April 05, 2018 12:08 AM


Former pro wrestler “Luscious” Johnny Valiant died after a truck struck him in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, Wednesday morning, PEOPLE confirms.

Valiant, whose real name was Thomas M. Sullivan, was 71 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.

The wrestler was killed as he ran across a busy road and was hit by an oncoming truck, according to WPXI.

Ross Township Det. Brian Kohlhepp told the outlet, “We do have witnesses. There was other traffic on McKnight [Road] at the time, so we were able to speak with people who actually witnessed the accident.”

He continued to say police were still investigating the accident but added there was “no indication that this was anything other than a terrible accident at this point.”

Johnny and Jimmy Valiant 

Johnny and Jimmy Valiant

Valiant began his wrestling career in 1969, and in 1974 he won the World Tag Team Championships with James Fanning, now 75, as The Valiant Brothers, according to WWE.

In 1979, he became wrestling partners with “Gentleman” Jerry Valiant, a Canadian whose real name was John Hill. Both went on to win the World Tag Team Championships.


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In the early 1980s, Valiant managed Hulk Hogan and went on to manage the “Dream Team” of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake in 1985 leading them to the World Tag Team Championship. He also managed Dino Bravo and Demolition.

After retiring, Valiant guest starred on several shows such as Law & Order and The Sopranos and hosted a one-man show called An Evening with Johnny Valiant in New York City.

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