For six years, Matt Sydal competed in the WWE under the name Evan Bourne. During that time, Sydal was known for his high-flying exhibition, particularly his picture-perfect Shooting Star press. While competing for WWE, Sydal made his name in ECW, but experienced the biggest achievement of his career in the company after winning the WWE Tag Team Championships with Kofi Kingston as a part of Air Bourne.
Unfortunately, Sydal would suffer a series of injuries that would leave his career in the WWE in jeopardy. Eventually, he was released from the company in 2014.
While appearing on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show, Bourne has this to say about his time in WWE.
“Man, I was really lucky. I got to work with some amazing, brilliant people. I learned a lot. I don’t want to say I know a lot about this business, but I think I know a lot about this business and that’s because I spent so much time in WWE. I got to just sit around and talk with so many incredible, brilliant minds in this business, and so many guys helped me out when I was there. Yeah, I had a great time.”
Sydal was recently asked whether he has interest in returning to WWE any time soon. Sydal responded, “I prefer [New Japan].”
During his run with New Japan, Sydal experienced one of the best times of his career. While only there for a short period of time, Sydal quickly became one of the most popular stars of the junior heavyweight division. Even when he debuted, he aligned with one of the greatest names in New Japan Pro Wrestling history, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and defeated the Bullet Club’s Tama Tonga and Bad Luke Fale at the Destruction in Okayaka event.
After unsuccessfully challenging Kenny Omega for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, Sydal started to team with Ricochet. The team would defeat three of the top teams in NJPW, the Time Splitters, the Young Bucks, and Roppongi Vice, to win the 2015 Super Jr. Tag Tournament. The following February, at The New Beginning in Osaka, they defeated reDRagon and the Young Bucks in a triple threat match to become IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. The team would win it a second time just a few months later at Wrestling Dontaku 2016, before losing it in a four-way match to the Young Bucks at Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall in June. Sydal would also win the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions with Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima just a few weeks after losing the junior tag titles.
Unfortunately, for Sydal, his title was stripped of him and success halted due to an arrest in September of last year. F4WOnline reported that “Sydal was arrested at the Kansai International Airport on September 23rd after a flight to Japan. Sydal was allegedly caught with slightly over two grams of liquid cannabis that was contained in a hidden pipe, as well as a pipe attached to an electronic cigarette.”
If Sydal would return to WWE, he would fit great as a part of either NXT or the Cruiserweight division. From his success in the junior heavyweight division in New Japan, a top competitor on 205 Live would be very beneficial to the show, especially since the show and division are in need of more star power.
Unfortunately, from his history of drug possession, Sydal’s career in the WWE may never happen again. If not, returns to Ring of Honor and/or NJPW would continue to cement the career of Sydal as being one of the best high flyers who has ever stepped foot in a pro wrestling ring.
[Featured Image By WWE]