Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart – A Fallen Hero


neidhart2 In late1985 Jim Neidhart, played, pre-season, and in practice games, for the Oakland raiders, and the Dallas cowboy,s but it wasn’t his true calling.

from 1985 – 1992 he wrestled for the WWF (now WWE)

This come about ,basically through marriage, Jim married Ellie Hart, a daughter of Stu Hart.  Stu’s other sons Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Ross Hart, Keith Hart, and Davey Boy Smith. Became his family.  And late,r Stu sold his company “stampede Wrestling” to Vince McMahon, Jim Neidhart, and Brett hart were included in the deal.  they formed a tag team, and Jim started going by the name “the Anvil”  and they called themselves, "The Hart Foundation and they became highly successful.

Eventually Brett hart split off into singles competition and Jim went though a series of unsuccessful team-ups, never seeming to quite find his way back to glory.  Jim pursues a brief, stint wrestling in Japan ,after which he returned to work for the WCW.  he competed mainly in un-memorable matches and occasionally teamed up with The Junkyard Dog

it was in 1994 that he retuned to the WWF, reuniting with Bret Hart.  He continued to wrestle, through 1997, staying very active, if not in the ring, than in a large number of on going plot,s involving hart family feud,s gaining a lot of screen time, and a sizeable fan following.

then in 1997 the Montreal Screwjob occurred, (click the link for full details) in short, as we all know, wrestling has a pre-determined outcome.  In this case, Vince McMahon, told both wrestler, that Bret Hart would win his match and defend his Title.  he then pulled his opponent aside, and gave him different instructions ,even going so far as to interfere at ringside, changing the “script” as it were, last minute on live TV in such a way that nothing could be done.  Bret, Jim and many other members of the family, left the company, in disgust, and signed on with Rival WCW.

Not long after, in 1999 the highly controversial death of Own Hart occurred on live TV.  and is loss hit the hart family, & friends hard.  He wrestled occasionally in independent circuit,s but for the most part disappeared from the public eye.

He had two more appearances, on major wrestling cards, in 2007 for a 15th anniversary special, to participated in a Battle Royal.

in 2009 he appeared, on TNA wrestling

now: On September 5, 2010, Tampa, FL police found Neidhart in possession of 95 Oxycontin pills and 28 Methadone pills. He was charged with two counts of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, two counts of trafficking an illegal substance and one count of grand theft third degree and one count of burglary.

His career was a constant rollercoaster, when he was successful lit was often on the coat-tails of others, on his own ,he never seemed to be able to stay in the limelight.  Tragedy after tragedy befell his family and friends.  and now a once loved icon of 80’s wrestling finds himself down & out.

Sadly in a sport, such as wrestling, like so many others, athlete, age quickly, and their body, can’t put up with the punishment they once could.  Who knows, maybe all those pills were his legitimately,  I’ve heard many a story of great wrestlers, wrestling themselves right into wheelchairs.

Then again maybe he was on hard times, an ex-wife, and three children, perhaps he simply needed the cash and had no other means by which to get it.

Either way, it’s a sad day, for all the fans of the old Heart Foundation and it’s crew. No matter the circumstances, no one ever wants to see, a larger than life hero, and icon, a giant among men that was looked up to and adored by millions, to fall down to our level.  We can handle drug’s and other crimes. We can handle misfortune, immorality, and many other things.

What we as humans can’t seem to handle, is finding out that our heroes are just as fallible, and human as we are.

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