Veteran high-flyer Matt Sydal, who had previously competed in WWE under the ring name Evan Bourne, has officially joined the AEW roster.
The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon on AEW's Twitter account, as the company shared a photo of the 37-year-old posing next to the promotion's logo, with the usual phrase confirming a new wrestler's arrival by saying they are "#AllElite."
Prior to his signing, Sydal appeared at the All Out pay-per-view in September, competing in the Casino Battle Royale but risking serious injury during a spot where his foot slipped on the turnbuckle while attempting a Shooting Star Press, as noted by Ringside News. He did, however, remain in the match after the botched move and was one of the final four competitors.Sydal commented on his signing shortly after AEW made it official, taking to Twitter to thank his loved ones and fans for their continued support.
"I did not do this alone. My hard work only worked because of the support I get from my family, friends and fans! 20 years of people helping, teaching and believing in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. Thank you all."The wrestler concluded his post with the Japanese word for "please," adding the words "let's do it for the good of all" in Spanish, per Google Translate.
As noted by Figure Four Weekly, Sydal has made several stopovers during his two decades in the pro-wrestling business, including one in WWE where he partnered with Kofi Kingston to win the company's Tag Team Championships. Following his release from Vince McMahon's promotion in 2014, he competed in various other companies, such as Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and Impact Wrestling.
Following his AEW debut at All Out, Sydal made multiple appearances on the company's web television series Dark, which mostly showcases unsigned wrestlers. He did, however, compete in a pair of matches on Dynamite, where he lost to Eddie Kingston and Brian Cage.
Since its inception early last year, AEW has signed a plethora of former WWE superstars, including major names such as Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose). However, recent reports have suggested that Sydal might not be the only superstar who competed for McMahon in the early 2010s to join the rival promotion. Late last month, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter suggested that AEW president Tony Khan is interested in signing erstwhile Major League Wrestling star Davey Boy Smith Jr. once he becomes available.