RIP “Michael Virgil JOnes”

US wrestling star Michael Jones – known by ring names including Virgil and Vincent – has died at the age of 61. “Virgil passed peacefully at the hospital this morning [Wednesday],” wrestling referee Mark Charles III – known professionally as The Count – announced on X, formerly Twitter. His death was also confirmed in posts on his social media accounts. Jones was best known for his work in the World Wresting Federation (WWF) during the 1980s and 1990s.

Jones, who was born in the US state of Pennsylvania,  attended Virginia Union University, and played as a defensive back for the college football team. Jones later worked at his uncle’s loading and moving company and began entering bodybuilding competitions. After a chance meeting with Tony Atlas in a Pittsburgh gym; Atlas recommended Jones to Pro Wrestling in 1985. In the same year, he began training with Afa of the Wild Samoans. He wrestled as an amateur and started wrestling professionally in the mid-1980s under the name Soul Train Jones. He debuted with the WWF, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), in 1986 and rebranded himself as Lucius Brown, which was later changed to Virgil. This persona as the bodyguard for Ted DiBiase, known as The Million Dollar Man, launched him into fame and lasted several years.

Jones left the WWE in 1994 and worked for two years on the smaller independent circuit before joining the now defunct World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under the persona Vincent. He briefly reinvented himself as Curly Bill for the wrestling outfit the West Texas Rednecks before leaving the WCW in 2000 when he retired due to injury. Jones continued to make independent appearances as his various personas before his health began to deteriorate. In 2022, he revealed that he had dementia and colon cancer. He also suffered a number of strokes. Fundraising pages had been set up online to help pay for Jones’s medical bills and, later, to pay for expenses including clothes and toiletries.

Among those to pay tribute to him following news of his death on Wednesday were WWE Hall of Fame inductee Jake “The Snake” Roberts. From 2018, Jones resided in Marianna, Pennsylvania. On April 16, 2022, he revealed that he had previously suffered two strokes and had been diagnosed with dementia. A month later, he said he was diagnosed with stage-two colon cancer. Jones died on February 28, 2024, at the age of 61. His cause of death hasn’t been made public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.