How Did Virgil Die? Former WWE Star Dies Aged 61 after Being Diagnosed with Dementia and Suffering Multiple Strokes

Virgil began his wrestling career in 1985 in Memphis under the Championship Wrestling Association, adopting the name Soul Train Jones.

Virgil, the former WWE star famous for serving as the bodyguard to "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, has died, according to a post on his official Instagram account. He was 61. According to a TMZ report, Virgil suffered multiple strokes and was diagnosed with dementia in recent years before his death.

Virgil, whose real name was Michael Jones, is most fondly remembered for his wrestling career in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Referee Mark Charles III, who first broke the sad news, revealed that Virgil died peacefully in a hospital on Wednesday. The wrestling star had been diagnosed with dementia and suffered two strokes in 2022.

Death of a Star

Virgil X

"This is to confirm the sad news about our beloved Meatsauce God and Wrestling Superstar Virgil/Michael Jones has passed away," a statement on Virgil's Instagram said.

"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. Wishing him all the unlimited pasta in heaven. We love you Mike."

Virgil began his wrestling career in 1985 in Memphis under the Championship Wrestling Association, adopting the name Soul Train Jones.

He later achieved recognition as the AWA International Heavyweight champion and won the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship alongside Rocky Johnson, known as the father of The Rock.

However, in 1991, Virgil unexpectedly turned on his on-screen boss, transforming into a heroic character. He went on to defeat DiBiase at that year's Wrestlemania and Summerslam pay-per-view events, with the iconic Rowdy Roddy Piper by his side.

Despite his initial success, Virgil struggled to capitalize on it and spent the rest of his WWE tenure as a jobber or enhancement talent. Like many of his peers, he eventually made the transition to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the mid-1990s.

Failed to Capitalize on Success

Virgil X

During the interim period between WWE and WCW, Virgil found himself entangled in one of the most shocking angles in independent wrestling when his two adversaries, including Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart, the former tag team partner of Bret Hart, wore KKK robes to the ring.

While in WCW, Virgil changed his name to Vincent, a deliberate reference to WWE owner Vince McMahon. It was a playful retaliation considering that his name in WWE, Virgil, was originally a jest aimed at WCW executive and star Dusty Rhodes, whose real name was Virgil Runnels.

Virgil joined the heel New World Order (nWo) stable, led by fellow former WWE star Hulk Hogan, during his time in WCW. Virgil credited Hogan for getting him hired with the Ted Turner-owned company.

"Shocked and saddened to hear the news about Virgil. Rest in peace, my friend," wrestling great Jake "The Snake Roberts wrote on X.

Longtime WWE star and current AEW wrestler Matt Hardy also paid tribute to Virgil on X.

"Virgil was a funny, unique individual that was always cool to me & I'm saddened to hear about his passing. My thoughts go out to his family, friends & fans," Hardy wrote.