1996 WWE Hall of Famer Thomas Sullivan, a.k.a. Johnny Valiant was killed after reportedly being struck by a pickup truck on Wednesday morning in Ross Township, Pennsylvania.

According to WPXI, the 71-year-old was crossing a busy road when the accident happened. There was no crosswalk. Ross Township Detective Brian Kohlepp had the following to say on the accident:

“We do have witnesses. There was other traffic on McKnight at the time, so we were able to speak with people who actually witnessed the accident. The driver of the truck stayed here on the scene. There’s no indication that this was anything other than a terrible accident at this point, but we’re still investigating.”

Throughout his career, Valiant captured the WWWF Tag Team Championship twice, becoming a manager after his career as a Superstar had ended.

After that time, Valiant became a successful manager. In that role, he managed Hulk Hogan in the AWA, Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine, Dino Bravo and even Demolition in the WWF.

Here is what WWE had to say on his passing:

WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Valiant passes away

WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer “Luscious” Johnny Valiant reportedly passed away this morning at the age of 71.

Valiant began his sports-entertainment career in 1969 in the Detroit territory owned by WWE Hall of Famer The Sheik, setting up rings, refereeing and competing. After learning the basics in the Motor City, he spent years competing in more than 20 territories across North America, including WWE.

In 1974, The Valiant Brothers “Luscious” Johnny and “Handsome” Jimmy captured the World Tag Team Championships and held them for more than one year. In 1979, Johnny teamed up with “Gentleman” Jerry Valiant to capture the tandem titles again, this time managed by WWE Hall of Famer Captain Lou Albano.

Soon after, “The Luscious One” followed in Albano’s footprints and became a manager of tag team champions himself. After guiding some of the biggest names in the AWA, Valiant returned to WWE in 1985. “Luscious” Johnny led the Dream Team of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & Brutus Beefcake to the World Tag Team Championship with a win over Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. Canadian strongman Dino Bravo and Demolition were also managed by Valiant for a portion of their WWE tenures.

Valiant proved he was multi-faceted by also doing color commentary for WWE before returning to the AWA in 1989 as a manager. In 1996, “Luscious” Johnny and “Handsome” Jimmy were immortalized when then were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

WWE extends its condolences to Valiant’s family, friends and fans.

We have provided a classic segment from Valiant below.

"Luscious" Johnny Valiant works his magic on the mic

Wrestling Rumors would also like to extend our deepest sympathies to Valiant’s family and friends following his unfortunate and unexpected death.

What are your favorite moments from his career? What is most memorable about him?

Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page or Twitter account. Additionally, you can find me on Twitter at @SOSNH1995. We also want to remind you that we have a Newsletter you can sign up to. This will allow us to send you the best news in one place via an email. We also have the Wrestling Rumors app that we encourage you all to download to get updates faster than they release on our various pages. It is available for Android and iOS devices. UPDATE COMING SOON!


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