest of the year, Neidhart most often wrestled Greg Valentine, Dino Bravo, The Warlord, The Barbarian and Haku. He also had a few shots at Rick Rude's Intercontinental Championship in August.
After Neidhart's series against Valentine, Honky Tonk Man and The Genius to start 1990, The Hart Foundation reformed full-time on March 24 in Las Vegas. At WrestleMania VI in Toronto, they defeated The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov) in 19 seconds. They started a second feud with champions Demolition, who by this time had added Crush, to reduce the load on the aging Bill Eadie (Ax). From April 21, the teams wrestled each other exclusively at house shows, to either double count-outs or disqualifications. This culminated at SummerSlam 90 on August 27, where The Hart Foundation won the title for a second time in a 2/3 falls match.
The Hart Foundation mainly defended their title against Power and Glory (Paul Roma and Hercules), but began their reign by reigniting their feud with Jimmy Hart via his team, Rhythm and Blues. Toward the end, they also frequently faced his Earthquake and Dino Bravo. Hart once again cost The Hart Foundation the belts at WrestleMania VII, in a match with his new team, The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags), when he distracted the referee, allowing Sags to knock out Neidhart with a motorcycle helmet.
Hart and Neidhart again split up, though they reunited for a title rematch with The Nasty Boys on the July 29 Prime Time Wrestling, losing by disqualification when Bret hit both champions with a helmet, again introduced by Jimmy Hart. Neidhart again wrestled Warlord, Barbarian and Haku on house shows, as well as Earthquake and Irwin R. Schyster (another of Jimmy Hart's men). During this time, he didn't wrestle on TV, but commentated Wrestling Challenge alongside Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan.
He returned to TV action on the November 9 Prime Time Wrestling against Ric Flair, who continued to apply his figure-four leglock after winning the match. While hobbling away to the back, he was attacked and further injured by The Beverly Brothers. He was thus replaced in the 1991 Survivor Series by Sgt. Slaughter (who became the team captain).
He returned on the December 1 Wrestling Challenge, teamed with Owen Hart (Bret's younger brother) as The New Foundation, defeating Barry Horowitz and Duane Gill. Clad in bright blue parachute pants, The New Foundation's highlight was a win over The Orient Express (Kato and Tanaka) at the 1992 Royal Rumble. Aside from one match against The Barbarian and Warlord, they wrestled The Beverly Brothers exclusively at house shows in 1992. After their last on March 7, Neidhart left the WWF.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1992)
After three matches in Eastern Championship Wrestling, Neidhart had three tours with New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1992: The G1 Climax in August (losing in the first round to Kensuke Sasaki), the Super Grade Tag League II in October (teaming with Tom Zenk and finishing with 0 points) and Battle Final in December.
World Championship Wrestling (1993)
Neidhart debuted for World Championship Wrestling on the May 15 episode of WCW Worldwide, beating a jobber with the Anvilizer. In a post-match ringside interview, he said he'd face anyone in WCW. After submitting another jobber on the next episode, Neidhart teamed with The Junkyard Dog for the next, again beating jobbers by Anvilizer. His lone televised win over a star came when he and JYD beat Paul Orndorff and Dick Slater by disqualification on the June 5 WCW Saturday Night. Eleven days later, he beat Shanghai Pierce in a dark match before Clash of the Champions XXIII.
Later WWF stints (1994; 1996; 1997)
Neidhart reappeared in the WWF at King of the Ring 1994 as the mystery cornerman of Bret in his WWF Championship defense against Intercontinental Champion Diesel. The finish saw Diesel Jackknife Bret to the canvas, which would have assured him of capturing the Federation championship. Neidhart, however, interfered, costing Bret the match, but allowing him to retain his title. Following the match, Bret was subject to a beatdown at the hands of Diesel and Shawn Michaels, but Neidhart did not come to Bret's aide. Later in the night, Neidhart reappeared at ringside during Owen's match against Razor Ramon in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament. Neidhart assaulted Ramon behind the referee's back, allowing Owen to become the second WWF King of the Ring (after his brother Bret, who was King in 1993) on pay-per-view.
Owen was mired in a feud with Bret stemming from the 1994 Royal Rumble. Neidhart believed Owen when he said that Bret had been holding him down all his life and sided with him against his former tag team partner. Usually seconding Owen in his matches throughout the summer of 1994, Neidhart was seated in the third row at SummerSlam 1994 behind members of the Hart family, as well as "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith for the steel cage match pitting Bret against Owen for the Federation championship; this was the title that Neidhart had saved for Hart back at the King of the Ring so Owen could claim it at SummerSlam. Following a grueling match-up, Bret emerged triumphant, but was later subject to another beating at the hands of Owen and Neidhart, who locked themselves inside the caged ring while members of the Hart family tried to climb over the top to get in and help Bret. Neidhart joined Owen as part of Shawn Michaels' "Teamsters" team at Survivor Series 1994. After eliminating all the members of Razor Ramon's "Bad Guys" team except for Razor himself, Michaels inadvertently hit Diesel with the Sweet Chin Music. This move split up their tag team, as Diesel chased Michaels down the aisle. This cost their team the match as Neidhart and Owen were counted out along with the rest of the "Teamsters". Following Survivor Series, Neidhart disappeared from the WWF.
In mid-1996, he had a stint as a masked heel under the name Who, a gimmick designed for commentators Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler to do Abbott and Costello "Who's on First?" routines during his matches (all of which he lost). He last wore the mask at SummerSlam 1996 as part of the "Bikini Beach Blast-Off" party held during the Free For All pre-show.
Neidhart then wrestled for the independent New York based promotion Ultimate Championship Wrestling or UCW, where he wrestled with the likes of Tatanka, his brother-in-law Bruce Hart, Falcon Coperis Louis Velazquez, King Kong Bundy and Marty Jannetty.
Neidhart returned to the WWF in 1997, reuniting with Bret as part of his new Hart Foundation, a stable of Canadian sympathizers (joining Owen Hart, The British Bulldog and Brian Pillman). His most high-profile match during this stint was at the Canadian Stampede pay-per-view in Calgary, where the Hart Foundation defeated the American team of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and The Legion of Doom in a ten-man tag team match. He was also a part of Team Canada at Survivor Series 97, teaming with The British Bulldog, Doug Furnas and Philip Lafon to defeat Team USA, composed of Vader, Goldust, Marc Mero and Steve Blackman (Bulldog was the sole survivor).
World Championship Wrestling; Second run (1997–1998)
After Bret left the WWF on bad terms because of the incident in 1997 which would go down in history as the Montreal Screwjob, Neidhart followed him to World Championship Wrestling (though not immediately, as he would be beaten up and humiliated, on the November 24 and December 1 episodes of Raw, by D-Generation X prior to his departure) where he formed a tag team with The British Bulldog, who also followed Bret there. Although this was his first true big-money deal, they were rarely utilized by WCW. They achieved little in-ring success, and he was eventually released and returned to the independent circuit.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2007)
On Raw XV, the 15th-anniversary WWE Raw special on December 10, 2007, Neidhart participated in the 15th Anniversary Battle Royal, eventually making it to the final five before being eliminated by Skinner.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009)
Neidhart continues to wrestle all over the world on the independent circuit and is pursuing a career in "micro-asset classes" and real estate.
Neidhart and wife Ellie have three daughters – Jennifer, a gourmet chef and caterer, Natalie, and Kristen ("Muffy"), who was married in early June 2007. Natalie is also a professional wrestler under the ring name "Natalya" and is currently signed to WWE.
On February 27, 2010 Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart was inducted into the Legends Pro Wrestling "Hall of Fame" by Jack Blaze in Wheeling, WV at their "LPW St. Valentine's Day Massacre" event. Then on May 28, 2011, he was honored again by Jack Blaze who also inducted his brother-in-law Owen Hart earlier that night into the "Hall of Fame".
On April 6, 2010, World Wrestling Entertainment released Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology, which is a 3 DVD set featuring a documentary on the Hart wrestling family (including Jim Neidhart) as well as 12 matches. It is unique in that it also features previously unseen home movies from the Harts as well as candid interviews from surviving family members.
Neidhart was arrested on September 6, 2010 and charged with two counts of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, two counts of trafficking illegal drugs, one count of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, and one count of third degree grand theft for property stolen between $300 and $5,000.
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- Legends Pro Wrestling
- Inducted into the LPW Hall of Fame (5/28/11)
- Professional Wrestling Federation
- PWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Pro Wrestling Ohio
- PWO Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Greg Valentine
- Stampede Wrestling
- Universal Wrestling Alliance
- UWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- "Jim Neidhart Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- Zabasearch.com lists his birthdate February 1955
- "Shoot With Jim Neidhart" DVD synopsis. RFvideo.com. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
- Martion, Kevin (2005-02-05). "Neidhart accused of theft". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
- Lennie DiFino (June 27, 2007). Catching up with Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart. WWE. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Neidhart-Santana ready to renew rivalry" by Kristi Patton, Cochrane Times
- Places Jim Neidhart has worked, from WrestlingData.com
- Jim Neidhart's matches, from WrestlingData.com]
- "WRESTLER PROFILES". Obsessed with Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
- [Jim Neidhart's matches against Bret Hart, from WrestlingData.com/
- WCW 1993 results, from TheHistoryOfWWE.com
- Clayton, Cory (2007-12-15). "Rhodes and Holly golden on Raw’s 15th Anniversary". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- Wilkenfeld, Daniel (2009-11-12). "Wilkenfeld's TNA Impact Report 11/12: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- World Championship Wrestling (1993-05-30). "Jim Neidhart vs Todd Stansell". WCW Worldwide.
- "Hart Foundation Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- "Bret Hart". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2000). Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- The Internet Wrestling Database. Cagematch (2011-03-29). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
- Wrestling Information Archive – Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years. 100megsfree4.com. Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948–1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jim Neidhart.|
- Online World of Wrestling profile
- Bodyslamming.com profile
- MuscleSport Radio Interview
- Solie's title histories
- Hart Family News