Jim Neidhart passed away in August after a fall in his home. His wife speculated that he might have had a seizure but his brother-in-law, Bruce Hart, revealed that Neidhart was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
One of Neidhart’s last public appearances came during the WrestleMania 34 Hall of Fame ceremony. Natalya and Tyson Kidd went on Chris Jericho’s podcast to discuss just how much Neidhart was struggling during the Hall of Fame speeches.
“For me, I really had felt strongly about bringing my dad to WrestleMania last year. We weren’t going to do it, but then a week before WrestleMania I called my mom and told her that you guys are going to come down to WrestleMania and I want Daddy there,” said Natalya. “And it was a very last minute decision to bring my dad to WrestleMania, which I am glad that I did because a lot of people got to see him and say hi to him and take pictures with him. My dad got to feel very important, but I can also see that there was struggle there with him.
“Like, at the Hall of Fame ceremony he couldn’t stay for the whole thing. We were boarding the busses, and it overwhelming for him. There were moments where he was super clear and there were moments where he was like, super quiet and vacant.”
Natalya went on to say that she, Tyson and her mom created a fortress around Neidhart to protect him during the Hall of Fame.
“I was super protective of my dad, which I still am. I had told you [Jericho] that he wasn’t going to do any other interviews except for your podcast because I know you will do him justice. I knew he would feel comfortable and safe and would feel safe for him to do it. It was the last interview my dad ever did,” stated Natalya.
Tyson Kidd added, “His long-term memory was insane, even the last Thursday and Friday when he came with his sister and we were watching old family pictures and photos, he would remember a lot of things. His long-term memory-that’s why telling those stories about WrestleMania 2 and Andre the Giant, like, his long-term memory was great, but he wouldn’t remember what he had done the previous day.”
“With my dad, this wasn’t just recently, his life was always unique,” said Natalya. “With him, we always just took it one day at a time because he was larger than life sometimes.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.