Remembering Jim Neidhart
A piece of my childhood passed away this week. Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart was known best as half of the 1980s tag team, the Hart Foundation. Along with his tag team partner and brother-in-law, Bret Hart, the Hart Foundation were active between 1985 and 1991, and won the WWE Tag Team Titles in ’87 and ’90: Then in 1997, the Hart Foundation was revived in the form of a stable. The group’s line up consisted of family members and students of the Hart clan.
The Neidhart-Bret partnership mirrored a relationship between a big brother; protective over his younger sibling; this illustration became evident when the Harts switched from being villains to heroes, in 1988. An example of the brotherly relationship was demonstrated during their matches as Bret would take the brunt of their opponent’s foul tactics while Jim; frustrated and concerned, waited reluctantly in his corner for Bret to escape their opponents and tag him in.
I believe that a lot of Hart Foundation’s success and appeal is credited to Jim Neidhart’s contributions. Bret was known as the cool member and ‘technical wrestling’ part of the team; Bret occupied the ring during most of their matches as Neidhart shouted moral support in the corner while waiting for his turn. When Bret was the recipient of their opponents’ foul play, the fans depended on Neidhart as the ‘big brother’ to make the save.
Bret’s appeal as the ‘cool’ guy was an element to the Hart Foundation’s fan base; however, it was Neidhart’s infectious and loud personality that transformed the Harts into an inclusive brand. The Hart Foundations interviews highlighted Neidhart’s abilities to sell the group with his animated charisma. What Bret did for the team in the ring; Neidhart equaled while promoting the duo in their interviews.
RIP Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart