SHAWSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) – Jimmy Valiant or ‘Boogie Woogie Man’, as many may know him, has traveled the world for more than 50 years as a professional wrestler.
But it was Southwest Virginia his family chose to call home’
After decades of being in the ring, he is having one last match – marking the beginning of his retirement and a new chapter in his life.
“We fell in love and ended up in Shawsville,” said Valiant’s wife Angel.
Angel Valiant and her husband have no ordinary love story. They own a camp – one where you get to do body slams and drop kicks.
“Boogie was right down the street five miles down the road. So, like, it was meant to be,” said Mike Mars, the head instructor at Boogie’s Wrestling Camp.
The big man in charge is the Boogie Woogie Man – former ring king Jimmy Valiant.
“It’s just a blessing. But I was very fortunate to do this and to live my dream. And now almost 60 years later and that I am retiring, and what I’m going to do now is just want to be a goodwill ambassador, not only for our camp and for the kids, because it’s their turn to live their dream,” said Valiant.
After decades of being in the ring and teaching, he is having one last match and focusing on helping the next generation of pro-wrestlers.
“I watched him as a kid. He literally is like, you know, one day I’d like to do that and then when he moved to the area, I was like hey, here’s opportunity to live that childhood dream with no expectations of, you know, making the big time, that was just to be able to do it, and see how it’s done and the behind the scenes and stuff. That was the real dream,” said Troy Long, a former pro-wrestler and instructor at Boogie’s Wrestling Camp.
Boogie and Angel are also celebrating 30 years of Boogie’s Wrestling Camp and their marriage.
“Watching them progress – they asked all the questions and try to help take care of them as best as possible, give them all the advice they need so they can take care of themselves out on the road. It’s amazing,” said Mars.
“He knows this is his final curtain home. So it’s going to be hilarious, fun good time. And people are going to leave, they’re wanting more. But there will be, because this is boogie’s last time getting in the ring,” said Long.
Boogie’s final match will be July 31 at the New River Valley Fair at 7:30 p.m.
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