Former WWE wrestler Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has died. He was 63.
“WWE is saddened to learn that Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away,” the company wrote on its website. “WWE extends its condolences to Neidhart’s family, friends and fans.”
Neidhart’s daughter Natalya currently wrestles in the WWE.
Neidhart, a former NFL player with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, was the brother-in-law of Bret “Hit Man” Hart. Together, the two formed the legendary Hart Foundation tag team, winning two WWE World Tag Team Championships.
Hart paid tribute to Neidhart on his Instagram page on Monday, writing: “Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now.”
Other WWE superstars, including Ric Flair and The Iron Sheik, also shared their condolences and memories of Neidhart.
“My Good Friend Jim Neidhart, A World Class Athlete And A Man Among Men. Rest In Peace,” wrote Ric Flair. The Iron Shiek added: “One of my oldest friends in the business Jim Neidhart. We travel together I love him forever like a brother. God bless family I never forget you Bubba.”
My Good Friend Jim Neidhart, A World Class Athlete And A Man Among Men. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/JSmdpZ9YZ1
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) August 13, 2018
ONE OF MY OLDEST FRIENDS IN THE BUSINESS JIM NEIDHART. WE TRAVEL TOGETHER I LOVE HIM FOREVER LIKE A BROTHER. GOD BLESS FAMILY I NEVER FORGET YOU BUBBA. pic.twitter.com/lt1dE8QOvt
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) August 13, 2018
Neidhart was trained by WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart, the father of Bret and his younger brother and fellow WWE superstar Owen Hart, at the Hart Dungeon in Calgary. He earned his nickname, “The Anvil,” after winning an anvil throwing contest. He later married Stu’s daughter, Ellie. He, along with Bret, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, made the jump to the WWE when the company purchased Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling.
He was also tag team partners with Owen Hart for several years, in addition to doing some singles competition. The Hart Foundation re-formed for a short time in 1997 that consisted of Neidhart, Bret, Owen, Smith and Brian Pillman. The pro-Canadian group was famous for antagonizing the crowd with their anti-American sermons.
Neidhart last competed in the WWE in 1997.
Following the news of Neidhart’s death, the WWE community began to weigh in with their condolences, which you can read below:
— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) August 13, 2018
Sad to hear about the passing of Jim Neidhart. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. Jim was an important part of the landscape during one of the most important periods in the industry. RIP Jim,
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) August 13, 2018
Shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Jim Neidhart. The #HartFoundation were the greatest of all time. My thoughts are with @NatbyNature @TJWilson and the rest of the Hart family. #RIPAnvil
— Sheamus (@WWESheamus) August 13, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Neidhart family
— Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat (@real_steamboat) August 13, 2018
It is terrible I just heard Jim Neidhart passed away. I just pray for his family to get through this.Jim was a great friend and I will really miss him.
— Demolition Smash (@RealDemoSmash) August 13, 2018
Saddened To Hear Jim Neidhart Has Passed. My Prayers Are With His Families. Guess God Needed An “Anvil” Angel RIP Jim????????
— SGT SLAUGHTER (@_SgtSlaughter) August 13, 2018
Devastating news Jim Neidhart my friend has passed away!! I can hardly believe it. Rest In Peace Brother until we meet again !!!
— Brutus Beefcake (@brutusbeefcake_) August 13, 2018
Such a shame to learn of the passing of Jim Neidhart. Watching ‘The Anvil’ in action on WWF Superstars and Wrestling Challenge was one of the staples of my childhood. A larger-than-life character that’ll be sorely missed. #RIPAnvil
— El Ligero (@Ligero1) August 13, 2018
Jim Neidhart was a great athlete
He was the power & strength of
The Hart Foundation
I loved their finishing maneuver
Celebrate his life
Watch his matches today
My heart hurts for his daughters, wife & @TJWilson
There is only one#Anvil pic.twitter.com/pFvfDHtN8S
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) August 13, 2018