The powerhouse of the wrestling stable The Hart Foundation in the ’80s and ’90s of WWE, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has passed away at the age of 63. The wrestler first began his career with Stampede Wrestling and made a name for himself working with his brother-in-law Bret Hart, including winning the tag team championships.
WWE shared word of the superstar’s passing early on August 13, which was first revealed by friend Brian Blair on Twitter. “So sad to announce the passing of my friend and longtime colleague, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart,” Blair wrote. “Your thoughts and prayers for the family are deeply appreciated!”
Before WWE, Neidhart played for the Dallas Cowboys, but after his release, he went to Calgary, Alberta to train as a wrestler with legendary trainer Stu Hart. During this time, Neidhart got the nickname “The Anvil,” after winning an anvil toss contest at a Calgary rodeo.
In the mid-’80s, Stu Hart sold Stampede to WWE, and both Neidhart and Bret Hart were part of the deal. The two made their debut in 1985 and won the WWF World Tag Team Championship in 1987. Bret and Neidhart were close, and Bret recently posted on his Facebook page, “Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now.”
Neidhart later teamed with Owen Hart during a memorable run, but ultimately left WWE in 1997 after the infamous Montreal Screwjob. He returned to WWE in 2007 for one Battle Royal match and has appeared numerous times on the E! reality series Total Divas, where his daughter WWE superstar Natalya is one of the featured members of the cast.