We are saddened to report the passing of wrestling legend Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. He was 63 years old. Jim Neidhart was the father of WWE Superstar Natalya. He was a 2-time WWF tag team champion as part of the Hart Foundation with Bret Hart.
Jim Neidhart earned the “Anvil” nickname in high school by setting records in shot put. He would later play in the National Football League (NFL) with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys. In 1979, Neidhart became a professional wrestler after undergoing his training at the hands of Stu Hart in the legendary Dungeon.
After some time in Japan, Neidhart signed on with the WWF in 1985 and was paired with a young Bret “The Hitman” Hart in the Hart Foundation tag team. Known by their bright pink ring gear, the Hart Foundation became two-time WWF Tag Team Champions.
When Bret began his singles career, Neidhart stuck with him and eventually Brian Pillman, The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith and Bret’s younger brother Owen joined the stable and the Hart Foundation became one of the premiere groups in wrestling leading into the Attitude Era.
Later years saw Neidhart struggle with his health and personal problems. He was arrested in 2010 and charged with possession of controlled substances. He also attended two stints in WWE-sponsored rehab and was last seen on the reality show Total Divas with his daughter, WWE Superstar Natalya.
We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart.
Here are some reactions to Neidhart’s passing:
Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now. pic.twitter.com/fcO8Skuuhz
— Bret Hart (@BretHart) August 13, 2018
My Good Friend Jim Neidhart, A World Class Athlete And A Man Among Men. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/JSmdpZ9YZ1
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) August 13, 2018
What a sad last few weeks for the Wrestling World…another great taken way too soon. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/oE5mbaaSur
— Jerry Lawler (@JerryLawler) August 13, 2018
I am overwhelmed with grief, love and sympathy by the passing of Jim Neidhart. Love and prayers to his family. He was always with me and a real friend through the good and bad. Love and miss you already, Jim. RIP my brother. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) August 13, 2018
R.I.P. Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. My heartfelt condolences to his family. Jim stood out in a unique world with one of a kind personalities.
— Bruce Prichard (@bruceprichard) August 13, 2018
My condolences to @NatbyNature & her family over the loss of her father, Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart. My thoughts, prayers & heart are with you, Nattie.
— #WOKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) August 13, 2018
Sad to hear about the passing of Jim Neidhart. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. Jim was an important part of the landscape during one of the most important periods in the industry. RIP Jim,
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) August 13, 2018
RIP Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart pic.twitter.com/gPCRgRHGwx
— Dinner With The King (@DinnerWithKing) August 13, 2018
Shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Jim Neidhart. The #HartFoundation were the greatest of all time. My thoughts are with @NatbyNature @TJWilson and the rest of the Hart family. #RIPAnvil
— Sheamus (@WWESheamus) August 13, 2018
So sorry to hear about the death of Jim Neidhart. My best to all of his family
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) August 13, 2018
You can re-live some of the Anvil’s greatest moments below and on the WWE Network.