Former ROH champion and Northeast independent standout Xavier has died at the age of 42.
The news of his passing was first reported by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com with no further details available yet.
Xavier, real name John Bedoya, trained under Tony DeVito and branched out to become a staple in the Northeast for promotions such as USA Xtreme Wrestling, Ultimate Championship Wrestling, and Impact Championship Wrestling (ICW) among others.
While wrestling for ICW, he won their heavyweight title three times and won their tag titles with partner Christopher Daniels.
Xavier was frequently attached to Low Ki as a hot rivalry they took to many places. Xavier became Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) light heavyweight champion in August 2001 defeating Low Ki in a three-way match that involved Homicide.
It was a ladder match between Low Ki and Xavier at the Elk’s Lodge in June 2001 in New York that is fondly remembered. Gabe Sapolsky noted the influence the match provided:
Xavier vs Low Ki in a ladder match at the old Elk’s Lodge was one of the matches that inspired the birth of ROH. Really sad to hear of his passing. Condolences to his friends and family.
He started doing WWF tapings in early 2002 with Cagematch listing his first appearance on the January 7, 2002 taping of Jakked at Madison Square Garden losing to Perry Saturn. On that night, if you were in attendance for the matches before Raw you would have seen Brock Lesnar vs. Rico Constantino and Randy Orton vs. Ron Waterman in dark matches followed by matches on Jakked with Shane Helms vs. Funaki, Crash Holly vs. Prince Nana, Saturn vs. Xavier, and Christian vs. Low Ki.
In the following years, he would continue to do WWE tapings including losing to Bill DeMott on an episode of Velocity when he was ROH champion.
He was part of Ring of Honor from its infancy, working the inaugural show in February 2002 defeating Scoot Andrews at the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia.
He was polarizing to the fanbase after defeating Low Ki in September 2002 to become the promotion’s second world champion.
As champion, he joined The Prophecy led by Christopher Daniels as Xavier held the title until March 2003 dropping it to Samoa Joe and kicking off Joe’s all-time great run that truly established the title. Years later, the attitude towards Xavier would change but there was a negative attitude from some people not believing he was of the caliber of top talent ROH was promoting even though he had a lot of strong buzz prior to ROH.
Xavier returned to ROH that summer and joined The Embassy and would continue working for ROH until mid-2004 when he sustained an injury. He returned in February 2006 losing to ROH champion Bryan Danielson and did another match the following year in a four-way elimination match against Jack Evans, Shingo Takagi, and Jimmy Jacobs.
In 2006, he worked for Northeast Wrestling and won their heavyweight title and held it for sixteen months.
Xavier transitioned out of pro wrestling towards the end of the decade and began training in MMA.
He was scheduled to wrestle at ROH’s Past vs. Present event this past March in Las Vegas against Jay Lethal, but the show was canceled that week due to the pandemic.
We send our condolences to the family and friends of Bedoya.