The Hart Foundation is the name of several derivative tag teams and stables composed primarily of members and close friends of the Hart wrestling family. The name originated in the World Wrestling Federation in 1985 with the original Hart Foundation consisted of brothers-in-law Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart. Initially managed by Jimmy Hart (no relation), they won the WWF Tag Team Championship twice. WWE has consistently ranked the original Hart Foundation as one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history.
In early 1987, The Hart Foundation finally set their sights on the World Tag Team Titles, held by The British Bulldogs, comprised of Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid. With the help of Jimmy Hart and crooked official Danny Davis, Hart and Neidhart captured their first World Tag Team Championship. They managed to accomplish themselves on the top of the Tag Team division but slowly started to become disillusioned with Jimmy Hart’s nefarious ways. They decided to split with their manager, which saw them become the target of “The Mouth of The South’s” new charges, whether it was The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers or The Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine, soon after. Jimmy Hart even enlisted tag teams outside his stable of Superstars, like Demolition, to take out The Hart Foundation.
By 1990, “Hit Man” & “The Anvil” had fought off Jimmy Hart’s attempts to tear them down and turned their attention back to WWE’s top tag team prize. After bulldozing over The Bolsheviks in seconds at WrestleMania VI, The Hart Foundation made it clear they were coming for the World Tag Team Titles. It would take a few months, but at SummerSlam 1990, Hart and Neidhart defeated Demolition in a grueling 2-out-of-3 Falls Match to claim their second World Tag Team Championship.
The team split up in the summer of 1991, although they did reunite in 1997 with a bigger lineup comprising of Bret, Owen, their brothers-in-law Neidhart and Davey Boy Smith as well as family friend Brian Pillman. They would go on to hold all available WWF championships (the WWF title, Intercontinental title, European title, and Tag Team titles).
The Hart Foundation are the latest inductees announced for WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. This year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will take place the night before WrestleMania 35 on April 6 at the Barclays Center in New York City. With this induction, Hart will become a two-time Hall of Fame entrant, joining Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Booker T in that rare distinction.
Jim Neidhart died in August 2018 and Hart, his real-life brother-in-law, spoke with Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of Yahoo Sports about Monday’s announcement:
“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 team partner, who would be really honoured 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.”
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