The world of professional wrestling is in mourning after the death of a fourth star in the last few weeks.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart died aged 63 on Monday, the WWE has confirmed.
WWE is saddened to learn that Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has passed away. https://t.co/Isxv3ElA3Y
— WWE (@WWE) August 13, 2018
According to TMZ, Neidhart suffered a medical emergency at a home in Florida early Monday morning and emergency personnel were called to the scene.
Neidhart, who rose to fame as part of the legendary Hart Foundation in the 1990s, was a two-time WWE tag team champion alongside his brother-in-law, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart.
Before entering the world of professional wrestling, Neidhart was a record-setting shot putter at Newport Harbor (Calif.) High School and had a brief stint in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders.
Neidhart wrestled in WWE from 1985-1991 and again from 1994-1997. In addition to his time with WWE, Neidhart also worked with World Championship Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling in the early 1990s.
During his time with WWE, Neidhart was involved in several iconic feuds with the Legion of Doom, D-Generation X and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Trained in the famous Hart Dungeon by Bret and Owen Hart’s father Stu, Neidhart eventually married into the family, wedding Stu Hart’s daughter Ellie. The couple had three children, including current WWE star and former women’s champion Natalya.
News of Neidhart’s death spread quickly across the wrestling world, with many current and former stars expressing their sadness.
Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now. pic.twitter.com/fcO8Skuuhz
— Bret Hart (@BretHart) August 13, 2018
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
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
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
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
— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) August 13, 2018
Neidhart and his wife appeared sporadically on WWE’s reality TV show “Total Divas” on the “E!” cable network.
After his wrestling career ended, Neidhart struggled with substance abuse, twice entering a rehabilitation program.
Neidhart also had a run-in with the law, eventually being sentenced to five months and 29 days in jail in 2012.
The tragic news marks the fourth death of a former professional wrestler in the last few weeks, after Brian Lawler, Nikolai Volkoff and Brickhouse Brown died on the same day late last month.
Neidhart’s sudden death makes him the fourth member of the “Hart Foundation” stable to pass away.
Brian Pillman died of a heart attack in 1997, Owen Hart passed away after suffering injuries due to an equipment malfunction at a WWE event in 1999, and “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith suffered a fatal heart attack in 2002.
Anthony Sulla-Heffinger – Yahoo Sports