Neidhart-Santana ready to renew rivalry
KRISTI PATTON - Cochrane Times
If you recognize the names Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Tito Santana then you know what to expect on May 25 in Cochrane, Alberta.
Surely the topic of Santana's flying forearm and the trademark pointed goatee of "The Anvil" will come up at the Bad News Allen Tribute Wrestling Supershow.
"You better believe it," agreed Neidhart of his trademark goatee making a grand entrance at the big show in Cochrane. "That is the way I come. It is just how I look."
Along with the looks comes the legend.
One part the Hart Foundation, one of the greatest wrestling tag teams of all time, Neidhart alongside Bret Hart, won the WWF tag team titles twice. The first time came against the British Bulldogs. The second against Demolition.
Of course, it was kind of hard not to become a legend in the wrestling game when you are trained in the famous Dungeon by Stu Hart. The man who also played a part in giving him his nickname, "Anvil."
"Stu Hart got me out of bed one morning after a 500-mile roadtrip and told me I was going down to the Calgary Stampede to throw an anvil," remembers Neidhart. "I was like anvil? What are you talking about?"
Neidhart was promised $500 if he won by Hart and was put up against other athletes including pro hockey players in the anvil toss competition.
"I threw that thing 11 feet and two inches just barely beating a girl that shoe'd horses and must have only weighed 90 pounds. Here I was with this sophisticated lifting belt on," he laughs. "Hey, and Stu Hart never paid me that $500."
It was only natural Neidhart went from being "The Animal" to a more suiting "The Anvil." The monniker went along a lot better with his bruiser flat top and beard.
As for the other legend, Santana, bringing his trademark flying forearm to the ring on May 25?
"Hey, I am ready. He is in great shape but I might have to pound him into the ground a little bit and show him what it is like in Calgary," said Neidhart. "I hope a lot of people come out to Cochrane. I will feel right at home there."
Santana, a former pro football player with the Kansas City Chiefs and the BC Lions, is not done with schooling people. Whether that be in the ring or a classroom.
Santana, whose real name is Merced Solis, is a middle school Spanish teacher in New Jersey.
Santana is known for giving a good show. A long-career in the WWF that includes throwing down in the first Wrestlemania, he saw many tag team and Intercontinental Heavyweight titles along the way.
The wrestler/teacher still has a lot of fight left in him and remembers the days of going against "The Anvil" in tag team matches.
"This is a special reason that both of us are out there," said Santana of the tribute show. "We are going to go out there and have a great match. I am not travelling that far to not win. We will give people their money's worth."
April 27, 2007: Bad News tribute show draws big names
PREVIOUS JIM NEIDHART STORIES
Oct. 7, 2005: Neidharts a unique team
Dec. 16, 2004: Neidhart still has it at 44
May 12, 1999: Hit by an Anvil
PREVIOUS TITO SANTANA STORIES
March 2, 2004: Muraco, Santana proud to be honoured
July 20, 1998: Santana relishes relaxed schedule