Virgil, Former WWE Wrestling Star, Has Died at 61 — What Was His Cause of Death?

Wrestling referee Mark Charles III broke the news about the passing of former WWE star Michael Jones, aka Virgil.

Sarah Kester - Author

Feb. 28 2024, Published 4:05 p.m. ET

Virgil (Michael Jones)
Source: Instagram | @realvirgil; YouTube | Over Like Rover

WWE fans are mourning the loss of Michael Jones, a former wrestler who went by the name Virgil. He’s well-known for acting as the Million Dollar Man’s bodyguard in the late '80s.

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The news was first announced on Facebook and confirmed by his verified Instagram account on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. He was 61.

Details surrounding his death are still emerging. Here’s what we know so far.

Virgil holding a picture of himself
Source: Instagram | @realvirgil
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What was former WWE star Virgil's cause of death?

Michael’s friend and wrestling referee, Mark Charles III, first broke the news of his passing on Facebook. "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," Mark 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!" he continued.

While no cause of death has been reported yet, Virgil was open about recent health issues. On X, he shared that he was diagnosed with dementia and had suffered two massive strokes in 2022.

A GoFundMe was set up to raise $400 to help Virgil with money for clothes, toiletries, and other expenses.

He offered to send out autographed pictures of him to anyone who donated $25 or more. The donations surpassed the $400 goal with a total of $4,636 raised.

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The news of the WWE star's passing was confirmed on Virgil’s verified Instagram shortly after referee Mark Charles III made the announcement on Facebook.

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

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On X, the WWE released a statement over the tragic news of Virgil's death.

“WWE is saddened to learn that Michael Jones, known to WWE fans as Virgil, has passed away,” the statement read. “WWE extends its condolences to Jones’ family, friends and fans.”

Other condolences from former colleagues and fans have come pouring in.

“RIP Virgil. A good man and a performer who really left his mark on wrestling,” shared WWE Hall of Famer Jim Duggan on X.

Virgil first rose to prominence in the WWF (now known as the WWE) in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

He served as Ted DiBiase’s (the Million Dollar Man) bodyguard and would even assist him in fights. But according to Virgil’s biography, he eventually turned against his former boss when he refused to put the championship belt on the Million Dollar Man's waist in 1991. Their scripted relationship suffered an even greater blow when Virgil beat Ted at the SummerSlam and won the Million Dollar Title.

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