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  #21  
Old 01-29-2017, 12:01 PM
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Forget height for a moment - what you had with Neidhart in the late 80's was a strong, tough guy who could talk better than a lot of the roster. He'd have been able to take on Hogan and Savage on the mic and make it believable... he could sell a turn on Bret as "the weak link" much as Shawn did with Marty. His former NFL background could have been used to "legitimise" him. He was a better all rounder than Dino Bravo, Hercules and Akeem - perhaps not as good in the ring or charisma wise as Big Bossman but not far off.
I just don't see it. Maybe a match or two with Hogan Warrior and/or Savage but why would put Niedhart over more physically imposing figures like Warlord or Barbarian? I can't see a long, drawn out feud like Hogan had with Earthquake in '90 or Warrior had with Rude. They'd have to repackage him similar to what they they did with Warlord and Barbarian when Vince took the face paint and Mad Max-themed attire off of them and gave them completely new gimmicks. Warlord with the Phantom-style half mask and Barbarian with deer antlers. It completely washed away any sign of the Powers of Pain. That's what you need with tag team wrestler's becoming singles. You have to make the audience forget they were part of tag team.

I'm all for a match or two on Superstars of Wrestling or SNME but if we're talking a main event feud with top guys. No way. I don't see it. At the time you needed a larger than life build, character and personality to match up with Hogan or Warrior even Savage. Niedhart wasn't that and I don't think he could elevate to that level. He needed Bret Hart to play off of. Bret being cool, calm, and collected Jim being the complete opposite. I don't know if his gimmick would play well as a singles.

I don't even believe he's on the same level as Boss Man or Duggan. Even when Boss Man was a Twin Tower with Akeem, his distinctive attire along with his gimmick as a law enforcement type separated him from Akeem. His character as Big Boss Man was able to develop on it's own. Soit was natural when he went singles. "The Anvil" could not escape from the Hitman's shadow unless he was to get his own identity similar to what Shawn Michaels did with the HBK gimmick or Rick Martel did with "The Model". It's much easier to go from singles to tag team like Hercules did with Power and Glory then to break away from a successful tag team (especially one with one of the top up and coming stars) and establish yourself as a credible singles.
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2017, 12:43 PM
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That's where the football background comes in... sell him as a former NFL player, maybe even give him NFL style gear/war paint etc... First feud with Bret, then maybe Duggan, then up to Savage and or Warrior.

They tended to get 3 months on a loop in those days which covered 1 PPV and perhaps a SNME... Neidhart was easily good for that - his personality being a little "maniacal" would have played. Not saying he'd have been anywhere near the top of the tree long term... but when Dino Bravo, Hercules and the like all had matches with champions at varous points... Think about it... NWA/Japan were just getting Vader hot... Vince could have done something similar with Neidhart, both had similar backgrounds only Leon actually made a superbowl.
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2017, 01:13 PM
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That's where the football background comes in... sell him as a former NFL player, maybe even give him NFL style gear/war paint etc... First feud with Bret, then maybe Duggan, then up to Savage and or Warrior.

They tended to get 3 months on a loop in those days which covered 1 PPV and perhaps a SNME... Neidhart was easily good for that - his personality being a little "maniacal" would have played. Not saying he'd have been anywhere near the top of the tree long term... but when Dino Bravo, Hercules and the like all had matches with champions at varous points... Think about it... NWA/Japan were just getting Vader hot... Vince could have done something similar with Neidhart, both had similar backgrounds only Leon actually made a superbowl.
Well I don't know how well "ex-football player" gimmick would have done in that era. Ex-sports anything are tough sell in the world of pro wrestling and that era was the era of guys named Warrior and Giant, "The Snake and "Million Dollar Man", Earthquakes and Typhoons. Don't how well "football player" would do. Leon White was never billed as an ex-football player it was referred too but that wasn't his gimmick he was always Vader.

Again, guys like Hercules and Dino Bravo had their own gimmick. I could see maybe Bravo and Niedlart doing a Battle of the Strongmen type thing. Bench Press competitions and the like but really I think that's the extent of it. No way do they have Bret feud with Niedhart. They were trying to get Bret away from the Hart Foundation at that point. He needed to work with top caliber opponents not Niedhart. Duggan and Niedhart maybe but that would be a step down for Duggan, Niedhart was the type of guy who put guys like Duggan over on a Superstars or Prime Time wrestling in a "feature match" not PPV.

I don't see the football player selling when even guys with colorful gimmicks like "Birdman" Koko B. Ware were JTTS and honestly that's where Niedhart belongs.
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2017, 03:00 AM
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I remember Anvil having a brief solo run after WM7- he wrestled and beat the Warlord at the 1991 UK Rampage tour.
That was probably going to be his level..... more the lower end of the superstar roster.
I think he was also scheduled to be in the Survivor Series'91 match with Duggan, Tito, Hercules, Col Mustafa, Skinner etc... you see the bottom rung of the roster... but was pulled so they could bring in Sgt Slaughter as a babyface.

He would have been used to put over emerging heels
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2017, 10:48 PM
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Funny part about this is that prior to coming to the WWF Jim Neidhart had a decent solo career.
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  #26  
Old 02-12-2017, 04:29 PM
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First, to answer your question. Of course he could have. Anyone could if pushed right and worked with properly. The Honkytonk Man had a long push and is still the longest reigning IC champ ever. And he sucked.

Neidhart would have had to turn heel, probably reunite with Jimmy Hart and feud with Bret, saying he was pissed about the break up. After the feud he could have acted as an enforcer for Jimmy Hart. He was never going to be champ but could have had IC title shots. With Jimmy Hart helping with promos I think his weaknesses would have been protected.

Unfortunately the worse thing the WWF could have done was leave him as a face. There was nowhere for him to go at that point except into tag teaming with Owen. Its too bad.

That question being answered there have been stated some things about Neidhart that I don't agree with. I would like to go off on a tangent and respond to some of them. And maybe take a trip back into the past to revisit a time when Neidhart could have had a good singles run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TDFG View Post
I guess I'm in the minority and say no.

Neidhart was good as the power man in a tag-team environment but he was limited in the ring with his ability and I don't think Neidhart could have gotten over, much like Animal, D-Von Dudley etc. he was a tag-team specialist and the guy spent his time there for that reason, as a singles competitor, he would have been the veteran to put guys over, almost a jobber.
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Originally Posted by Makaveli31 View Post
I agree. He was only 6'2 which is rather short for a near 300 pounder. A singles guy at least. He was the perfect "power" in a "power and finesse" type tag team like like the Hart Foundation. He could go toe to toe with the likes of the Road Warriors, Demolition, and Powers of Pain. As far as a singles push? I don't know. It depends on your definition of a push. Maybe string together a couple of wins on Superstars of Wrestling or Primetime Wrestling? Sure I could see it. But an upper mid card push or ever a title match push? No way. He just couldn't command the type of attention that a big name singles star should. So solid tag team wrestler but he needed a guy like Bret to make that tag team main-event caliber and MAYBE a lower card JTTS or gets the occasional win guy but that's it.
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Originally Posted by HBKperfect23 View Post
I always viewed him as rightfully placed as a lower mid carder. He could have possibly turned heel and a had mini program with Bret for the ic title during his first run, although Bret had good competition during that era.

The highest I could see Jim going would be a feud with Bret in 95. Jim had his heel run with Owen and. Oils have continued that into 95 when Bret didn't have anyone to really work with.

Neidhart, I always saw as the weak link of the Hart foundation stable. I think he's lucky to have gone as far as he did.
The irony here is that Neidhart was the successful singles wrestler and Hart needed him. If not for Neidhart then...

Come with me now thru the mists of time to the WWF in January of 1985. A new wrestler has appeared on the scene, first managed by Mr. Fuji and then by Jimmy Hart. His name is Jim Neidhart. Mr. Neidhart comes to the WWF after successful runs in Stampede, NJPW, GCW, Mid-South Wrestling, CWA and CWF. He is billed as a crazy, powerhouse wrestler. His nickname is The Anvil because he threw an anvil the farthest in a strongman competition.

Also around this time a young wrestler has come to the WWF named Bret Hart. He has only wrestled in Stampede and in NJPW. He has no gimmick( he was given a cowboy gimmick but refused ), no manager, is not good on the mike and is unknown to WWF crowds.

So, while Neidhart is finding success and is winning week in and week out on TV, Bret is floundering, winning some but also losing.

Bret asks WWF management if he could turn heel and form a tag team with Neidhart. The WWF refuses. Bret is close to leaving the WWF when they relent and the team of Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart is formed. They are a member of Jimmy Hart's Hart Foundation, which is what Hart's group of wrestlers were called. The two of them wouldn't take the name as their own for some time yet.

So, if the WWF does not relent, if Neidhart refuses, if Jimmy Hart refuses, then it is possible Bret leaves and the history of wrestling would be very different.

It was Neidhart who raised Hart up, not the other way around. It was Neidhart who gave the team credibility early on, not Hart. Neidhart was the foundation of their success, not Hart. While it is true Hart went on to have the better overall singles career, lets give Neidhart a little credit, shall we.

Now, lets at this point pretend Hart left and Neidhart continued on as a singles wrestler. What would have happened. Well...

As with all heels at that time eventually Neidhart would have worked a program with Hogan. Neidhart would get title shots, he would probably win a couple matches by DQ or countout, Hogan would then start winning matches, but by roll ups or interference backfiring. After about three monthes, give or take, Hogan would start winning by the big boot and legdrop and Neidharts program with Hogan would be done. At this point Santana would have regained the IC title so I imagine Neidhart would work a program with him to finish the year. After Santana's feud with the more technically sound Valentine, Neidhart would be a good change of pace. Plus both Neidhart and Valentine would be managed by Jimmy Hart so it would work out nicely. After this he would probably start to fall down the ladder so after being in the battleroyal at Wrestlemania 2 I imagine he would either form a tag team, like Valentine had, or leave.

Leave? No one leaves the WWF.

Actually, they did. Back then you had alot of choices. You could go to smaller promotions like Stampede, WCCW, Central States, Portland, Memphis, CWA, CWF or WWC.

Are you crazy? No one would go big then go small.

Tell that to Brody, McDaniels, The Sheepherders, DiBiase, The Fantastics, Eddie Gilbert and Barry windham.

Or...you could stay big and go AJPW, NJPW, NWA or, where I think he would have worked best, the AWA.

AWA? No one would leave the WWF to go there.

Tell that to Henning, Stevens, Rose, Snuka and Sgt Slaughter( who did so at the height of his popularity and while he was a GI Joe character ).

Had Neidhart gone he would still need a manager so I see him teaming with Rose, Somers and Martel. He could act as an enforcer for the tag champs while challenging Bockwinkel for the World Title. This would actually work well as Bockwinkel needed credible challengers at the time.

After that who knows but I could see a good singles career that would have last all told about 15 years or so.

Or, as always, I could be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpickens View Post
Funny part about this is that prior to coming to the WWF Jim Neidhart had a decent solo career.
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  #27  
Old 02-12-2017, 06:51 PM
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The irony here is that Neidhart was the successful singles wrestler and Hart needed him. If not for Neidhart then...

Come with me now thru the mists of time to the WWF in January of 1985. A new wrestler has appeared on the scene, first managed by Mr. Fuji and then by Jimmy Hart. His name is Jim Neidhart. Mr. Neidhart comes to the WWF after successful runs in Stampede, NJPW, GCW, Mid-South Wrestling, CWA and CWF. He is billed as a crazy, powerhouse wrestler. His nickname is The Anvil because he threw an anvil the farthest in a strongman competition.

Also around this time a young wrestler has come to the WWF named Bret Hart. He has only wrestled in Stampede and in NJPW. He has no gimmick( he was given a cowboy gimmick but refused ), no manager, is not good on the mike and is unknown to WWF crowds.

So, while Neidhart is finding success and is winning week in and week out on TV, Bret is floundering, winning some but also losing.
All of this does not matter a single bit. It does matter WHY they were put together or that Jim (at the time) was a more accomplished singles wrestler, he have to deal with what happened and how the team ultimately played out and Bret was the lynch pin. Sure, Niedhart may have been the bigger singles going in but it didn't end up that way. Bret quickly overshadowed Niedhart to the point where Bret was supposed to take on Ricky Steamboat at WM 2 and was given a semi-singles push in 1988.
So yes, Niedhart needed Bret ALOT more than Bret needed Jim. Those are the facts.

A program with Hogan? Really?? Hogan was feuding with Piper, then King Kong Bundy, then Andre, then DiBiase, then Savage, then Earthquake, then Sgt. Slaughter so where does the Anvil exactly fit? I'm not saying he wouldn't have a match or two but let's punp the brakes on a six month program.
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  #28  
Old 02-12-2017, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Makaveli31 View Post
All of this does not matter a single bit. It does matter WHY they were put together or that Jim (at the time) was a more accomplished singles wrestler, he have to deal with what happened and how the team ultimately played out and Bret was the lynch pin. Sure, Niedhart may have been the bigger singles going in but it didn't end up that way. Bret quickly overshadowed Niedhart to the point where Bret was supposed to take on Ricky Steamboat at WM 2 and was given a semi-singles push in 1988.
So yes, Niedhart needed Bret ALOT more than Bret needed Jim. Those are the facts.
I acknowledged that Bret got bigger. My point was that in the beginning not only was Neidhart bigger but tagging with Bret saved him from quitting or becoming a jobber.

Yeah, he would have had a match with Steamboat and he would have jobbed to Steamboat. Plus it was his tagging with Neidhart that started getting him noticed. And I maintain that had the team never formed Neidhart would have been fine. Not so much Bret.

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A program with Hogan? Really?? Hogan was feuding with Piper, then King Kong Bundy, then Andre, then DiBiase, then Savage, then Earthquake, then Sgt. Slaughter so where does the Anvil exactly fit? I'm not saying he wouldn't have a match or two but let's punp the brakes on a six month program.
Yeah, a program with Hogan, just like all new heels usually did. And it would have gone just like I said. Hogan did feud with Piper but their feud was never all inclusive. During the time period after Wrestlemania Piper feuded with Orndorf. The Bundy feud did not kick into gear until Feb of 1986. So you are telling me between March of 1985 and February of 1986 he didn't have time for a program with Neidhart?

Also, I said about three months, give or take. Where are you pulling six months out of. Lets say they start in April, go three months with it ending like I said( like most Hogan programs did in the 80s ). That finishes it in June with Santana regaining the IC title on July 6th. Just in time to fend off new challenges from Neidhart.
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  #29  
Old 02-12-2017, 09:41 PM
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Well it doesn't refute my original point that Bret Hart made the Hart Foundation a main event caliber tag team. We'll obviously never know how Jim would've turned out without Bret but we can make a pretty good educated guess based on what transpired. Again, who was "bigger " at the start is irrelevant and there is no disputing who became the bigger star. As far as jabbing to Steamboat who cares?!? Bret was the type of wrestler who could become even greater doing jobs i.e. with Bulldog, Owen, Shawn etc.....no one would remember Bret did job for Steamboat.

LOL that's your own Time line. You said AFTER three months Hogan would START winning by the leg drop that takes the program between 5-6 months. So you're talking house shows??? There was no PPV between '85 and '86 plus Hogan was feuding with the likes of Nikolai Volkoff, Kamala, Killer Kahn and Terry Funk during those months and they were BIGGER draws than a brand new Anvil who people didn't even know of.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:18 PM
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LOL that's your own Time line. You said AFTER three months Hogan would START winning by the leg drop that takes the program between 5-6 months. So you're talking house shows??? There was no PPV between '85 and '86 plus Hogan was feuding with the likes of Nikolai Volkoff, Kamala, Killer Kahn and Terry Funk during those months and they were BIGGER draws than a brand new Anvil who people didn't even know of.
I'll try again. Three months give or take. Not five or six. At the end of three months Hogan would win every match by big boot/leg drop.

Of course house shows. Even Wrestlemania 1 was not on PPV. Hogan's first two years as champ was done at house shows. We didn't have a PPV a month plus Raw and Smackdown.

Yes he feuded with them. But not at this time. Volkoff was tagging. Kamala left the WWF at this point and went to the AWA, wrestling at Superclash and WrestleRock, not returning until mid 1986, Khan was not in the WWF, he would return in 1987 and Funk worked some with Hogan but was in a heated feud with Junkyard Dog. Yes he would have wrestled Neidhart.

This was how it was done back then. New heel came in. Wrestled on TV for awhile and at some house shows, often against jobbers. Eventually he would work against Hogan, first matching him and maybe picking up a countout win. Now people took him seriously. Next Hogan would start winning, but not by the leg drop. I have a match from Toronto on VHS of Hogan beating Orndorf by rolling thru a crossbody. On the one Hogan DVD he beats Savage by raising his leg as Savage did his leap and catching Savage in the face. Hogans winning but the heel is still a threat. People needed to believe Hogan could lose so they would come out. Finally, as feud winds down Hogan wins by big boot/legdrop. Travel from city to city, this process would take about three months, give or take. Meaning, at the end of three months it was most likely done. Then the heel moved on. Same thing happened with Savage. Won a couple by dq or countout, lost some, Hogan then pinned him regularly, then Savage was back in the midcard going after Santana.

Of course we will never know for sure, but seeing how this was the way it was done I don't see why suddenly it would change just to help your argument.
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