Anvil - WWE
Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart 1955-2018 Photo: WWE.com

The sports entertainment world lost yet another legend today.  Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has passed at the age of 63.

ESPN’s Tim Fiorvanti reported that Neidhart fell in his home, hit his head, and “succumbed to his injury” this morning.  According to family statements to the Associated Press, as stated in Fiorvanti’s article, Neidhart got up to lower the thermostat in his bedroom and possibly suffered a grand mal seizure.

Neidhart began his professional sports career playing for the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys where he participated on their practice squads and in preseason games.  His football career didn’t pan out, and he then turned to professional wrestling.

Neidhart moved to Calgary to train with Stu Hart and worked for Hart’s Stampede Wrestling from 1978 to 1983 and again in 1985.  He was a two-time Stampede International Tag Team Champion with both Hercules Ayala and Mr. Hito.

During his tenure with Stampede Wrestling, Hart wanted extra publicity for Neidhart and entered him in an anvil-throwing contest, which Neidhart won.  Neidhart’s nickname then became “The Anvil.”

The Anvil
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Photo: WWE.com

While still working for Stampede Wrestling, Neidhart had regular stints with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling, Continental Wrestling Association, and Championship Wrestling from Florida.

Vince McMahon purchased Stampede Wrestling from Hart in the mid-80s and with the purchase came the contracts of Neidhart and Stu’s son Bret.  The two were eventually paired up to form The Hart Foundation.

Hart Foundation
The Hart Foundation
Photo: WWE.com

The Hart Foundation was in full force in the late-90s when the faction included Neidhart, Bret Hart, Bret’s brother Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Brian Pillman.  The team was dominant until the “Montreal Screwjob,” and then Bret Hart and Smith left the WWE.

Neidhart stopped wrestling full-time in 1998, but had special appearances with both WWE and TNA in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

Neidhart became a household name again while appearing on the E! Network reality show Total Divas.  Neidhart’s daughter, Natalie performs with the WWE under the ring name Natalya, and she has been a long-time focus of the show, which will soon debut its 8th season.  Natalie is married to TJ Wilson, who previously wrestled under the name Tyson Kidd but now works behind the curtain with the WWE.

Jim and Nattie
Jim Neidhart & daughter Natalie Neidhart-Wilson
Photo: Instagram @natbynature

Tributes began trending online soon after the announcement of his passing:

Bret - Twitter
Twitter: @BretHart

 

Jimmy Hart
Twitter: @RealJimmyHart

 

Jim Ross - Twitter
Twitter: @JRsBBQ

 

Triple H - Twitter
Twitter: @TripleH

Neidhart is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Ellie), and daughters Natalie, Kristin, and Jenni.

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Kimberly hails from the town that brought us SLAP SHOT and ALL THE RIGHT MOVES. She uses The Force to open all automatic doors. She became a Harley Quinn fan before it was cool to be a Harley Quinn fan. She loves peeking behind the curtain of kayfabe. Ferris Bueller is her hero. She lives in a tiny castle with her husband (who she met in the video game aisle of Toys R Us), 3 cats, and Wicket the Ewok dog. Kimberly is a TV, movie, and comic critic - her cups of tea include writing about badass women, WWE, Marvel, DC, and more. Be sure to follow her adventures on all of her social media links below. And while you're at it, be sure to follow Monkeys Fighting Robots across all social media platforms, too!

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