Virgil in 2013
|Birth name||Michael Jones|
|Born||June 13, 1962|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Professional wrestling career|
Soul Train Jones
|Billed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Billed weight||250 lb (110 kg)|
|Billed from||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
Palm Beach, Florida
|Trained by||Afa Anoa'i|
Michael Jones (born June 13, 1962), better known by his ring name Virgil (a reference to Dusty Rhodes' given name), is an American professional wrestler and actor. He is known for his eight-year tenure in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), primarily as Ted DiBiase's personal assistant. In his four-year tenure in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), he went under the ring names Vincent (a reference to Vince McMahon), Shane (a reference to Shane McMahon), Curly Bill (where he was a member of the West Texas Rednecks), and under his real name (in which he lost every match). He has recently made appearances for All Elite Wrestling (AEW), under the ring name Soul Train Jones.
After a standout amateur career, Jones started wrestling professionally as Soul Train Jones in the Championship Wrestling Association based in Memphis, Tennessee in 1985. He feuded with Chick Donovan and Big Bubba. He also made appearances in ICW with the Soul Train Jones gimmick.
Moving to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), he first appeared as a jobber wrestling under the name Lucius Brown, losing a squash match to "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff in Salisbury, MD on September 17, 1986.
He then went on to debut in the summer of 1987 as Virgil, the bodyguard for "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase. His stage name, thought up by Bobby Heenan, was meant as a jab against then-World Championship Wrestling (WCW) wrestler and booker Virgil Runnels, better known as Dusty Rhodes. Virgil carried DiBiase's cash that he liked to flaunt and was the one who got beaten up while DiBiase ran away after a devious act against a face. He would also occasionally be used in a wrestling capacity against DiBiase's rivals to try and soften them up; he would lose matches to such names as Randy Savage, Hercules and Jake Roberts.
Virgil was increasingly humiliated by DiBiase and eventually turned on him, hitting him with his own Million Dollar Title belt at the Royal Rumble in January 1991, making him a fan favorite. After befriending and training with Roddy Piper, he defeated DiBiase by count-out at WrestleMania VII and pinned him for the belt on August 26, 1991 at SummerSlam. He lost the belt back to DiBiase in November of that year as a result of outside interference by the Repo Man. At the This Tuesday in Texas PPV, Repo Man and DiBiase defeated Virgil and Tito Santana.
At WrestleMania VIII, Virgil teamed with Big Boss Man, Sgt. Slaughter, and Jim Duggan to defeat The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags), Repo Man, and The Mountie. Virgil pinned Knobs following a heel miscommunication. He would then primarily be used to put over numerous rising talents, losing to Nailz at SummerSlam and Yokozuna at Survivor Series. However, he did receive a shot at Bret Hart's WWF World Heavyweight Championship on the November 21, 1992 episode of WWF Superstars. After a valiant effort, Virgil submitted to Hart's Sharpshooter. After the match, the two shook hands out of respect. Virgil then remained in the undercard, losing to Johnny Polo on a tour of Ontario in November 1993.
Virgil's last appearance on a PPV event was the 1994 Royal Rumble where he was a late substitute for Kamala. His last notable feud was with a returning Nikolai Volkoff in the Summer of 1994. However he continued to perform on television and on the house show circuit for the WWF until he was released that August.
Following two years on the independent scene, he appeared in WCW as Vincent in 1996, where he was the "Head of Security" for the nWo. His name was meant to be a mockery of WWF owner Vince McMahon. His role was originally meant for Charles Wright and WCW had verbally agreed to a contract with Wright, but signed Jones instead, reportedly after Jones offered to work for less than Wright.
Jones had minor success when first arriving, winning a few matches on the low profile WCW Saturday Night. Rarely wrestling, he often valeted nWo members such as Scott Norton, Scott Steiner, Konnan, and Brian Adams. Jones, like his role in the WWF, would again take the brunt of the beatings as other nWo members scurried away. Vincent's first PPV match with WCW was at Starrcade 1997, when he teamed with Norton and Randy Savage to defeat The Steiner Brothers and Ray Traylor. His next match on pay-per-view came in November 1998, when he unsuccessfully competed in the 60-man Battle Royal match at World War 3. His first (and only) WCW PPV singles match was a "Harlem Street Fight" match (which he lost) at Uncensored in March 1999 against fellow nWo Black & White member Stevie Ray.
He was part of the nWo Hollywood faction when the stable split in the Spring of 1998, and then part of the Black & White (B-Team) after the nWo reunited in January 1999. He was one of the last remaining members of the nWo when it quietly dissolved in late Summer of 1999.
Vincent's only WCW singles match on pay per view came at Uncensored 1999 when he was on the losing end of a Harlem Street Fight against his nWo Black and White partner Stevie Ray. During the 'Powers That Be' angle in fall of 1999, Jones was renamed Shane, a reference to WWF owner Vince McMahon's son Shane McMahon. During this time Jones teamed with Curt Hennig and the Harris Brothers (known briefly as Creative Control), doing Vince Russo's bidding. In late 1999, he joined the West Texas Rednecks under the name of Curly Bill, but the faction split shortly after. His last role for the company saw him managing Ernest "The Cat" Miller under the name Mr. Jones, but he was soon replaced by a valet named Ms. Jones. He would then go on to compete under his real name, Mike Jones, for the remainder of his days in WCW.
Following his departure from WCW, he retired from wrestling, and worked as a high school math teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In April 2006, Jones toured Asia at different US Military installations as part of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program for soldiers stationed overseas. He wrestled as Vincent of the nWo against one of the Ballard Brothers dressed as Doink the Clown in the second to last match during this tour. On November 28, 2008, Jones returned to the ring as "Virgil" and wrestled for Next Era Wrestling in Lockport, NY, in a tag match with Patrick O'Malley, defeating Ryot and Superbeast. He then appeared at a Total Nonstop Action (TNA) show.
Shortly prior to January 31, 2009 in Manchester, England, Virgil had produced a promo for UK fan convention WrestleSlam 2 calling out Liverpool independent wrestler The Vulture for a proposed 'shoot'. However, when The Vulture arrived at the event, Virgil instead offered him a T-shirt. On July 2, 2009, Jones returned to the ring, once again, in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, as Virgil, this time for Ultimate Championship Wrestling (UCW). On April 5, 2019, Virgil, dressed as the character Starman from NES Pro Wrestling, appeared for Joey Janela's Spring Break 3, where he defeated Ethan Page.
On the May 17, 2010 episode of Monday Night Raw from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Jones returned to WWE reprising his Virgil bodyguard character, this time with Ted DiBiase, Jr. He carried out all of his old actions, such as holding the ropes open for DiBiase and bringing him a microphone when asked. On the June 14 episode of Raw, Virgil and DiBiase were in a tag team match against Big Show and Raw guest host Mark Feuerstein. After Virgil got pinned and lost the match, DiBiase stuffed a $100 bill in Virgil's mouth and walked out on him. The following week DiBiase first apologized to Virgil, but then fired him and replaced him with Maryse.
On the November 6, 2019 episode of AEW Dynamite, Virgil, under his old ring name of Soul Train Jones, appeared in a video package for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as an ally of Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle. The promo, meant to mock an earlier promo from Cody Rhodes (whom Jericho was feuding with at the time) and saw Jones compare Jericho's talents to Olive Garden breadsticks as "unlimited", received critical praise from fans. On the November 27 episode of AEW Dynamite, Jones started off the show by introducing Jericho for Chris Jericho's Thanksgiving Thank You Celebration for Le Champion, which was ultimately interrupted by SoCal Uncensored.
After wrestling, Jones has been attending conventions and has been seen at subway stations selling autographs; as a result, since 2012, there have been "Lonely Virgil" memes created where fans posted pictures of him at conventions with nobody lining up. Lonely Virgil was originally created by Sam Roberts of the Opie and Anthony Radio Show.
In 2014, Jones appeared in the Jason Michael Brescia film, Bridge and Tunnel as Kony, a neighborhood barfly. Jones was cast in the film after he met actor-producer Joe Murphy while selling autographs at Grand Central Station. In 2017 he reprised the role in Brescia's follow-up film, (Romance) In the Digital Age, released by Comedy Dynamics.
In July 2015, a documentary featuring Virgil was released entitled The Legend of Virgil & His Traveling Merchandise Table, which discusses Jones' wrestling career and the recent upsurge of social media discussions surrounding Virgil.
In an interview with ESPN.com in 2016, DiBiase revealed that he and Jones had a falling out over Jones booking independent wrestling shows for the two without DiBiase's knowledge, which led to DiBiase unknowingly no-showing the events. DiBiase had to apologize to the promotions for the unintentional no-shows and had to stress that Jones doesn't represent him for bookings.
He appeared on the "Old School" episode of The Edge and Christian Show on the WWE Network in 2016.
In July 2017, Virgil appeared on a live broadcast of Jim Norton & Sam Roberts in Montreal, Canada on SiriusXM.
On December 1, 2017, he wrestled a match in Blackpool UK at a PCW event held at the Blackpool Tower Circus.
On May 7th, 2020, Virgil appeared on a live auction at Game Vault in Uniontown, PA. Virgil was joined by soon to be Vault Championship Wrestling Champ "Mean" Mark Lincoln and owner Boss Dawson. On September 10, 2020, Virgil was signed to a deal making him Boss Dawson's bodyguard.
On December 20, 2020, Boss Dawson once again recruited Virgil for the Game Vault online auction. While Vigil has become a regular guest on the show, this time he was dressed as Santa Claus. After spending the day livestreaming surprise visits to several families in their homes, Virgil and Dawson sold limited edition autographed photos of Virgil outside of the Olive Garden in Uniontown Pennsylvania, dressed as Santa Claus, eating a breadstick.