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Jimmy Hart

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Jimmy Hart
Jimmy Hart Full
Statistics
Ring names Jimmy Hart
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 166 lbs (75 kg)
Born January 1 1944 (1944-01-01) (age 70)
Memphis, Tennessee
Died
Resides Tampa, Florida
Trainer
Debut
Retired

"The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart (also known as "The Colonel") (January 1, 1944) is a professional wrestling manager, executive, composer and musician. He has worked in the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA), Memphis Wrestling, the WWF, USWA, WCW, XWF, WrestleXpress and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. He has managed many notable professional wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Ric Flair and The Honky Tonk Man.

Early career

Before wrestling, Jimmy was part of a band in the 1960s called The Gentrys who had a million selling record “Keep on Dancin”. Before becoming The Gentrys, there were known as just "The Gents". Their production manager told them that if they did not change their name, then they wouldn't succeed in the music industry. Later, after the leader of the group Larry Raspberry left Jimmy took over and they had a few minor hits.

After being asked to sing back-up with Jerry "The King" Lawler, Jimmy was asked to be an announcer and then to manage Jerry. He also managed King Kong Bundy, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Lanny Poffo, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Ox Baker, Kamala, Randy Savage, and Eddie Gilbert; this stable was known as "Hart's First Family of Wrestling", or simply "The First Family". After Lawler broke his leg, Jimmy brought in talent to take the title from Jerry. In 1982, Hart earned national headlines doing a program with comedian and television star Andy Kaufman. Hart, "The King," and Kaufman would continue this feud for over a year. Around this time, Hart became known as "The Wimp", a nickname given to him by Lawler and chanted by fans, and was the subject of the song "Wimpbusters", which was sung by Lawler to the tune of the popular hit "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr.; a music video was also made featuring Lawler, announcer Lance Russell, and wrestlers such as Savage, Handsome Jimmy Valiant, Dutch Mantel, Tommy Rich, and Rufus R. Jones, along with footage of "The King" beating Hart and his "First Family" (a young Brian Christopher also made an appearance as a young child and another youth is seen wearing a replica of Tully Blanchard's West Texas State football jersey). Then in 1983 and 1984, Hart led Austin Idol, Masao Ito, and Gilbert to CWA/AWA International titles. After this success, Hart was hired by the World Wrestling Federation.

WWF career

1980s

While in the WWF, Jimmy managed many wrestlers. His first acquisition was Greg "The Hammer" Valentine in 1985, then the Intercontinental Champion. At WrestleMania I, Hart managed King Kong Bundy as he defeated S.D. ("Special Delivery") Jones, allegedly in 9 seconds. Jimmy Hart would later trade King Kong Bundy's contract to Bobby “The Brain” Heenan for The Missing Link and Adrian Adonis.

Also in 1985, Jimmy managed Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. After Valentine lost the Intercontinental Title to Tito Santana, Hart briefly co-managed the Dream Team (Valentine & Beefcake), until he was phased out and gave full control to "Luscious" Johnny Valiant. In 1986, Hart took the Funk Family under his wing. The Funks included Terry, Hoss, and Jimmy Jack Funk (Jesse Barr). Then Jimmy managed Adrian Adonis and helped him use the gimmick of “Adorable” Adrian Adonis. That year also marked the appearance of Bret "The Hitman" Hart; Jimmy teamed him up with Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart to form The Hart Foundation.

On January 26, 1987, Hart guided the Hart Foundation past the British Bulldogs for the WWF World Tag Team titles. Hart led the Hart Foundation and former referee Dangerous Danny Davis over the British Bulldogs and Tito Santana at WrestleMania III in the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. When the Honky Tonk Man turned heel, Hart became his manager. The Honky Tonk Man called Hart “The Colonel” in a reference to Tom Parker, the manager of Elvis Presley. With Hart in his corner, on June 2, 1987 the Honky Tonk Man captured the Intercontinental title from Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Honky winning the title was a quick decision due to "The Dragon" needing time off to spend with his new baby.

Later in 1987, Hart was named Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Manager of the Year, an award he won again in 1994. Also in 1987, Jimmy Hart managed the WWF Women’s Tag Team champions Judy Martin & Leilani Kai, known as the Glamour Girls. At WrestleMania IV, Jimmy Hart received a haircut by Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. When Jimmy dropped the Hart Foundation in 1988, Hart managed the Fabulous Rougeaus to feud with his former team, with the angle being that Hart still retained the managerial rights to his former team and gave it to the Rougeaus, giving them the right to appear at ringside whenever the Harts wrestled. At SummerSlam 1988, Jimmy Hart accompanied Demolition & Mr. Fuji to help retain their WWF Tag titles against the Hart Foundation. Ax used Hart's megaphone as a foreign object to strike one of the Hart Foundation members to secure the victory. The Megaphone became a significant trademark of Hart's throughout the years and was extensively used as a foreign object by the wrestlers he managed and by himself.

1990s

In 1989, Hart brought Dino Bravo into his stable after the departure of Frenchy Martin . Then at a push-up contest, Jimmy and Dino invited a large 460 pound man from the audience into the ring to sit on Dino’s back. That large man would be later known as the Earthquake; and Jimmy groomed to be the man to beat Hulk Hogan for the WWF title. In 1990, Hart managed the short-lived team Rhythm and Blues (The Honky Tonk Man and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine) to feud with his former tag team, the Hart Foundation. He also managed The Mountie, Jacques Rougeau.

On March 24, 1991, Hart led the Nasty Boys past the Hart Foundation for the WWF World Tag Team titles at WrestleMania VII in Los Angeles, CA. Hart added another tag team to his stable; the Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon), but Hart turned on the Natural Disasters to manage Money Inc. ("The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and IRS). Hart took Money Inc. to two WWF World Tag Team titles. In 1992 The Natural Disasters got their revenge on Jimmy, but their reign was short.

Also in 1992, Hart lost the Nasty Boys due to his ties with Money Inc. because they felt he was not helping them. They thought he was only focusing on his champions. Finally in 1993, Hart managed Hulk Hogan and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake after he came to the aid of Brutus Beefcake after being attacked by Money Inc. At WrestleMania IX, Jimmy Hart managed the Mega Maniacs, Hulk Hogan & Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, but lost to Money Inc. by disqualification. After being disqualified, Hulk Hogan and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake were going to "beat up" the ref. Jimmy told them not to do it and stepped in. He grabbed the ref, and tossed him outside of the ring. Jimmy Hart, Hulk Hogan, and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake then stood in the ring and taunted, while Hogan's theme song "Real American" played. Later that night, Hulk Hogan returned to defeat Yokozuna for the WWF title. At King of the Ring 1993, Hart was in Hulk Hogan's corner as he lost the WWF title back to Yokozuna. This would be Hart's last WWF appearance, as both he and Hulk Hogan departed the company.

WCW

Then Hogan and Jimmy briefly toured Japan. After their return, Jimmy wrote music and occasionally appeared on Hogan's television show, "Thunder in Paradise". Hulk Hogan then had Jimmy manage him when they went to WCW. At Bash at the Beach 1994, Hart managed Hulk Hogan to win his first WCW World title by defeating Ric Flair.

At Halloween Havoc 1995: Jimmy Hart, longtime manager and friend to Hulk Hogan, turned on Hogan to help the Giant. By doing that, Jimmy Hart would become the manager of the evil faction, The Dungeon of Doom, created by Kevin Sullivan. It consisted of Hugh Morrus, The Barbarian, Meng, Kevin Sullivan, Lex Luger, The Giant, and many more. After the demise of the Dungeon of Doom, Hart created The First Family: Brian Knobbs, Jerry Flynn, The Barbarian, and Hugh Morrus. After the demise of the First Family, Hart was placed in charge of booking TBS's WCW Saturday Night show prior to the program's cancellation. At Spring Stampede 2000, Hart faced radio personality Mancow. The two had a rematch later in the year at Mayhem. In February 2001, Hart joined WCW's booking committee.

Memphis Wrestling

In 2003, Hart restarted his feud with Jerry Lawler by buying, for the XWF, part of the upstart Memphis Wrestling promotion. Hart is now Lawler's manager.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling

On June 19, 2005 at Slammiversary, The Naturals were assisted in a title defense against Team Canada by Hart, who ran to ringside and threw his megaphone to Chase Stevens, who hit Petey Williams with it and pinned him. Hart acted as the manager of The Naturals until October 3, 2005. Hart was never under contract to TNA, or any wrestling organization for that matter and his schedule meant that he could no longer devote the time needed to help TNA.

In wrestling

  • Signature foreign object
    • Megaphone: It was given to him by Vince McMahon who had just returned from touring Japan. McMahon told him that from then on he had to carry it to ringside with him. Jimmy had no problem doing this, and even today, Jimmy takes it everywhere he goes. This is also how he received the nickname "The Mouth of the South."
  • Wrestlers managed

Championships and accomplishments

  • Inductee into the WCWA Hall of Fame on October 6, 2006
  • Manager of the Year in 1983
  • Best Interviews in 1984

Behind the scenes

Jimmy was also responsible for many of the wrestler’s theme songs in the WWF and WCW. He composed music for wrestlers: Honky Tonk Man, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Legion of Doom, Fabulous Rougeaus, The Mountie, Ted DiBiase, Jimmy Snuka, Hulk Hogan, the Wolfpac, and many more.

In 1995, Hulk Hogan released the album Hulk Rules. Hart, as well as Hogan's wife Linda, was apart of the band The Wrestling Boot Band and helped write and sing many of the album's songs.

In an interview in 2003 on Bubba the Love Sponge Show, Jimmy Hart revealed he had the rare, sought-after demo of Randy Savage and Elizabeth singing their wedding song "Together" (written by Jimmy) in his possession.

Since the demise of WCW, he became a part owner and one of the founders of the X Wrestling Federation (XWF) along with Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & Brian Knobbs. He also played a key role behind the scenes in the British based WrestleXpress promotion. He had an administrative position in TNA and was seen from time to time at Universal Studios promoting TNA Impact.

On February 3, 2005, Jimmy Hart was announced as one of the Class of 2005 inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame, and was inducted on April 2, 2005 by Jerry Lawler.

External links

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