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It's been a tragic year for veterans of the WWE, as 2018 has been rife with the deaths of several high-profile wrestling talents. Wrestlers such as Vader, Nikolai Volkoff, and others are among those who've recently passed, and now the world has lost yet another member of the memorable Hart Foundation in Jim "The Anvil," Neidhart, who passed away on Monday morning at the age of 63. WWE superstars young and old have taken to social media to pay respects to the wrestling legend.
As Matt Hardy mentioned, Jim Neidhart was the father of current WWE superstar Natalya, who has been absent from social media ever since news broke of the wrestler's passing. According to TMZ, dispatchers were called around 6:00 a.m. to a Florida home where Neidhart was said to be having seizures and convulsions. Natalya hasn't addressed the public since her father's passing at the time of this writing, but Jim Neidhart's brother-in-law and former tag team partner Bret Hart shared a picture with fans, along with a brief description about his current feelings.
Jim Neidhart's passing is of great significance to the wrestling community, and definitely to Bret Hart as well. Many have pointed out online that the sunglasses-donning legend is now the only living member of the Hart Foundation, which also included Owen Hart and Brian Pillman. The wrestling faction left a tremendous impact on wrestling fans of the era, and while Jim may have been a lesser-celebrated member of the group, former commentator Gene Okerlund said he was one of the nicest wrestlers someone could meet:
Okerlund's kind words about Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart were backed up by superstar and WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative Triple H, who characterized the passed superstar as a great family man.
Jim Neidhart would have brief runs in the WCW, TNA, and New Japan Pro Wrestling, but for the most part would spend most of his time within the WWE brand. Neidhart remained in good standing with the company up until his death, and was seen as recently as 2017 on the E! reality series Total Divas. The WWE acknowledged The Anvil's passing on Twitter, and composed an obituary for the departed wrestler:
The cause of Jim Neidhart's death is unknown, although his struggles with addiction have been reported on in the past. Neidhart had completed two rehabilitation programs under the WWE in the time since his arrest in 2010, but it is not known whether or not drugs or alcohol played a factor in his passing. Aside from his daughter Natalya, Neidhart is survived by his two other daughters Jennifer and Kristen, as well as his wife Ellie. Neidhart received his iconic nickname from legendary wrestling promoter Stu Hart, who was inspired by his winning of an anvil throwing contest in Calgary.
And because no pro wrestling reaction rundown can be complete without an entry from the Nature Boy himself, here's how Ric Flair reacted to the news.
We at CinemaBlend would like to offer our condolences to the friends and family of Jim Neidhart, and wish them well during this difficult time.