Matthew Keith Irvine (born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on December 2, 1979), known professionally as XS3, is a Canadian retired professional wrestler, best known for his 12-year tenure with Soul Wrestling Incorporated. He also competed as his alter ego Exemplar.
After first rising to prominence in the Kritical Wrestling Alliance, XS3 joined SWI and became one of the company's top stars, winning the SWI World Championship a record-tying three times, the SWI North American Championship once, and the SWI World Tag Team Championship four times. XS3 is the first ever Triple Crown Champion, and holds the record for completing it in the shortest amount of time (311 days). XS3 is also the only wrestler to have won an award in each of the four male categories of the SWI Awards, and is one of two men (the other being Tannark Fisher) that has been with the company since its first show. Due to his dedication, moments, and connection with the fans, XS3 is referred to by the nickname Mr. SWI. XS3 is also known for his time with Alpha Championship Wrestling, where he is a former ACW Tag Team Champion. He is one of the inaugural inductees into the SWI Hall of Fame.
Early history and KWA (2000 - 2006)Edit
Matthew Keith Irvine was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on December 2nd, 1979 to Albert (August 8, 1946 - March 17, 2017) and Julie (May 6, 1947 - June 2, 1983) Irvine, who passed away from breast cancer when Matthew was only three. Matthew soon began watching wrestling to fill the void, and decided to become a professional wrestler. After undergoing some training at Border City Wrestling in Windsor, Ontario in 1999, Matthew would debut on the independent circuit one year later as Xavier Stevens the Third. He had a fair amount of success, working in Japan doing some dark matches for Pro Wrestling NOAH. In 2004, Matthew joined forces with his half-brother Punished Fox, Ken Dante, Genocide, Maximus Dungeon, and Mr. Yasha to create Demon Inc.
His first big break finally came when he joined the Kritical Wrestling Alliance in February 2005, shortening his ring name to XS3. During his time, he held the KWA Grand Prix and Transcontinental Championships, and was considered a top contender to the KWA World Heavyweight Championship towards the end of 2005. XS3 challenged Venom for the title in an I Quit match at Zero:Hour, but lost due to the interference of Klown. XS3 has gone on record saying that this was the best match of his career. XS3 left KWA on good terms in April 2006, a month before the company folded.
Soul Wrestling IncorporatedEdit
Debut, Demon Inc., and Lakeside's Most Wanted (2005 - 2006)Edit
Having been impressed with XS3's previous work in KWA and his brief time with DCW, Jonathan Rembrandt signed XS3 and his Demon Inc. stablemates to SWI contracts. XS3 and Fox competed in the main event of the first show on June 8 in a losing effort to The Ministry. The stable spent the next few months competing in the tag team division and chasing the SWI World Tag Team Championship before quietly disbanding in November 2005. That month, XS3 formed a new alliance with his old partner Ben Drinkin to create Lakeside's Most Wanted. On December 28, the duo defeated The Ministry for the SWI World Tag Team Championship, holding onto the title for two months before losing the titles to The Ministry in a Tables match. Following the match, Lakeside's Most Wanted went their separate ways.
World Champion and feud with The Ministry (2006)Edit
A week after the split, XS3 announced that he was focusing on his singles career and set his sights on Arn Allen and the SWI World Championship, citing it was his destiny to become world champion and pay tribute to his mother. XS3 later won a number one contender's match that night. After coming up short in a triple threat match involving Overkill, XS3 defeated Allen with the X-Cavation on the final weekly pay-per-view to win the SWI World Championship, fulfilling his destiny in the process. XS3 successfully defended his title over the months against the likes of Allen, Overkill, his pupil Joey McFarlane, and SP Robertson. XS3 retained his title at SWI's first PPV, Independence, in the first ever Versus the World match.
XS3 then entered a feud with the Ministry, defending the title against Necrosphere and Ken Davids in a triple threat match at Disasterpiece. The following week on Apocalypse, The Ministry attacked XS3's wife Christine, making the rivalry more personal than before. At Unholy Confessions, XS3 teamed with Perro Loco to defend the SWI World Championship against The Ministry. The stipulation was that whoever pinned XS3 would win the SWI World Championship, or whoever pinned Perro would win the SWI North American Championship. Necrosphere utilized underhanded tactics to pin XS3 and win the SWI World Championship for the second time. XS3 challenged Necrosphere a month later at Betrayal, but was pinned at the same time he forced Necrosphere to submit to the X-Hilaration. The title was declared vacant after the match. XS3 finally got his revenge by defeating Necrosphere in a Lumberjack match at Kill or Be Killed.
Triple Crown Champion, Joey McFarlane, and World Champion (2006 - 2008)Edit
On the following episode of Apocalypse, XS3 defeated Ken Davids in the first round of the World Title Tournament, winning the SWI North American Championship in the process. The victory made XS3 the first ever Triple Crown Champion of SWI. He lost the title a month later to Chris Cool, beginning a feud with the C.A.R.. XS3 teamed with Joey McFarlane at Destiny Fulfilled to defeat the C.A.R. and win the SWI World Tag Team Championship for the second time. The duo would defend the titles against the C.A.R. and The Ministry before losing them to C-Code & MC Bob at Questions Unanswered.
XS3 then feuded with the returning Ben Drinkin, defeating him in a Street Fight at Renewal. In August, XS3 and Joey then challenged Trinity for the SWI World Tag Team Championship at Unholy Confessions, but lost. Joey turned on XS3 after the match and viciously attacked him before delivering the Final Fate to Christine onto XS3. The following week, Joey explained that he was tired of living in XS3's shadow and wanted to make a name for himself in SWI. Joey defeated XS3 in a Falls Count Anywhere match at Betrayal, then threw him off of the stage after the match. At Kill or Be Killed: The Final Chapter, XS3 teamed with CK Miles and old rival Necrosphere to defeat Trinity and Joey McFarlane, pinning Joey after a Shadow Step.
At Challenging Adversity, XS3 teamed with Davids to face Joey and Rainmaster. Davids walked out on XS3 and let him get pinned by Rainmaster. This led to XS3 challenging Davids for the SWI World Championship, although Davids continually avoided XS3's challenges. XS3 challenged for the title at Independence, but the match went to a no-contest. XS3 then defeated Davids in the Versus the World match at Disasterpiece to win the title, becoming the first challenger to win the title in the Versus the World match. XS3 successfully defended the title for the rest of the year against Davids, Edgemaster, Rainmaster, and Joey. XS3 then surrendered the title just in time for SWI's reboot.
SWI return, feud with Besser, and hiatus (2009 - 2011)Edit
Upon SWI's 2009 return, XS3 defeated Giant Shiba at Beginning Anew: The Rebirth. XS3 then feuded with Jotun, with the two exchanging victories over each other. XS3 defeated Jotun in a two out of three falls match at Rise of the Forces. XS3 then lost to newcomer Monty James at Questions Unanswered as well as a 4-on-1 gauntlet match against the European Union at Disasterpiece. In June, to celebrate his departure from ACW, XS3 cut his long hair short, though he later grew it back by the time he had returned in 2011. During this time, XS3's long-time indy rival Mr. Besser had won the SWI World Championship at Independence and slowly managed to gain enough power to take control of SWI. Besser appointed XS3 as his assistant, claiming he would fire him if he refused to comply with his orders.
Besser then appointed XS3 as the special ringside enforcer for his title defense against Rainmaster at Betrayal. Towards the end of the match, XS3 showed his loyalty to SWI by hitting Besser with a chair when the referee was down and allowing Rainmaster to win the title and end Besser's reign of terror. Jonathan Rembrandt then returned to power, stripping Besser of his authority and relieving XS3 of his duties to his rival. Besser defeated XS3 at Broken Chains, but XS3 gained revenge by defeating Besser in a brutal Texas Deathmatch. Besser left the company soon after, and XS3 took an extended hiatus from SWI. XS3 was supposed to make his return at Disasterpiece as a part of the Versus the World match, but instead chose to undergo surgery to correct his nagging neck injuries, delaying his return for another five to six months. XS3 made one more appearance for ACW's farewell show, then signed a contract with the Premiere Wrestling Alliance, leaving his future with SWI in doubt.
Return, World title shots, and Commissioner (2011 - 2012)Edit
At Challenging Adversity 2011, XS3 returned as the surprise opponent for CK Miles, whom he defeated. XS3 entered the All-Star Tournament a month later (which would then be contested for the vacant SWI World Championship), but was defeated in the finals by Hitman of the Gods after the Monstourage interfered. XS3 challenged Hitman at Renewal in a triple threat match involving Monty James. Monty pinned Hitman to win the title, but a stipulation that stated whoever did not get beaten would receive a title match the following month at Independence made XS3 the number one contender. At Independence, Monty defeated XS3 in a match that went on for almost forty minutes. The match was voted SWI Match of the Year by the fans.
On the following Apocalypse, Jonathan Rembrandt announced that XS3 was taking over as the Commissioner of SWI. On the March 31st episode of Apocalypse, Monty James attacked XS3 with a steel chair, starting a feud between the two. He returned two weeks later with Christine to attack Monty and Kennedy Carson. Monty defeated XS3 in a No DQ match at Questions Unanswered, then again at Renewal when Monty and Kennedy defeated XS3 and Christine. XS3 finally managed to defeated Monty at Independence, this time in an I Quit match.
On September 1, Rembrandt and his recently formed group The Unrest attacked XS3, with Rembrandt firing him and reclaiming his spot as on-screen commissioner. XS3 returned on November 3 to save Tannark Fisher and Bad Attitude Inc. from an attack by The Unrest. At Broken Chains, The Unrest defeated Blackwolf, XS3, Tannark, and Bad Attitude Inc. At Destiny Fulfilled, XS3 and Tannark defeated Rembrandt and Colossus Rhodes in a match where Rembrandt put his commissionership on the line. XS3 hit Rembrandt with the Shadow Step, allowing Tannark to pin him after the 602, ending The Unrest's reign of terror. After the match, XS3 introduced old rival Ken Davids as the new commissioner of SWI.
Teaming with Tannark and World title chase (2013 - 2014)Edit
Following Destiny Fulfilled, XS3 continued teaming with Tannark, feuding with Waylon Kenney and Frankie Starr, having recently formed Starrway Enterprises, who then proceeded to add KWA legend Carter Starr to their group. XS3 then faced Carter Starr at Challenging Adversity, but lost. XS3 made amends with Monty and The Unrest throughout 2013, teaming with them and Tannark to defeat Starrway Enterprises at Questions Unanswered. At Unholy Confessions, XS3 and Tannark won their first SWI World Tag Team Championship together, defeating Jeffy and Daniel Ness. XS3 then entered the second annual Destiny Fulfilled Tournament, defeating Waylon Kenney and Andreas Trinidad before losing to Tannark in the finals.
After a long-running feud with The Callahans, Tannark and XS3 lost the titles to them following Starrway Enterprises attacking Tannark before the match, leaving XS3 to get pinned by The Callahans following an attack by Carter Starr. XS3 challenged for the World title at Destiny Fulfilled in a High Stakes match; him and Tannark eliminated Carter, but Tannark wound up winning the match. On the following episode of Apocalypse, XS3 announced he was going on an extended hiatus, following numerous unsuccessful attempts at regaining the World title. He returned on the May 3 episode and defeated Jarod Barnes the following week with Christine once again at his side. That night, XS3 was named #1 contender to the World title for Renewal, but was attacked by Bad Attitude Inc. XS3 then teamed with Tannark two weeks later to face Bad Attitude Inc. in a losing effort. On June 21, while teaming with Tannark in a match against The Unregulars, XS3 tore his left ACL. XS3 was able to finish the match, but had to miss four to six months due to injury.
Exemplar and World Champion (2015 - present) Edit
XS3 made his return on January 3, helping members of the SWI roster beat down Waylon Kenney. After saving Kayla Stevens from B. Randall Morrison and Jordan Newport, XS3 debuted his Exemplar character for the first time in SWI on January 17, once again saving Kayla from another attack. Exemplar and Kayla then defeated Morrison and Newport at Beginning Anew. XS3 then won a #1 Contender's match at Renewal, finally managing to defeat Tannark in a match involving Jeffy to earn a World title match at Independence 10. On June 6, he was announced as the first inductee into the SWI Hall of Fame.
At Independence 10, XS3 defeated Blackwolf to win the SWI World Championship for a record-tying third time and his first reign in six and a half years. XS3 retained the title in the Versus the World match at Versus the World, then against Blackwolf at Unholy Confessions. XS3 then retained the title against Morrison at Betrayal. XS3 lost the title to Daniel Ness at Kill or Be Killed in a 2/3 Tables match, following interference from Blackwolf. XS3 then challenged for the title at Broken Chains in a triple threat match involving Blackwolf, but was unsuccessful when Ness pinned Blackwolf after XS3's Shadow Step. His feud with Blackwolf concluded at Destiny Fulfilled, when he faced Blackwolf under his Exemplar persona in a winning effort.
XS3 later received an SWI World Championship match against Andreas Trinidad at Beginning Anew, but lost by submission for the first time in SWI when he tapped out to Andreas' Brooklyn Bridge crossface. XS3 then reignited his feud with Ben Drinkin, with Ben managing to defeat XS3 for the first time at Rise of the Forces. XS3 later teamed with a slew of partners such as Tannark Fisher, Manzer, Truth & Freedom, Benjamin Collier, Keiji Satoshi, and Ashley Neon to feud with the Drinkin Clan over the next few months, including a victory at Independence 11. The feud with the Drinkin Clan continued into the fall, including XS3 teaming with the newly rechristened Samuel Sheppard. At Broken Chains, XS3 took RH Marius' spot in an eight man tag match against the Drinkin Clan alongside Kyle Madden, Samuel Sheppard, and Kayla Stevens, with XS3's team coming out on top. XS3 then defeated Ben in a Loser Leaves SWI Street Fight at Destiny Fulfilled, ending his feud with Ben. XS3's feud with the Drinkin Clan ultimately concluded a month later at Beginning Anew, when he defeated Fat Tony Drinkin. XS3 then took a hiatus in February to care for his ailing father, who would later pass away the following month. XS3 then appeared on the April 8 episode of Apocalypse, saying that he needed to spend some time with his family and promised to be back for Independence 12 one way or another.
Reuniting with Tannark and retirement (2017) Edit
XS3 made his return at Independence 12 as promised, teaming with the returning Tannark Fisher to defeat The Unregulars and win the SWI World Tag Team Championship, which was both their fourth reign individually and their second together. The two defended the titles over the months against The Unregulars, Damage Inc., and Rock n' Roll Angels before losing the titles to The Besser Brothers on October 21. During this time, both men entered the Destiny Fulfilled Tournament, with XS3 defeating Carlos on September 9, then defeating Fat Tony in the semifinals. In the finals at Kill or Be Killed, he and Andreas Trinidad fought to a double pin-submission, when XS3 had countered Andreas' Brooklyn Bridge into a pin but wound up submitting at the same time. As a result, both men were declared winners of the tournament, and would move on to face Trent Radical for the SWI World Championship at Destiny Fulfilled.
During this time, XS3 began a side feud with Tannark, who was jealous that XS3 had gotten another World title shot over him and was desperate to get back into the title picture. The two faced off on November 25 with the stipulation that if Tannark won, he would enter the World title match at Destiny Fulfilled. XS3 lost the match and Tannark was added, turning it into a Fatal Four Way. At Destiny Fulfilled, XS3 was pinned by Radical after the Code Rad. Following the match, XS3 presented the belt to Radical and announced his legitimate retirement.
Sporadic appearances (2018 - present) Edit
XS3 made his first appearance since his retirement at Independence 13, giving a speech on how proud he was to have competed for SWI. XS3 then served as the guest referee for the World title match between Kyle Madden and Benjamin Collier at Destiny Fulfilled, subduing Collier's manager Alexander Morse with a Shadow Step.
Alpha Championship Wrestling (2005 - 2011; 2015)Edit
After a brief stint as Hitman's manager in late 2005, XS3 joined Alpha Championship Wrestling in May 2006. He teamed with Punished Fox as Demon Inc v2 on May 11, facing Flower Power for the ACW Tag Team Championship in a losing effort. Fox later joined the Fallout brand, while XS3 stayed on with ACW. After a feud with Logan Locke, XS3 bounced back and forth from ACW and Fallout before joining ACW in a more permanent capacity in January 2007. The following month, XS3 feuded with Thunderkiss over his treatment of XS3's family, leading to an infamous on-and-off rivalry that would last for three years. After teaming with Christine to defeat Thunderkiss and Joanna Garland in a Critical Custody match, XS3 took a brief hiatus from ACW to concentrate on SWI.
After returning at Spring into Hell, XS3 turned heel for the first time in his career and joined Thunderkiss and Jay Zero in forming the Entourage. It was during this time that XS3 developed the gimmick of the "Failed Artist", a bitter pessimist who went into detail about who he hated. After another hiatus, XS3 left the Entourage and feuded with Thunderkiss once more, defeating him on Fallout in February 2008. XS3 then left to heal up an injury while concentrating on SWI once again during their Underground Era. XS3 returned in August as a face, forming the Road Steelers (RSX3) with Jake Steele and Thunder Train. It was during this time that XS3 began assuming another identity named Exemplar, which was based on the persona used to trick Thunderkiss when XS3 departed the Entourage. This identity included the use of a mask, more verbose and heroic speech patterns, and a more aggressive wrestling style.
XS3 and Train would go on to win the ACW Tag Team Championship in November of that year. After losing the titles to Thunderkiss and Fallen Souls, XS3 turned heel once more and feuded with Jake Steele for the ACW World Championship, but came up short in winning. XS3 soon left in May 2009. XS3 returned in February 2010 as a face to challenge Chris Phenomenal for the ACW World Championship, but was unsuccessful and left the company once again in June. XS3 appeared at the final ACW show Goodbye Game, teaming with The Drinkin Boyz to defeat Edgemaster and Damage Inc.
It was announced in 2015 that ACW would hold a one-off show entitled "Overtime" on March 1. XS3 was announced for the show, and would be facing Echo. However, the event did not go forward as planned, and XS3 soon announced that he would not take part in future ACW-related events.
Matthew's older brother Parker Irvine was also a wrestler, briefly competing in SWI. Matthew's parents adopted Anthony Thompson when he was born. Matthew is also the uncle of Lauren Terry, who presently works for SWI as their backstage interviewer.
Matthew first married Kelly Garland on June 4, 2003, but her drug use and his schedule ended the marriage months later. Matthew took custody of her kids from a previous marriage, Samantha Rae (August 24, 1993 - June 18, 2007) and Kira Jane (May 17, 1995 - June 18, 2007). Kelly died from an overdose on October 26. Matthew then married his second wife Kirsten Holmes on January 19, 2005. Kirsten was murdered on July 15 in the couple's home in Maple Creek by Robert "Hatchet" McAdams. The murder was turned into a storyline in ACW, and XS3 defeated Hatchet before he went to prison. On August 20, 2005, Matthew met Christine Leon and the two were married on November 25 of that year. The couple have since had two children together, Corey Scott (February 15, 2009) and Kayla Jade (March 1, 2011).
On June 18, 2007, Matthew's brother Parker and his foster daughters Samantha and Kira were killed in a car accident.
From its formation in June 2006 all the way to his departure in March 2013, Matthew was the frontman for the melodic death metal band Demon Inc., which was formed by all six members of the original wrestling stable. The band released three albums before breaking up in January 2014.
- Finishing moves
- Maple Leaf Vice (D'arce choke with alligator roll) (2008 - 2017)
- Shadow Step
- Winds of Destiny (Military press into diamond cutter) (2000 - 2005, used rarely thereafter)
- X-Cavation / Fool's Inquest (Rolling cross STF) (2006 - 2008, 2012 - 2017)
- X-Hilaration (Anaconda vice) (2006 - 2007, 2016 - 2017)
- Trademark moves
- Alley oop bomb
- Back suplex hold
- Burning Cradle / Winds of Destiny Pt. 2 (Torture rack into swinging sidewalk slam)
- Closing Moment (Belly to belly overhead suplex)
- Complete shot
- Destiny Redefined (Single leg Boston crab with knee pressed into back)
- Diving body splash
- Double arm DDT
- Double leg takedown
- Fear Factor (Evenflow DDT, adopted from his brother Nightmare) (2015 - 2017)
- Final Fate (One hand suplex into powerslam)
- Flying forearm shot
- Half nelson slam
- The New Game (Bearhug with hammerlock) (2009 - 2017)
- Northern lights suplex
- Phoenix Pounce (No-hand suicide plancha)
- Rage of the Storm (Tornado DDT) (2004 - 2005)
- Ralph Klein Special / Hardship (Second rope diving bulldog)
- Rear naked choke
- Running elbow drop
- Sleeper hold slam
- Spinning side kick
- Swinging spinebuster
- X-Rated Frog Splash (Frog splash with arms crossed) (2004 - 2005)
- "The Exemplar"
- "The Destined One"
- "The Lone Warrior"
- "Mr. SWI"
- Entrance themes
- "My Band" by D12 (used while teaming with Demon Inc.) (June 8, 2005 - October 19, 2005)
- "Live Wire" by Motley Crue (used while teaming with Ben Drinkin) (October 26, 2005 - February 15, 2006)
- "Toxicity" by System of a Down (February 22, 2006 - December 27, 2009)
- "Nothing Left" by As I Lay Dying (February 27, 2011 - May 11, 2013)
- "Witchtripper" by Down (May 18, 2013 - December 31, 2017)
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Alpha Championship Wrestling
- ACW Tag Team Champion (1 time) - with Thunder Train
- Best Stable Award (2007) - Entourage
- International Championship Wrestling
- ICW X-Treme Champion (1 time)
- Kritical Wrestling Alliance
- KWA Grand Prix Champion (1 time)
- KWA Transcontinental Champion (1 time)
- Maple Leaf Wrestling Alliance
- MLWA Canadian Television Champion (1 time)
- Soul Wrestling Incorporated
- SWI World Championship (4 times)
- SWI World Tag Team Championship (4 times) - with Ben Drinkin (1), Joey McFarlane (1), and Tannark Fisher (2)
- SWI North American Championship (1 time)
- SWI Hall of Fame (Class of 2015)
- Destiny Fulfilled Tournament (2017) - with Andreas Trinidad
- First Triple Crown Champion
- Feud of the Year 2006 - vs. The Ministry
- Match of the Year 2005 - with Ken Davids (July 20)
- Match of the Year 2011 - with Monty James (Independence)
- Match of the Year 2013 - with Carter Starr (Challenging Adversity)
- Tag Team of the Year 2013 - with Tannark Fisher
- Wrestler of the Year 2006
- Wrestler of the Year 2015