Michael Jones, WWE star who portrayed 'Million-Dollar Man's' bodyguard Virgil, dies at 61

ByMatt Guillermo KFSN logo
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Wherever "The Million-Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase was, his silent but imposing bodyguard Virgil was not far behind.

Michael Jones, the person behind the iconic number-two man in DiBiase's Millionaire Inc. stable during the WWE's '80s boom period, died Wednesday morning. He was 61.

The Wrestling Observer reported that Jones' friend, wrestling referee Mark Charles III, revealed the passing with WWE later confirming through social media.

Charles wrote:

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.

Virgil passed peacefully at the hospital this morning and I ask that you pray for him and for his family.

May his memory be eternal!

In-ring career

Jones' active wrestling career stretched from 1985 to his 2000 full-time, in-ring retirement, but he would make multiple one-off appearances into 2020 for various promotions.

Jones, who played collegiate football and amateur wrestled, got into sports entertainment after a chance meeting with pioneering Black wrestler Tony Atlas. From there, he debuted in a regional promotion in Memphis as "Soul Train Jones," working there for two years before ascending to national company World Wrestling Federation, WWE's previous identity, where he made his mark.

As Virgil, Jones provided an intimidating presence behind fellow wrestler DiBiase and his stable, always wearing a tuxedo top with the sleeves cut off and holding either fanned-out $100 bills or DiBiase's prized Million-Dollar Championship.

Virgil would face off with the DiBiase's arch-foes before they could get to his boss, including Hulk Hogan and Randy "The Macho Man" Savage.

Jones continued on with the promotion through 1995 and later re-emerged with DiBiase, Hogan, and Savage at his next big promotion, World Championship Wrestling.

As Vincent, Jones provided a similar role to Virgil as the New World Order stable's "muscle." He lasted with WCW through the promotion's dissolution in 2000.

Prior health issues

According to the Wrestling Observer, Jones revealed in summer 2022 that he was diagnosed with dementia and had already suffered two massive strokes.

SEE ALSO: WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson, 1st gay superstar in company, dies at 79

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