The Hart Foundation began in 1985, when Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, already managed by Jimmy Hart, who joined up with his brother-in-law Bret "Hitman" Hart to form a heel tag team. According to Bret, the tag team originated after he turned down the "Cowboy" Bret Hart gimmick he was given, claiming that he did not really take a liking to it. He then suggested to WWF management that he would much prefer to be teamed up with Jim Neidhart. Management first laughed at the idea, but months later just as Bret was about to quit, he was given what he wanted: he was allowed to become a villain and was partnered up with Neidhart and Jimmy to form the Hart Foundation. The name Hart Foundation was already used to refer to the stable of wrestlers managed by Jimmy Hart, and in early matches the Neidhart/Hart team would be introduced as "members of the Hart Foundation". With the success of the new tag team, however, "The Hart Foundation" came to be associated solely with the Neidhart/Hart team and their manager, who all had Hart in their family names.
The Hart Foundation made its pay-per-view debut at WrestleMania 2 in 1986 as participants of a 20-man battle royal which also included NFL stars. The duo were the final two men whom André the Giant eliminated to win the battle royal.The Harts gained their status as a mid-card team when feuding with The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell and B. Brian Blair). At Saturday Night's Main Event, the Foundation faced Brunzell and Blair in a tag team match, which the Killer Bees won. The Hart Foundation continued to feud with the Killer Bees for the better part of 1986.
The Hart Foundation began a feud with Tag Team Champions The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) in early 1987 over the title. On the February 7 edition of Superstars, in Tampa, Florida, the Harts defeated Bulldogs for their first WWF Tag Team Championship when the referee of the match, "Dangerous" Danny Davis helped the Harts to win the match. On the March 14 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, the Harts made their first title defense against Tito Santana and Dan Spivey and retained the title after Danny Davis hit Santana with Jimmy Hart's megaphone. Santana began to feud with Davis as a result of this action and at this point, he joined the British Bulldogs in their feud with the Hart Foundation. The rivalry culminated in a six-man tag team match at WrestleMania III where the Foundation teamed up with Davis against the British Bulldogs and Santana. Davis hit Davey Boy Smith with Jimmy Hart's megaphone and pinned him to get the victory for the Hart Foundation. On the May 2 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, the Foundation defended their tag title against the British Bulldogs in a Two out of three falls match. In the first fall, they got disqualified because of illegal double-teaming and in the second fall Neidhart was pinned by Smith. However, the Hart Foundation retained the title due to the disqualification result.
On the October 27 edition of Superstars, the Hart Foundation dropped their title to Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana), ending their 10-month reign. The two teams faced each other at Survivor Series in a 10-team Survivor Series elimination match. Strike Force captained a team of fan favorites while the Hart Foundation captained a team of villains. Strike Force was eliminated by the Hart Foundation, but the Hart Foundation also got eliminated and in the end, the fan favorite team won the match. The feud culminated in a match for the WWF Tag Team Championship on the February 5 edition of The Main Event, as the Hart Foundation challenged Strike Force for the title but lost the match.
In late spring/early summer of 1988, Jimmy Hart signed the Hart Foundation's rivals The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and, the storyline, claimed 25 percent of Bret Hart's and Jim Neidhart's payment. After Jimmy's betrayal of the team, and the loss of their tag team championship, the Hart Foundation were pushed as fan favorites, though Bret started a slow face turn at WrestleMania IV a few months prior. In the summer of 1988, the Hart Foundation began a feud with WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition for the title. At SummerSlam, they challenged Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Championship but ended up losing the match. On the October 29 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, they faced Demolition in a rematch for the title but lost due to outside interference by The Rougeaus. The Hart Foundation continued their feud with The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, and formed an alliance with Jim Duggan. At Royal Rumble in early 1989, Duggan and the Hart Foundation defeated Dino Bravo and the Rougeaus in a two out of three falls match to end the feud.
In late 1989, the Hart Foundation split for a while and wrestled in other teams but reunited in early 1990. On the April 28 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, they faced The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) in a tag team match, which resulted in a double disqualification after WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition interfered. As a result of the interference, Demolition feuded with both the Rockers and the Hart Foundation. At SummerSlam, the Hart Foundation faced Demolition in a two out of three falls match for the tag title which the Hart Foundation won. As a result, the Hart Foundation got their second WWF Tag Team Championship. The Hart Foundation's second title reign lasted until WrestleMania VII when they were defeated by The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs), when Knobbs nailed Neidhart over the head with Jimmy Hart's helmet (Jimmy Hart managed the Nasty Boys at the time). The Hart Foundation split in 1991 and Bret then focused on his singles career.
- Double-team finishing moves
- "The Pink and Black Attack"
- Entrance theme
- "Hart Beat" by Jimmy Hart and J.J. Maguire (WWF) 1988-1991
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked #37 of "The 100 Best Tag Teams" of the PWI Years in 2003
- World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment