RF Video Shoot Interview with Jim Neidhart

This interview was filmed on 10/30/04

It was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry

This was a two-disc set. Disc one runs for one hour and fifty-four minutes while disc two runs for
forty-seven minutes. I have included both discs in this review.

My copy is missing the first few minutes of the first disc.

I start with Neidhart being asked how he got to the NFL. He says that there was a friend of his at Stanford that the Dallas Cowboys wanted but the guy told them about Neidhart, who was flattered and thought that since he was 5’11 the team would never give him a shot. He said that coach Tom Landry tried to get him a position on the team and he was backup to Randy White, an All-Pro defensive tackle.

Neidhart talks about how he served a month in jail as he went to Long Beach State and they just gave him passing grades because he excelled in track & field. However, he went to collect his schloraship money for his last six months of school and they told him he was academically ineligible, despite the fact he already received his passing grades, despite never setting foot on campus as needed time to train full-time to go up against the amateur athletes in Europe. He said that he ended up serving 30 days in Los Angeles Couty Jail for attempted extortion saying that he was going to go to the media outlets and say how the school gave him free grades. Neidhart said that Jerry Tarkanian was in trouble for this at the time and the school did not want to see any more troubles. Neidhart said that he only served 21 days and while there saw Charles Manson walk by and that the other inmates thought he was a “lifer” because of how big he was and he played along with that for a minute.

His football career ended in goal-line practice one day when his hand was off the ground and Gene Upshaw’s charged into his arm and he went on injured reserve. Neidhart said that football players are odd individuals, like Steve McMichael, who he likes.

On how he got into wrestling, Neidhart said that he was walking down the street in Ohio when a guy who owned a gym told him that he had a million dollar body for wrestling then introduced him to Gene LeBell, the promoter in Los Angeles. They gave him an option to train for two guys in Canada, Al Tomko in Vancouver or Stu Hart in Calgary. He said for some reason he went to Calgary.

When Neidhart first talked to Stu, he thought he was a drunk because he talked so slowly. He then said the first time he ever did any wrestling was with Stu, who was 63, and Neidhart said that he was 22 and in great shape but that Stu absolutely wore him out for a half an hour by doing a series of submission holds. Jim then does a bunch of Stu Hart impressions.

He said that a lot of guys back then did not want to help anyone out but that Bruce Hart would help him learn to take bumps.

Neidhart said he was there with the Bulldogs and Bret at the time. He said that Owen was just starting out at the time and that a lot of the wrestlers were jealous of him for how good he was.

Now, he tells a story of how he got into a car accident and a piece of glass cut his nose so they chased down a truck and went to a gas station, where the clerk told him not to look in the mirror as his nose was hanging off. Neidhart said that the surgeons did a great job and that you cannot tell what happened today. Neidhart then said that the cops told him that he was lucky to be alive as there was no room between the dashboard and the backseat where he was sitting.

When asked if there were any other Americans there with him, Neidhart said that David Schultz was there and he was crazy. He also said that the Junkyard Dog was there too under the name “Big Daddy Ritter.”

On whether or not Stu approved of him dating his daughter Ellie, Neidhart said that he asked Stu if he could marry here and he was fine with it then jokes how he was probably happy that he was taking her for them as she was a troublemaker.

He left Calgary for Mid-South as JYD got him a job. He says that the towns in Oklahoma and Louisiana had great crowds but that they were crazy and racist too, which is something he did not experience much of at all in California and talks about how he tagged with Butch Reed. Neidhart said that he was not smartened up about the racism there and wish that he was and had to carry a gun in the car with him as the Ku Klux Klan was prevalent down there.

Neidhart said that he liked Watts as he paid well and was a hard-working guy but did not stand for any bullshit and would fire you if you lost a locker room fight.

He talks about wrestling against Butch Reed, who had a lot of product in his hair and how they wrestled a pole match and because Butch climbed up first, he got the pole greasy to the point that he was unable to climb up.

Back to how crazy the crowds were in Mid-South, Neidhart said that he actually had to shoot at fans on occasion because of how nuts they were because he was tagging with Butch Reed and even said that the stores would not serve Reed’s wife when she was out with Neidhart’s wife.

When Neidhart left Mid South, he went to Memphis. He talks about how he was teaming with Rick Rude and were managed by a blond girl named Angel who Neidhart said was smoking hot. He also said that Rude would be having sex with her backstage and even right before they were supposed to go out to the ring. Neidhart also said that Rude was a jealous guy in regards to her as well as they dated for a little bit. Neidhart said that he also worked a program with Austin Idol and that made a little bit of money.

From Memphis, Neidhart went down to work in Florida for Eddie Graham. Neidhart was there when Graham committed suicide. He talks about how he partied a lot there with the Freebirds, Kevin Sullivan, and Oliver Humperdink.

He then tells a story about working a show in the Bahamas. Neidhart said that the natives sit on top of palm trees at the arena and throw rocks at the wrestlers. After beating one of the natives, a lady threw a spear that stuck into Neidhart’s neck and he pulled it out and blood gushed everywhere. After Florida, Neidhart went to the WWF after he got called from George Scott.

Neidhart puts over Bret for being not just a great wrestler but also for having an excellent wrestling mind. He said that it was Bret’s idea for them to team together and for the pink tights, with Neidhart being apprehensive at first because guys in the locker room looked at guys wearing pink as “fags.”

Speaking about the travel in the WWF, Neidhart said that he worked 90 days straight at one point but the Iron Sheik held the record with 108. He talks about how some guys who had little experience would crack as Feinstein tells Neidhart that Barry Windham told him that he couldn’t take it and that was why he quit the WWF.

When asked about the drug use and how wrestlers used drugs just to cope with the hectic schedule, Neidhart said he used to tell Bret how they were flying too much and thought that was wrong as you would fly twice a day but without a union and a promoter working you like a dog, you had no choice. Neidhart said that too many days on the road led to Joey Marella dying in a car accident.

He tells a story about a rib that took place in Saskatoon. There was a guy in the arena there who wanted to be a wrestler so the Bulldogs told them to drink something, which was vodka and chewing tobacco mixed with crushed valium and amphetamines and the guy drank it and passed out then the Bulldogs shaved his head.

They ask him about the ribs that Owen Hart pulled. Neidhart said that Owen would never pay for a hotel room and collect all of the keys. Owen then ribbed Jim one night when he told Jim that he had a hotel room and gave Jim a key and when he entered it turned out to be someone else’s room and he startled the guy who was in bed.

He talks about several workers. Neidhart said that Strike Force was a great team. He loved Roddy Piper, who Neidhart said helped him and Bret with promos. He said that Bad News was a good guy to have on your side. He never witness Randy Savage abuse Elizabeth but said that he was very jealous.

Neidhart tells the story about Haku biting off the nose of a guy during a bar fight in Baltimore. Haku grabbed one guy by his front teeth after was harrassed by him and went to throw a chop and he ducked and Haku ended up chopping a palm tree in half that was in the bar then Haku ended up pulling out the guys upper teeth.

They ask Neidhart about several other workers. He said that the Nasty Boys were crazy and very clumsy in the ring then said that Sags almost broke his back once. He called the Ultimate Warrior “self centered” and said that he was not a team player. He puts over the Islanders and the Powers of Pain for being good teams. He thought that Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson were good guys but that they never really fit in due to being Crockett guys. Neidhart said that the WWF guys viewed WCW as the minor leagues back then. Neidhart talks about Jake Roberts and how he was a great talker with an excellent mind for the business. He said that Kerry Von Erich was a close friend of his and that he wrestled him ten days in a row during an independent circuit on the West Coast and after it wrapped up, he went home to Texas and wrote a few suicide notes before killing himself.

On the match against the Rockers in which they were supposed to lose the belts, Neidhart said that on one side of the ring, all of the ropes ended up breaking and that the match was a mess.

When asked why Davey Boy Smith substituted for him a few times in 1990, Neidhart said that he got Cat Scratch Fever while picking up a wild cat in front of a steakhouse in Florida. They tested him for Lou Gehrig’s Disease and AIDS but wound up having cat scratch fever. Vince wanted Neidhart to get back on the road but the doctor yelled at Vince about how he could not go everywhere. He said this took place right before Christmas and thinks the office believes he was full of shit because of the time of year.

When asked if he was upset that Bret Hart got the World Title after he left, Neidhart said that he is not jealous over the success of others, especially not his partner.

DISC TWO






He is asked about the Kliq, after not remembering his brief runs in ECW and WCW in 1992, and said he knew the guys and never had a problem with them

Neidhart is asked about Dr. Zahorian then tells a crazy story of how the Dynamite Kid had a plan to hoist his doctors bag. Neidhart actually was involved as he distracted Zahorian by asking him questions about psoriasis and as that happening the Bulldogs tossed Zahorian’s bag out of the window. When they found the bag, it contained shitloads of muscle relaxers, Halcions, and sleeping pills and Neidhart said they all got those as they were working so hard and never had time to see a doctor. Neidhart then talks about how Dynamite started tossing Halcion in everyone’s drinks and gave a lot more to the new guys and Outback Jack ended up getting so fucked up that he was walking around the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Oakland naked and then plopped down in the coffee shop because he wanted some pie and the cops had to bring him back to the room. Neidhart said that Jack’s mistake was thinking that he could try to out drink Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji.

He talks about a rib that Curt Hennig pulled while in Utica, NY. Neidhart cannot remember the wrestler’s name but said he was a hillbilly-type guy from Florida who always chewed tobacco and was a disgusting guy so Hennig bought a bunch of ladybugs and stuck them in the guy’s bag then told the facilities guy that the place was infested with bugs so they ended up spraying all of the guy’ stuff.

They ask him about several other guys. He said that he knew Austin could be a star when he worked with him in New Japan. He talks about Pillman and that he had a drug problem in the WWF and believes that he struggled under the pressure of the road.

When asked about the ratings battle, Neidhart said he never paid attention as promoters would always donwplay the ratings and success so they have an excuse to pay you less money.

Neidhart said that he never got involved in anyone else’s bullshit so he did not know much about the troubles between Bret and Shawn Michaels. He does think it is very possible that Vince played the two against each other.

About Shawn Michaels’ “Sunny Days” comment, Neidhart said that Bret was livid but that nothing sexually happened between Bret and Sunny. He then said that he believes Davey and Sunny had a thing.

When asked about the “Montreal Incident” he said that both Bret and Vince did what they had to do. He then said that Bret tossed stuff around backstage afterwards and wound up in the middle of it and admitted that Bret took a few shots at Vince. Neidhart added how he has thrown stuff around in his day too.

After that, Neidhart went to WCW. He did not have a written contract with the WWF at the time and WCW offered him a three-year guaranteed deal that was double what the WWF offered. He said that WCW had no idea how to use Davey and himself.

They ask him about Owen’s death and Neidhart said it was a horrible tragedy and has even torn the family apart.

Since leaving wrestling, he has done a little acting and is getting his real estate license.

When asked what wrestlers today have what it takes to be a star, he said that he thought Brock Lesnar would be a huge star if he stayed.

He says that Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame once asked him for an autograph for his kid and he had no idea who he was and heading out for his match so he blew him off. He found out after his match that it was Page.

Neidhart closes by saying how he wishes that wrestlers had a union just like other sports and actors have.

Final Thoughts: This was a decent interview. Neidhart almost seemed asleep here as he started off with sunglasses on then took them off. My copy said that this started at 4:10am and Neidhart appeared lucid so I do not believe it was drug-induced, which is a possibility given his history. The audio was not the greatest here too and it was hard to hear Neidhart speak at times.

The highlight of the interview was the crazy road/rib stories that he told. He should do a YouShoot as he is a perfect candidate for that due to all the insane stuff he did in his life. Neidhart did have some decent insight into things and was not bitter at all when speaking about his career.

I think this interview could have been better if not for the fact that Neidhart seemed half asleep. The beginning of the first disc was fairly dull too as the interviewers did not really ask him a whole lot about the territories he worked with other than Calgary.

Overall, its worth a listen for the crazy stories he tells.

You can purchase the video here:

http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithjimneidhart.aspx