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Jim Neidhart
Ring name(s) Jim Neidhart[1]
Who[1]
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Billed weight 283 lb (128 kg)[1]
Born August 2, 1956 (1956-08-02) (age 53)[1]
Tampa, Florida[1]
Resides Calgary, Alberta, Canada[1]
Billed from Reno, Nevada[1]
Trained by Stu Hart[1]
Debut 1979[1]

James Henry "Jim" Neidhart (born August 2, 1956)[1] 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, and is the father of WWE Diva Natalya. Among other accolades, he is a two-time WWF Tag Team Champion with Bret Hart as part of the original Hart Foundation. He has influenced many current WWE superstars, including WWE Champion Batista.

Neidhart holds dual citizenship with Canada and the United States.

Contents

Early life

Neidhart had an athletic career prior to his entrance into the world of professional wrestling. He first gained acclaim during high school for his success in many strength-oriented track and field events. A talented shot putter, Neidhart held the California high school record in the event from 1973–1985 for Newport Harbor High School (a school which was later made famous for its central role in the hit television show The O.C.). After graduating high school,[2] Neidhart pursued a career in the National Football League, where he played briefly for the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys in practices and preseason games. Although some biographies state that he played in the NFL for those teams,[3] DatabaseFootball.com contains no evidence that Neidhart ever recorded actual playing time in an NFL regular season game. In a shoot interview, Neidhart said that he spent some time in jail and actually saw Charles Manson during this period, as well.[2]

Neidhart achieved his nickname from setting a record at the Calgary Stampede games for throwing an anvil further than anyone else.[4]

Wrestling career

Early 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 Stampede Wrestling, Hart's Calgary based promotion, for several years, during which time he married Ellie Hart, one of Stu's daughters.[5] He thus became the brother-in-law of fellow wrestlers Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Ross Hart, Keith Hart, and Davey Boy Smith, and later the uncle of wrestlers Teddy Hart and Harry Smith.

World Wrestling Federation

When Stu Hart sold Stampede Wrestling to Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Neidhart and Bret Hart were included in the deal. Originally, McMahon had Neidhart slated to perform as a singles wrestler managed by Jimmy Hart - who has no relation to the Hart family - and McMahon wanted Bret to perform under a "cowboy" gimmick. Bret instead came up with the idea of a heel tag team with "The Anvil" called the Hart Foundation. WWF management didn't like the idea at first but decided to make them a team as a favor to Bret.[3]

While in the WWF, Hart and Neidhart formed a highly successful tag team, "The Hart Foundation". They were managed by "The Mouth Of The South" Jimmy Hart, who led them to their first Tag Team Championship. The team won their second Tag Team Championship by defeating Demolition at SummerSlam 1990. Jimmy Hart was also instrumental in ending the team's second championship reign at WrestleMania VII when he led The Nasty Boys to the titles against his former team, after Jimmy's distraction of the referee allowed Sags to knock out Neidhart with a helmet. After Bret split off into singles competition, Neidhart went to the announce table, commenting for Wrestling Challenge, alongside Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. In the Fall of 91, he returned to the ring, but only to be injured by Ric Flair during a match held on the November 9 episode of Superstars, followed by an ambush by the Beverly Brothers. Neidhart was removed from the annual Survivor Series 1991, but returned soon after teaming up with Owen Hart (Bret's little brother) as "The New Foundation." Neidhart would leave the WWF early in 1992.

World Championship Wrestling

After a stint wrestling in Japan, Neidhart had a brief run in World Championship Wrestling in 1993, competiting in lower card matches and teaming with The Junkyard Dog on occasion.[6]

Return to the WWF

Neidhart in a wrestling match in 2009 against Salvatore Sincere.

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 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 1996, he had a very short stint as the masked wrestler named Who, a gimmick purely designed for commentators Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler to make Abbott and Costello "Who's on First?" jokes during his matches. 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.

Jim Neidhart vs. Falcon Coperis UCW 1997

In 1996 Jim Neidhart 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.

World Championship Wrestling; Second run

He later reunited with Bret as part of his stable of Canadian sympathizers in the WWF in 1997. After Bret left the company 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 episode 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

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.[7]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling

Neidhart appeared in TNA on the November 12, 2009, edition of Impact! winning against Jay Lethal in his initial open challenge thrown out to the legends of professional wrestling.[8]

Personal life

Neidhart continues to wrestle on the Canadian independent circuit and is pursuing a career in micro-asset classes and real estate.

Neidhart and ex-wife Ellie have three daughters - Jennifer, a gourmet chef and caterer, Natalie, and Kristen ("Muffy"), who was married in early June 2007.[4] Natalie is also a professional wrestler and is currently signed to a WWE contract.[4]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Jim Neidhart Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/j/jim-neidhart.html. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Shoot With Jim Neidhart" DVD synopsis. RFvideo.com. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
  3. ^ a b "Hart Foundation". www.WrestlingRevealed.com. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
  4. ^ a b c Lennie DiFino (June 27, 2007). Catching up with Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart. WWE. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  5. ^ Martion, Kevin (2005-02-05). "Neidhart accused of theft". Calgary Sun. http://www.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2005/02/05/921693.html. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  6. ^ 1993 WCW results
  7. ^ Clayton, Cory (2007-12-15). "Rhodes and Holly golden on Raw’s 15th Anniversary". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/archive/12102007/. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  8. ^ Wilkenfeld, Daniel (2009-11-12). "WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 11/12: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast". PWTorch. http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/TV_Reports_9/article_36725.shtml. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  9. ^ Jim Neidhart in action
  10. ^ 1994 WWF results
  11. ^ "Hart Foundation Profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/h/hart-foundation-original.html. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  12. ^ "Bret Hart". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/hart-bret.html. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  13. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi100tg.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  14. ^ "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/canada/ab/hof.html. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 

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