Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart: A Real Piece Of S**t
Friday, December 28th, 2007
From time to time, I'll take a look at MWF history here on DanMirade.com. It was six years ago tonight that the Millennium Wrestling Federation ran it's second live event in Revere, MA, trying to give back to this great sport. Bushwhacker Butch was near death around that time after developing a staph infection that went untreated. Bushwhacker Luke told me how Butch was close to dying when he burst into his condo after not hearing from his for three days. . .the man couldn't get out of bed. . .
We've all heard the stories of many of the superstars of pro wrestling going broke after their time in the business is done. No income. No health insurance. Decades worth of abuse to their bodies catching up with them. Nobody does anything about. So, I brought the issue up at one of our meetings and said "why not us?" We decided to run our second event as a fundraiser for Bushwhacker Butch. Road Dogg was the feature attraction that night, along with ECW alumni Little Guido, Nova, and Chris Chetti. Chris Nowinski of Tough Enough and WWE fame made a surprise appearance.
A few weeks before the event, Butch's friend Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart emailed us, wanting to be a part of the event. Jim offered to work the event for free and donate a leather Hart Foundation jacket to the raffle we were holding. All Jim wanted was his transportation to be taken care of. It appeared to be a true act of friendship. . .
After looking into Neidhart's trans, we couldn't find an airplane ticket from Calgary for less than $1,200. As much as we wanted Neidhart to be a part of the event, spending that much on a plane ticket was more than we could spend with this being a fundraiser. After explaining that to Jim, he said he would sell his frequent flyer miles to us for $500. At that point, it was a done deal. We sent the $500 to Neidhart. . .
The day of the event, myself and Commissioner Von Johnson had to drive to WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT to pick up items they found to donate to the raffle. We had an interesting conversation about Neidhart once we got there. After not hearing from him all week, I was nervous that he wasn't going to appear as advertised. The three hour drive back to Boston was filled with deep thought and concern. . .
In the end, Neidhart missed the event. We later learned that (being a family man and all) that Neidhart only wanted to come to Boston to spend Christmas week with a local ring rat (wrestling groupie). When his female friend decided to spend the holidays with her family down south, Neidhart simply chose to stay home and steal the money. He didn't even have the class to call and let us know he wasn't going to be there. What were we supposed to say to the fans when we honestly didn't know what his status was. Was his flight delayed?? Was he running late or lost?? Was he no-showing?? That night, one of the guys that knew him well enough pulled me aside and explained that Neidhart had a lot of problems from his continued drug abuse. I didn't care. . .there was no reason to piss on the efforts of a promotion that booked him in good will, to piss on a fundraiser for a man that almost died, living in debt, that he claimed was one of his "best friends."
We tried to contact Jim numerous times after the event via telephone and email. No answer. We received some emails from disappointed fans, and we still really didn't have an answer to give them. After a week or so, we gave the fans the choice of confronting Jim themselves, as we posted his home number on the front page of our web-site. It didn't take long for him to reach out to us after that! Some said it was "unprofessional" to do that, but I still believe that if he screwed the fans, the fans were entitled to an explanation. If he was a man of his word, it would have never happened. . .
The angry Anvil (who wasn't taking Advil) claimed he was going to send us the money back, but now was going to keep it because we "upset him." Yeah, sure, Jim. After many strongly worded messages exchanged back and forth, Neidhart said he sent the $500 to Butch. That wasn't what we wanted, as it was money spent out of pocket, but still better than Neidhart stealing it. However, both Luke and Butch confirmed that Neidhart never sent him a thing. . .he just kept the money he stole. They shared stories of Neidhart's substance
I decided to write a column about this night after seeing him on the Raw 15th anniversary program a few weeks back. Jim looked to be in the worst shape of the original Hart Foundation, and that's really saying something as Bret Hart had a stroke and Jimmy Hart is probably 20 years older than him. I was disappointed in WWE for booking him, as they weren't very happy about the situation back in 2001 after it happened. They may have forgot, but I sure haven't. What would make someone do that?? It's one thing to no-show a booking you agree to. . .someone that does that to an honest promotion, ruining the experience for the fans, is a disgrace as a human being. But who would do that to an event held to help one of their supposed best friends?? Does Jim Neidhart have any morales or ethics??
Out of fairness, I will forward this column to Jim and provide him with the opportunity to respond. I would be interested to see what the thief has to say for himself. . .