News of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart's passing froze the wrestling community on Monday. As social media flooded with thoughtful messages, it was Bret Hart,The Anvil's partner and real-life brother-in-law, who posted the most poignant tribute.
"Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now," wrote The Hitman.
Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now. pic.twitter.com/fcO8Skuuhz— Bret Hart (@BretHart) August 13, 2018
While Hart went on to become Intercontinental and eventually WWE Champion, Neidhart would pair up with Owen Hart. However, by 1997, WWE elected to reform the Hart Foundation, this time adding the likes of Brian Pillman and The British Bulldog. With Neidhart's passing, Bret Hart remains the only member of the Attitude Era Hart Foundation that is still alive.
WWE released the following statement upon news of the 63-year-old's death.
WWE is saddened to learn that Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away.
Best known as the powerhouse of the legendary Hart Foundation tag team with his brother-in-law, Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Jim Neidhart was also the father of current WWE Superstar Natalya.
Neidhart began his ring career after playing professional football with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys. He was trained by WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart in the infamous Hart Dungeon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and earned his ring nickname, The Anvil, after winning an anvil throwing contest.
Neidhart married Stu's daughter, Ellie, to become a member of the legendary Hart Family before making the move to WWE along with Bret "Hit Man" Hart, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith when WWE purchased Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling.
Initially, Neidhart and Hart were managed by Jimmy Hart as The Hart Foundation and went on to win two WWE World Tag Team Championships.
After several years of teaming with Bret’s younger brother, Owen Hart, and some singles competition, The Hart Foundation was re-formed in controversial fashion in 1997. Consisting of Neidhart, Bret, Owen, Smith and Brian Pillman, the pro-Canadian faction stirred United States crowds into a frenzy with their anti-American sermons.
Neidhart last competed in WWE in 1997 but his legacy lives on today through his daughter, Natalya, who displays her father’s signature charisma and toughness every time she steps in the ring.
WWE extends its condolences to Neidhart’s family, friends and fans.