WWE Hall of Famer Struck and Killed by Pickup Truck
‘Luscious’ Johnny Valiant changed the professional wrestling world in the ’70s.
A 71-year-old man was struck and killed by a pickup truck earlier this week outside of Pittsburgh, PA. The victim, Thomas M. Sullivan, was also known as "Luscious" Johnny Valiant, one half of the famed pro-wrestling duo, the Valiant Brothers.
The Valiant Brothers were considered by some to be the premiere tag team of the 1970s. The beach blonde brothers’ flamboyance and showy ring moves shot them into stardom. The pair gave the pro-wrestling world a taste of the future of sports-entertainment. Together they won the World Tag Team Championship in 1979.
According to WWE.com, After the brothers parted ways, Johnny Valiant focused on managing. He managed Hulk Hogan in the American Wrestling Association in the 1980s. Valiant also managed the Dream Team, Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake in 1985 to the World Tag Team Championship. He also occasionally provided commentary for WWE broadcasts.
After the AWA closed, Valiant went into semi-retirement but channeled his natural charisma into an acting career and worked briefly as a stand-up comedian. He was featured as a special guest star on a number of shows including The Sopranos, where he played a bodyguard for New York mafia boss Carmine Lupertazzi, and Law & Order. His one-man show, An Evening with Johnny Valiant was received well in his adopted home of New York City.
WWE.com reported that they were saddened to learn that the Hall of Famer had passed away. The Valiant Brothers were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.