Former WWE Tag Team champion Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away today at the age of 63. The news was originally broken by Cauliflower Alley Club president Brian Blair, the former Killer Bee member and longtime friend of Neidhart. “So sad to announce the passing of my friend and longtime colleague, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Your thoughts and prayers for the family are deeply appreciated,” Blair wrote.
No cause of death has been revealed although Neidhart has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“The Anvil,” father of WWE Superstar Natalya, made his pro wrestling debut in 1979 and was trained by the legendary Stu Hart, who later became his father-in-law. Neidhart wrestled for Calgary Stampede, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-South, and then found himself working for Vince McMahon in WWE in 1985.
In WWE, Neidhart found success tag teaming with Bret “Hit Man” Hart as The Hart Foundation, managed by Jimmy Hart. The two had some epic matches and feuds with the likes of Demolition, Powers of Pain, Rhythm & Blues, the Brain Busters, Nasty Boys, and many others. As the Hart Foundation, Neidhart won the WWE Tag Team titles twice with Bret. He later tag teamed with his other brother-in-law Owen Hart to form The New Foundation.
In 1993 he went to WCW but returned to the WWE a year later, teaming again with Owen Hart and later joined Bret, Brian Pillman, the British Bulldog, and Owen for the Hart Foundation reunion.
Neidhart had another short stint with WCW and TNA before returning for sporadic appearances in WWE. He was a recurring guest on the Total Divas reality show, often seen on-screen with his daughter Natalya.
In 2010, he was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, two counts of trafficking illegal drugs, one count of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, and one count of third degree grand theft for property stolen between $300 and $5,000. Two years later, he was sentenced to six months in jail.
Jim is survived by his wife Ellie, and his three daughters, Jennifer, Natalya, and Kristen.