There are more names joining the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2019. The Hart Foundation duo of Bret “Hitman” Hart and his late brother-in-law Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn one night before WrestleMania. The news was first reported Yahoo Sports, who also interviewed Bret about it.
This will be Bret Hart’s second WWE Hall of Fame induction after he joined the Hall of Fame as a solo act in 2006. Neidhart sadly passed away in August 2018 at 63 years old. Neidhart’s daughter Natalya has been a WWE superstar for over a decade. Jim married Bret’s sister Ellie and the two became tag team partners in January 1985 all the way until 1991 when they went their separate ways. They are one of the best tag teams in WWE history with two WWF Tag Team Title reigns.
There were rumors that Jimmy Hart, their one-time manager, would be inducted with the Hart Foundation, but it appears as though it will just be the two wrestlers from the Hart Foundation. No evil referee Danny Davis either.
Bret Hart commented on how emotional it is for him:
“It was very emotional for me. It really means a lot to me and I think it would mean a lot to my late tag partner, who would be really honored to be in the Hall of Fame. I think we both were really proud of our work as a team. I had hoped for years that we would get inducted together and get to go on stage together, but that’s not going to happen now. Emotionally, I feel really proud and I’m glad to get a chance to speak for Jim and I know he’ll be listening.”
“When wrestling went through the big change with WWE, moving out of legion halls and into big arenas, it was a metamorphosis that never took place before. I think at the time there was sort of a stereotypical tag team wrestling format and I think the Hart Foundation and the Bulldogs [Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid] turned it on its head, we took it to a whole different level.”
Bret talked glowingly about Jim’s positive attitude:
“I’m very grateful because he was a guy who picked up my spirits every day and always brought a smile and a happy thought to everything. If you were in a bad mood and were with Jim for a couple of minutes, you were happy again. I don’t think I would have survived my early days without him.”
“You look at him and his character when he was a babyface with me, kids in particular, young boys, there’s a lot of kids that are like Jim — chubby, boisterous kids. A little Jim Neidhart would come over to get an autograph and tell Jim that he was a fan of his and Jim always took so much time with those kids during signings. I always noticed how he would single out the kids that looked like him and had similar genetics or build to him. He would make them feel good and when they walk away feel like they wanted to be a professional athlete like Jim.”
Bret spoke about the family legacy of the Hart Foundation and how well Natalya has done in WWE:
“I think [the Hall of Fame announcement] had as much or more of an impact on her, just to be recognized. Everybody I know up here is so proud of Nattie. You go back to the most recent wave of Harts that went to WWE, Nattie, Davey Boy Smith’s son Harry and Tyson Kidd and Teddy Hart. No one would have thought back then that the biggest star of all of them would be Nattie and that she’d raise the banner for the Hart name and put it back into prominence.”
Bret also tweeted about it:
On March 1985 in Brantford, Ontario, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and I officially became the Hart Foundation. On April 6, 2019, we take our place in the WWE Hall of Fame. I wish Jim was still with us to celebrate this moment, but I know he’ll be on stage with me in spirit. pic.twitter.com/hFasuj385Q
— Bret Hart (@BretHart) March 25, 2019
To our fans around the world, thank you. See you in Brooklyn! #WWEHOF
— Bret Hart (@BretHart) March 25, 2019
TJR Thoughts: Congrats to The Hart Foundation. I think they are one of the five best teams in WWE history. Having a six year run is pretty solid in a company that often times splits teams up too early. They were very good as faces and heels too. They also worked well together. Bret was the technical wrestling master while Neidhart was the power guy, so they complimented eachother in the ring perfectly. I’m happy for Bret and Jim’s family, who will have an emotional night honoring the late Anvil. He was a good man.