Virgil, former WWE wrestling star, dies at 61

Former WWE star Michael Jones, better known by the wrestling name of Virgil, has died at 61, according to his verified Instagram account.

“This is to confirm the sad news about our beloved Meatsauce God and Wrestling Superstar Virgil/Michael Jones has passed away,” the Instagram post read. “There is so much to say here and would love to share stories but for now it’s a rough day as our friend is gone.”

“We would only ask at this time to remember him as the man that he was,” the post continued. “Wishing him all the unlimited pasta in heaven. We love you Mike.”

Wrestling referee and friend Mark Charles III first broke the news on Facebook on Wednesday.

“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. “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!”

The wrestling world paid tribute on social media.

“Shocked and saddened to hear the news about Virgil. Rest in peace, my friend,” WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts wrote on Instagram.

“R.I.P Virgil, thanks for being a great sport during our shenanigans & for the memories. See you down the road good brother,” former WWE superstar Luke Gallows said on X.

Jones started in WWE as the bodyguard for the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in the late 1980s. He would turn against his former boss in the 1990s, beating DiBiase for the Million Dollar Championship. The rebellion “instantly made Virgil one of WWE’s most popular Superstars,” according to Jones’ WWE biography.

The cause of Jones’ death has not been made public, but the wrestler has been dealing with health issues in recent years. In April 2022, Jones shared on X that he suffered two strokes and was diagnosed with an early stage of dementia.

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