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Wrestling / Virgil

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No, he's not a Chippendale. Apparently, this is what bodyguards looked like in The '80s.

Michael "Mike" Jones (April 7, 1951 – February 28, 2024) was an American professional wrestler (or Wrestling Superstar as he would put it, more on that later), most popularly known as Virgil, the pseudonym he used during his most famous run with WWE, where he was the Beleaguered Assistant and bodyguard of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase. That, and for being a bit down on his luck in his later years... but we'll get to that later.

Young Mike Jones cut his teeth in Memphis as Soul Train Jones before he moved to WWE (then the WWF), where he was a Jobber by the name of Lucius Brown. Quickly he was refashioned as Virgil, personal bodyguard to Ted DiBiase during the latter's rise. Virgil frequently interfered in matches on DiBiase's behalf, and occasionally took a beating from the faces to save Teddy's hide. And so it began.

Only seldom did he himself wrestle, but this changed at the Royal Rumble in 1991, where, after constant berating and humiliation from DiBiase, he finally turned on him (to the biggest cheers of his career). He spent 1991 in a much-publicized feud with DiBiase, and being trained by Roddy Piper for the big WrestleMania showdown, but after that feud finally died down towards the end of the year, he became a "Jobber To The Stars" for the remainder of his tenure. His only match of note after his big feud was an 8-man tag match at Wrestlemania VIII, pitting himself, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter and the Big Bossman against The Nasty Boys, the Repo Man and the Mountie.

In 1996, Mike Jones departed for WCW, joining up with the New World Order under the name Vincent, where he assumed his old role and took beatings for his higher-ups in the stable. When the nWo divided itself into the red-and-black "nWo Elite", comprised of the stable's main-eventers, and the black-and-white "nWo B-Team", which lumped together the stable's mid- and low-carders, Vincent was demoted to the latter, and even saw himself in a feud with Stevie Ray (Booker T's brother) for leadership of the faction-within-a-faction. After Vince Russo arrived to the company, he was renamed Shane, and joined up with Russo's group the Powers That Be, with Curt Hennig and the Harris Brothers. He also went through the names Curly Bill (as part of the country-themed West Texas Rednecks) and Mr. Jones (briefly as Ernest "The Cat" Miller's manager, before being replaced by Ms. Jones) before finally wrestling under his real name in the dying days of the company.

As Virgil, he did manage to make a brief return to the WWE in 2010, this time as the bodyguard of Ted DiBiase Jr., but the angle didn't last too long as Junior fired him in favor of his new valet, Maryse. In 2019-2020, he also managed an unlikely comeback in All Elite Wrestling, under his old in-ring name Soul Train Jones, in segments usually involving Chris Jericho and his Inner Circle stable.

Jones has spent much time at fan conventions and on the independent circuit. Unfortunately, he's gone somewhat memetic within wrestling circles in recent years for seeming a bit hard up, most notably this infamous photo of him sitting at an autograph signing. In 2012, he was allegedly spotted in a New York subway station selling his merchandise (at "outrageous prices"). It's gotten to the point where there's now a Tumblr called Lonely Virgil, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In June 2015, Jones created a GoFundMe campaign to help make him a millionaire.

Tropes associated with Virgil / Vincent / Shane / Curly Bill / Soul Train Jones- okay, with Mike Jones in general:

  • Bald of Evil: Depending on whether he was a heel or a face.
  • Battle Butler: As Ted DiBiase's bodyguard, and he fit the trope to a T. He was also briefly the bodyguard of DiBiase's son.
  • Beleaguered Assistant
  • Black Dude Gets Beaten Up First: He was always the first guy in the nWo to get attacked.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Ted DiBiase and the NWO can hold their own pretty fine, but Virgil/Vincent took more beatings anyway.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Justified because of DiBiase's poor treatment. He finally snapped and turned on Ted, leaving Sensational Sherri to administer a beating and take Virgil's place.
  • Butt-Monkey: Sometimes it seems like the guy is the punchline of the wrestling world.
  • Civvie Spandex: Only member of the NWO to wrestle in street clothes.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's a little......out there. His appearances his later years would have him proclaim he had (or wanted to have) "fuck money". Has anyone figured out what "fuck money" even means?
  • Con Man: The scourge of convention halls everywhere, according to Opie & Anthony, OSW, and others.
  • Cool Shades: As Vincent.
  • Downer Ending: His last appearance in WWE was being stuck working as the Mook once more, this time for Junior. After a few weeks, he was unceremoniously fired, and never seen again. Poor guy just can't catch a break.
  • Epic Fail: Virgil straight up asked for a million dollars on GoFundMe, without explaining why he needed or deserved the funds. Most contributed to the ultimate sum (which was barely a thousand) just so they could ridicule him in the donor comments section.
  • Finishing Move:
    • The Million Dollar Dream, an Artifact from his days with DiBiase.
    • As Vincent, he started using an armbar.
  • I Have Many Names: As noted above.
  • Jobber: Has spent most of his career as one. This was lampshaded by Scott Hall, who said that his action figure is more accurate when he's laying down on his back as that was how they saw him most of the time.
  • Legacy Character: Arguably, Orlando Jordan filled the same role when he worked for JBL.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: His nailing DiBiase with the Million Dollar Belt.
  • Mook
  • Older Than They Look: During his life, Virgil claimed his birthdate was June 13, 1962, while in actuality it was April 7, 1951. Nobody ever noticed he's 11 years older than he pretended to be, due to him being in top shape.
  • Only in It for the Money, until...
  • Power Stable: Post-NWO and pre-The Powers That Be, was Curly Bill of the West Texas Rednecks (Curt Hennig, Bobby Duncum Jr., Barry and Kendall Windham).
  • Shout-Out: Is a big fan of Olive Garden, and namedrops the restaurant frequently. He would even get to make a reference to it in his appearance in AEW, comparing Chris Jericho's wrestling abilities to the chain's bread sticks, saying they are both "unlimited".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In the nWo. He had a feud where he was vying for the leadership for one of the group's sub-stables even when it was clear to everyone and their grandma that sub-stable was where all of the nWo's mid-carders and jobbers were lumped together.
  • The Stoic: Virgil/Vincent didn't show much emotion during his days as a bodyguard/nWo Head of Security.
  • Take That!: The name "Virgil" was a jab at Dusty Rhodes; for those not in the know, Dusty's real name was Virgil Runnels. This tradition was continued in WCW where he was renamed "Vincent", and then "Shane". Starting to notice a pattern?
    • "Virgil" was meant quite affectionately, as Ted DiBiase had known Dusty for years (apparently, they were roommates in college) and thought he'd have a laugh naming his butler after his old friend.
  • Totally Radical: His WWF entrance theme.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: On the August 20, 1998 WCW Thunder, Bobby Heenan asked, "What does Vincent do?"
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: He was the nWo's head of security, but because he was a jobber and an egomaniac, he sucked at his job. In real life, he ekes out a living as a math teacher. Somewhat subverted as his role was usually a bodyguard rather than a wrestler.