Neidhart in 2015
|Birth name||James Henry Neidhart|
February 8, 1955 |
|Residence||Land O' Lakes, Florida,
(m. 1979; div. 2001)
|Children||3, including Natalya Neidhart|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Jim Neidhart
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||281 lb (127 kg)|
|Billed from||Reno, Nevada
"Who Knows Where" (as Who)
|Trained by||Stu Hart|
James Henry Neidhart (born February 8, 1955) is an American retired 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 (1979–1985)
- 2.2 World Wrestling Federation (1985–1992)
- 2.3 New Japan Pro Wrestling (1992)
- 2.4 World Championship Wrestling (1993)
- 2.5 Eastern Championship Wrestling (1993)
- 2.6 Return to WWF (1994, 1996, 1997)
- 2.7 Return to WCW (1998)
- 2.8 Second return to WWE
- 2.9 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 until 1985. After graduating from high school, 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
Early career (1979–1985)
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 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)
Hart Foundation (1985-1991)
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 to McMahon that he form a tag team 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 Stampede 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 (in reality, Smith was forced to wrestle alone due to Dynamite being so debilitated with a back injury that he was virtually carried to the ring by his partner). 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, the ending of which saw Bret start a slow face turn. Hart and Bad News Brown were the last 2 competitors in a 20-man Battle Royal and looked to be co-existing heels but Brown then attacked and eliminated Hart to win. Immediately after being declared the winner and being awarded a huge trophy, Hart attacked Brown and smashed up the trophy starting his face turn. Neidhart eventually joined Bret's side in the feud with Brown causing a rift between the team and manager Jimmy. This led them to fire him and turn face, before starting a feud with The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. In the fall 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. Further to the story, it was revealed that Hart had actually sold a portion of the Hart Foundation's contract to the Rougeaus.
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 Ravishing Rick Rude's Intercontinental Heavyweight 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 at this point added Crush, to reduce the load on Bill Eadie (Ax) after a health scare. 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.
On October 30, 1990, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) did actually defeat The Hart Foundation in a two out of three falls match in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to seemingly win the title, though the WWF has never officially recognized The Rockers' champion status. During the match the top rope broke by accident making the match a disjointed affair that would require serious clean up before it could be shown on TV. The Rockers defended the WWF Tag Team title against Power and Glory (Paul Roma and Hercules) on November 3, 1990. Shortly after November 3 it was decided to not air the title change and that the title would revert to the Hart Foundation. In his book, Shawn Michaels claims that the Hart Foundation had politicked to keep the title. However Michaels claim is contradicted by other claims that the WWF had actually fired Neidhart forcing the title change, but after the match the two sides came to an agreement and Neidhart was re-signed.
The Hart Foundation mainly defended their title against Power and Glory, but began their reign by reigniting their feud with Jimmy Hart via his team, Rhythm and Blues (Honky Tonk and Valentine). Toward the end, they also frequently faced his team of Earthquake and Dino Bravo. They would also face the Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) and The Rockers. Jimmy 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 his 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 Irwin R. Schyster and Earthquake. During this time, he didn't wrestle on TV, but commentated Wrestling Challenge alongside Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan from March until August 1991.
New Foundation (1991-1992)
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. He was fired on February 16, 1992, for unprofessional conduct.
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.
Eastern Championship Wrestling (1993)
Return to WWF (1994, 1996, 1997)
Reunion with Owen Hart (1994-1995)
Neidhart returned to the WWF at King of the Ring in June 1994, as Bret Hart's cornerman for his WWF World Heavyweight Championship defense against Intercontinental Champion Diesel. After Diesel hit Hart with his Jackknife finisher, Neidhart interfered to prevent the pin, disqualifying Hart but allowing him to retain the title. After the match, Diesel and Shawn Michaels beat down Hart, and Neidhart did not intervene. Later that night, Neidhart reappeared at ringside during Owen Hart's King of the Ring tournament final against Razor Ramon. He attacked Razor outside the ring, behind the referee's back, before throwing him back for Hart to elbowdrop and pin to become "The King of Harts".
Owen had been feuding with Bret since the 1994 Royal Rumble. Neidhart, believing Bret had held Owen back from his potential, sided with Owen, usually cornering him in matches through the summer. Neidhart claimed he'd only helped Bret keep the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at King of the Ring so Owen could take it from him. This opportunity came in a steel cage match at SummerSlam. Neidhart sat in the third row during the match, behind other Hart family members. After Bret won the match, Neidhart entered the cage, locked it and helped Owen beat him down, while Hart family members tried to climb over it and save him.
Neidhart joined Owen on Shawn Michaels' five-man team, The Teamsters, to face Razor Ramon and The Bad Guys in an elimination match at Survivor Series. After they eliminated every Bad Guy except Razor, Michaels inadvertently hit Diesel with the Sweet Chin Music. This caused an argument and the tag partners split up, before Diesel chased Michaels down the aisle. As the other Teamsters tried to intervene, all were counted out.
Because Diesel and Michaels were WWF Tag Team Champions when they split, the title was vacated and a tournament held. Neidhart and Hart lost to The New Headshrinkers (Fatu and Sionne) in the first round on the December 31 Superstars, by disqualification. By the time it aired, Neidhart had left the WWF. Bret Hart wrote in his autobiography that the original plan was for Owen and Neidhart to win the tournament and the WWF Tag Team Championships but Neidhart was fired due to no-showing events. Owen wound up winning the WWF Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania XI with new partner Yokozuna and years later with fellow brother-in-law The British Bulldog.
On the July 6, 1996 Superstars, he returned as the masked heel Who, a gimmick designed for commentators Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler to make "Who's on First?"-style jokes during his matches (most of which he lost). Who last appeared on TV in the "Bikini Beach Blast-Off" party on the SummerSlam pre-show. His last match was a win over Alex Porteau in Miami on September 12.
Hart Foundation reunion and departure (1997)
Neidhart returned to the WWF on the April 28, 1997 episode of Raw is War, attacking Stone Cold Steve Austin and reuniting with Bret and Owen Hart as part of the new Hart Foundation, a stable of Canadian sympathizers, also including Davey Boy Smith and Brian Pillman. At In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede in Calgary, The Hart Foundation defeated the American team of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and The Legion of Doom. Neidhart was part of Team Canada at Survivor Series, 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, Neidhart was pinned by Vader).
After Bret left the WWF on bad terms because of the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series, D-Generation X leader Shawn Michaels offered Neidhart a spot in the group on the November 24 episode of Raw Is War. Neidhart accepted, only for it to be revealed as a setup as the group assaulted Neidhart at the end of the show. The following week, DX member Triple H defeated Neidhart. DX then beat up Neidhart once again and spraypainted "WCW" on his back, signifying him following Bret Hart to World Championship Wrestling.
Return to WCW (1998)
In January 1998, Neidhart returned to World Championship Wrestling, where he formed a short-lived tag team with The British Bulldog, who also departed from the WWF following the infamous Montreal Screwjob. 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.
Second return to WWE
Part-time appearances (2007–present)
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".
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. He was arrested after becoming aggressive with police after ingesting multiple pills outside a gas station. In March 2012, he was sentenced to five months and 29 days in jail. During his sentencing, he was arrested and held in contempt of court.
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.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- With Bret Hart
- With Owen Hart
- "The Anvil"
- Entrance themes
- "Hart Beat" by Jimmy Hart and J.J. Maguire (WWF; 1988–1991, 1994)
- "New Foundation" (WWF: 1991-1992)
- "Rock Around" (WCW; 1993)
- "Hart Attack" by Jim Johnston, Jimmy Hart, and J.J Maguire (WWF; 1997)
- "Metal Jacket" by Hugo Ripol (WWF; 1997, 2007)
- "Hitman in the House" (WCW; 1998)
- "Max Speed II" (WCW; 1998)
- "Million Miles Away by The Offspring (IWC; 2007)
- "Anvil" (TNA, 2009)
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- Legends Pro Wrestling
- Inducted into the LPW Hall of Fame (5/28/11)
- Memphis Championship Wrestling
- Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation
- MEWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Mid-South Wrestling
- New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2014
- 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)
- World Wrestling Federation
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame
- "Jim Neidhart Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 155 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1.
- "Neidhart, Jim in movie Heroes". 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated, 7th annual edition, p.34.
- "WWE Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart profile". WWE. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- 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/
- Graham Cawthon (1990-10-30). "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- Graham Cawthon (1990-11-03). "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- Michaels, Shawn; Feigenbaum, Aaron (2006-11-07). Heartbreak & Triumph: the Shawn Michaels Story (paperback ed.). Hartford, CN: WWE Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-1686-6.
- WCW 1993 results, from TheHistoryOfWWE.com
- 1996 WWF results, from TheHistoryOfWWE.com
- Hart, Bruce (2011). Straight From the Hart. ECW Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-55022-939-4.
- "WRESTLER CHARLES "GUILLOTINE" LeGRANDE ON TIGER KHAN". smashedmedia.us. Archived from the original on 2016-01-28.
- 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.
- Pena, Daniel. "Jim Neidhart Arrested & Charged With Six Felonies (MUGSHOT)".
- Johnson, Mike. "Jim Neidhart Arrested After Court Appearance". PWInsider.com.
- 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.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2015-02-12.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). 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 Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.. 100megsfree4.com. Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948–1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. April 3, 2016.
- "Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. April 3, 2016.
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