Former WWE wrestler Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has died. He was 63.
Neidhart died after suffering a medical emergency,
“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 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 weighed in.
“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.”
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 WWE in 1997.