Former professional wrestling star known as Virgil passes away

 February 29, 2024

Sports entertainment fans were saddened this week to learn that the former wrestling star known as Virgil died after suffering multiple strokes. 

According to the Daily Mail, a WWE spokesperson confirmed that the 61-year-old, whose real name was Michael Jones,  had passed away on Wednesday.

Jones became famous as an onscreen bodyguard

The paper noted that Jones was plagued by declining health for some time, including a dementia diagnosis and a pair of strokes in 2022.

It recalled how Jones rose to fame in the WWE during the 1980s as a bodyguard to classic villain The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase.

His role changed in 1991 when Jones became an opponent of his on-screen boss, beating him at that year's Wrestlemania and Summerslam pay-per-view events.

During a 2016 interview with Ring Rust Radio, DiBiase explained that while he and Jones had an amicable relationship despite never being particularly close.

DiBiase said that Jones eschewed the excessive lifestyle seen among some of his peers, choosing to avoid drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

Hulk Hogan helped Jones get a job at WCW

"We would do our thing on the road and then I would see him in three days or a week, whatever it was at the time. I didn't really socialize a lot with him so to speak, but we had a great working relationship and we were friends," he said.

However, DiBiase was bothered to learn that Jones had begun using his name to promote appearances at wrestling conventions.

Jones declined in prominence over the 1990s and eventually left the WWE altogether for World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

After being hired by WCW, Jones adopted the moniker Vincent and became a member of the villainous, Hulk Hogan-led New World Order. The Daily Mail noted that Jones credited Hogan with helping him get a job at WCW.

Jones fondly remembered by WWE referee

News that Jones had passed away was met with tributes on social media, including from WWE referee Mark Charles II.

"My dear friends, it is with great sorrow that I bring news from the Jones family of the passing of our beloved Michael Jones, whom we know and loved as Virgil, Vincent, Soul Train Jones and more," Charles wrote in a Facebook post.

"Virgil passed peacefully at the hospital this morning and I ask that you pray for him and for his family," Charles continued before adding, "May his memory be eternal!"

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