John Jirus, known primarily in his career as "Xavier", and the second man to hold the ROH World championship, has died at the age of 43, according to a report from Mike Johnson of PWInsider. No cause of death has been given.
A pro beginning in 1997, Jirus wrestled on Ring of Honor's first-ever event in February of 2002, defeating Florida-based talent Scoot Andrews. That September, Jirus defeated Low Ki to become the promotion's second-ever World champion.
He reigned with the title for six months, defeating the likes of Jay Briscoe, AJ Styles, and Paul London, before succumbing to Samoa Joe in March of 2003.
Jirus worked for ROH off and on into 2007. A veteran of the northeastern independent scene, Jirus won championships in the East Coast Wrestling Association, Northeast Wrestling, and Jersey All Pro Wrestling, among other promotions.
Between 2003 and 2007, Jirus wrestled a handful of matches for WWE, oftentimes as an enhancement talent on weekend series Velocity. He also appeared as an extra for several angles.
Jirus only wrestled sporadically over the past decade. His last known match took place in October 2016 for ICW No Holds Barred in New York City.
As Xavier, Jirus was scheduled to take part at ROH Past vs. Present earlier this year, before the pandemic halted everything. He answered the challenge for a match with fellow former ROH champ Jay Lethal.
Cultaholic offers its condolences to Mr. Jirus' family and friends.