Johnny Valiant, a WWE Hall of Famer who transitioned from tag team wrestler to manager extraordinaire died at age 71 on Wednesday, April 4. Valiant, real name Thomas Sullivan, was struck and killed by a truck while crossing the street in the early morning hours Wednesday near his home in suburban Pittsburgh.
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer “Luscious” Johnny Valiant reportedly passed away this morning at the age of 71. https://t.co/vNfhyVo3Pb
— WWE (@WWE) April 5, 2018
Valiant held the WWWF tag titles twice. Both times with storyline brothers Jimmy and Jerry Valient, respectively.
Here’s a classic promo from the man who styled himself “Luscious.”
After retiring from in-ring competition, Valiant managed a young Hulk Hogan in the AWA. He moved back to the WWF in the mid-80s where he led Dino Bravo and Brutus Beefcake. Valiant and Beefcake teamed up with Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart to form the “Dream Team” a villainous tag stable that held the tag titles and feuded with Tito Santana, the Killer Bees, and the British Bulldogs. Valiant worked on commentary and ended his career in WWF working as a jobber to up-and-coming stars.
Outside of wrestling Valiant was a comedian and actor starring in multiple episodes of both Law & Order and The Sopranos.
Valiant was a real old-school worker. The blonde hair and the dark beard was THE look for a heel who would cheat and do whatever it takes to win a match. Wish more guys nowadays would take a note from Valient’s look and work.
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