Mike Jones, who wrestling fans knew as Virgil and Vincent, has died. He was 72.

The news was confirmed by Pittsburgh referee Mark Charles III who had one of many who continued to look in on Jones as his health failed.

Charles III posted to Facebook on the morning of February 28, 2024:

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!

Jones’ sister, Toni, called Charles this morning about her brother’s passing. Charles arrived at the hospital later early today, to meet up with Toni, and her son and daughter. Toni, 74, was two years older than her brother, who was born April 7, 1951.

In conversation with SlamWrestling.net, Charles noted that Jones “had two strokes late last year, one on the right, one on the left, and also they confirmed dementia.”

He added, “Toni said there was never any cancer.”

The former WCW star was diagnosed with dementia in 2022 and prior had two minor strokes before July 12, 2022.

Jones started his career with Championship Wrestling Association under the alias ‘Soul Train Jones.’ He competed with the organization for two years (1985 – 1987) and had feuds with Big Bubba and Chick Donavon.

After his short stint at CWA, he joined the World Wrestling Federation (1987 – 1994). He started with the name Lucius Brown but was later changed to Virgil, which Bobby Heenan thought up.

Jones started rising within the company as the bodyguard for the ‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase. The two became great friends during their time in the ring together, whether it was as a friend or foe. He told Brett Hoffman that working with DiBiase was the greatest experience in his life.

“Ted DiBiase’s quality as a wrestler was matched only by Ted DiBiase’s quality as a man. We were together every day for years, and we never had a single fight,” Jones said. “It was two men getting along as gentlemen, professionals and friends. Together, we were the greatest act in sports-entertainment.”

DiBiase and Jones competed for the Million Dollar Title, where it was one win to two losses for Jones. He also teamed up with Tito Santana, Sgt. Slaughter, Jim Duggan and The Big Boss Man during his time on WWF. His last appearance was at the Royal Rumble in 1994, where he was a late substitute.

Virigil and his Million Dollar Title.

Virgil and his Million Dollar Title.

Jones later ditched the name Virgil and joined World Championship Wrestling (1996 – 2000), becoming the ‘Head of Security’ of nWo as Vincent (a slight against Vince McMahon, as Virgil had been a reference to Dusty Rhodes’ real name Virgil Runnels). He had only one singles match when he was with nWo. It was during the pay-per-view event Uncensored 1999. He was on the losing end against his partner Stevie Ray.

His name was changed again to Shane, and he teamed up with Curt Hennig, Donald, and Ronald Harris. He had two more name changes after that. When he had a short stint joining The West Texas Rednecks, he had the name Curly Bill; in his last role with the company, he went under the name Mr. Jones.

Virgil at the 80s Wrestling Con on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com

Virgil at the 80s Wrestling Con on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com

“On the road, you learn how to respect people,” said Jones.”

That is a lesson that can be useful for my students or any students. WWE is a first-class organization, and while there you learn how to become a first-class individual,” he told Hoffman. “You learn how to control yourself in different situations, how to act around people, how to bite your tongue, and how to turn the other cheek and walk away. All that stuff translates to the real world.”

Jones did make a comeback to the ring. In 2006, he wrestled in Korea, Japan, Guam, Honolulu, and Hawaii for the Armed Forces Entertainment tour. Another return was in 2010, when he teamed up with Ted DiBiase Jr.

Jones had no children of his own.

— with files from Greg Oliver

EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a GoFundMe account set up to raise funds for Mike Jones’ funeral expenses. The funeral will be Saturday, March 16, 2024, with viewing from 10 am to 2 pm, and the service to follow. It will be at Coston Funeral Home, 427 Lincoln Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206


EDITOR’S NOTE: Mike Jones’ actual date of birth, born April 7, 1951, was added post-publication. Also, he claim to have earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Virginia was debunked. SlamWrestling.net regrets the error.