Pro wrestler Mike 'Virgil' Jones dies at 61 after suffering strokes, dementia

By Mike Heuer

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Former WWE and WCW wrestler Mike Jones, who most famously competed under the stage name of "Virgil," has died, his friends and family announced Wednesday. He was 61.

Jones' friend and pro wrestling referee Mark Charles III announced Jones' death in a Facebook post on Wednesday, the New York Daily News, Wrestling News and SEScoops reported.


"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 his family. May his memory be eternal," Charles posted.

Jones recently suffered at least two strokes after he was diagnosed with dementia in 2022, which led to his hospitalization. Jones recently suffered several minor strokes, which led to efforts to treat him in the hospital's intensive care unit.

Some news outlets reported Jones had cancer, but his sister said he did not, SEScoops reported.

Jones was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., on June 13, 1962, and was a defensive back for Virginia Union University's football team when he encountered bodybuilder, powerlifter and pro wrestler Tony Atlas at a local gym.


Atlas encouraged Jones to become a professional wrestler, which Jones did when he launched his career with the Championship Wrestling Association in Tennessee in 1985. Jones joined the WWE a year later and competed as Virgil until 1995.

While in the WWE, Jones defeated Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiasi in the title match of the 1991 SummerSlam event. He also carried on feuds with Sgt. Slaughter, The Big Boss Man and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Jones joined the WCW as "Vincent" upon his exit from the WWE and competed as a member of the NOW and other WCW pro wrestling teams. Vincent was a jab at former WWE owner Vince McMahon.

Jones also competed as Soul Train Jones in the AEW league, where his final appearance aired on April 29, 2020, during an episode of the AEW Dynamite television show.

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O.J. Simpson attends his trial in Las Vegas on September 19, 2008. Simpson, famously known as a football star who won the Heisman Trophy before he was accused and later acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, has died at the age of 76 on April 10 following a battle with cancer. Simpson, who also starred in movies, was later found liable for the deaths in a civil trial and was found guilty on 12 charges for a separate incident in 2008. Photo by Ethan Miller/Pool | License Photo

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