Wrestling World Reacts To The Death Of WWE Star Virgil, AKA Michael Jones

With word emerging this morning that Michael Jones, also known as Virgil during his time in WWE, has died at the age of 61, voices from around the wrestling world have begun sharing their tributes to the late veteran wrestler. That includes WWE Hall of Famer Jake "The Snake" Roberts, a longtime friend of Jones.


"Shocked and saddened to hear the news about Virgil," Roberts wrote. "Rest in peace, my friend."

WWE star Luke Gallows also paid tribute to Jones this morning. Gallows shared several pictures of himself and Jones behind the scenes while offering a brief but poignant statement on his passing.

"R.I.P Virgil," Gallows said. "Thanks for being a great sport during our shenanigans [and] for the memories. See you down the road, good brother."

AEW's Matt Hardy posted a picture of himself posing with Jones. Using his Soul Train Jones character, Jones also made several appearances on AEW television in 2019 and 2020.

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


Natalya Neidhart, whose father Davey Boy Smith and uncle Bret Hart worked with Jones, also gave her thoughts on the veteran performer's passing. Neidhart shared a photo featuring Smith, Hart, Jones, and another late wrestler — "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

WWE broadcaster Kayla Braxton shared her own thoughts on Jones. While she never knew him, Braxton said it was clear how much he meant to fans and professionals within the industry.

Stories of Virgil on the Independent Scene

Virgil also performed in independent promotion GCW in recent years. In addition to the promotion's official X account paying tribute to the performer, owner Brett Lauderdale had some words to share.

"As a performer — an incredible athlete and a reliable soldier," Lauderdale wrote. "As a person — he was funny, cordial, and unpredictable in all the best ways. He was a trooper and a friend of GCW. I truly feel lucky to have known him and I'll share my personal 'Virgil stories' forever."


Independent wrestler Tony Deppen had a few "Virgil stories" to share as well. The GCW performer recalled Jones being present at Deppen's very first show in the business.

"He told me how he played football with Dan Marino and could run the 40 yd dash in 4.3 [seconds]," Deppen said. "Dude was the goat. RIP Virgil. Now you're off to the big meat sauce in the sky."

Anthony Bowens of AEW's The Acclaimed had a Virgil story of his own to tell today. 

"I remember Virgil cornering me for 15 minutes in a hotel lobby to tell me that when he first got to WWE they invested 300 million dollars into his character and that he was going to be world champion but it never panned out," Bowens said. "He always had a crazy story every time I saw him."


Reactions to Virgil's Death Continue to Pour Out

The biggest moment of Virgil's career was likely when he finally turned on longtime ally Ted DiBiase, AKA The Million Dollar Man. WWE veteran Shane "Hurricane" Helms shared an anecdote today that expresses how much that moment meant to him as a fan and, eventually, a wrestler.


"At a show once, I did a stare out into the crowd mid-ring and one of the boys asked if I was channeling Rock/Hogan. I replied, 'Or Virgil/Dibiase,'" Helms wrote. "He thought I was joking. ... Virgil was over [as f***] with me after turning on Dibiase."

Wrestling veteran "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan offered some words on Jones as well. According to Duggan, Jones was "a good man" and significantly impacted the world of professional wrestling.

Though he's not a wrestler himself, actor Ken Jeong is an avid fan. The star from "The Hangover" series of films and "Community" posted some words about the loss of Jones to his social media alongside a picture of the two together.

"Rest in peace, Virgil," Jeong wrote. "Sending my love, thoughts, [and] prayers to his family."


Impact Wrestling star Frankie Kazarian also paid tribute to Jones. Kazarian stated that his interactions with the late wrestler were always both friendly and memorable.

Jones had previously appeared alongside wrestling podcaster Sam Roberts numerous times on the air. Roberts offered his own brief tribute to the late wrestler today as well.

"I got to have a lot of fun with Virgil," Roberts said. "Thank you and RIP to an unconventional icon."