Evan "Air" BourneMatthew Joseph Korklan
(born March 19, 1983), known by his ring name of Matt Sydal
, is a backyard wrestler
turned professional wrestler who is best known for his work in World Wrestling Entertainment as Evan Bourne
. Well before WWE
though he was known for being the first person to obtain a wrestler's license in the state of Missouri at the age of 17, 18 usually being required. His pro debut came in Gateway Championship Wrestling but he is also known for stints in several other promotions, such as Dragon Gate
and Ring of Honor
. His WWE debut took place in 2008 when he was 25 and an 8 year veteran by then with the now-defunct ECW brand. Famous for his ability to excite crowds with a dazzling array of high-flying maneuvers, the young veteran of age 31 won his first WWE tag team championship
along side fellow flier Kofi Kingston
, becoming the team known as "Air-Boom".
He is a former high school wrestler and has trained in martial arts and gymnastics. In Dragon Gate he was the first gaijin to win Open The Brave Gate Championship
. He became a one time Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champion
and a WWE slammy winner for "best finishing move" in 2008 for his shooting star press.
He was released by the WWE in June 2014 but did not stop wrestling, reappearing in Dragon Gate in July of the same year and going on to work at Dreamwave, Evolve, Northeast Wrestling, Ring Of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerilla
Tropes associated with Evan Bourne include:
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: He got really cocky after he and Christopher Daniels won the Ring Of Honor World Tag Team Championships, following his sabbatical in Dragon Gate.
- Arch-Enemy: Mike Knox and Zack Ryder during his ECW run, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler, and Primo and Epico. On the indies, Delirious.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: In NSW (and to a lesser extent, ROH), he was a baby face despite it. He called out his intentions during a match and was no where near as big or strong as he thought he was but Matt Sydal often did manage to overcome improbable odds anyway.
- Always Someone Better: That someone for Sydal is AJ Styles
- Badass Bookworm/Hidden Depths: Mentioned in WWE magazine interview his interest in Quantum Mechanics/Physics. Also majored in business and marketing.
- Bash Brothers: Formerly with Daizee Haze who helped him win back the NWA Midwest X division championship from Delirious by pinning MsChif in a winner takes all tag match. She would later turn on him for the ROH Embassy though, after which he found himself in this role with Christopher Daniels. Kofi Kingston serves as this in the WWE.
- Battle Couple: Briefly with Gail Kim.
- Big Damn Heroes: During the four way dance of GCW Adults F-N Only 5 MsChif, Delirious and Outtkast all ganged up on Matt's Operation Shamrock partner, Ryan Ash, leading Matt to forcibly insert himself into the match.
- Black Best Friend: Had this with Kofi Kingston whom he was Tag Team Champions with, and with Mark Henry. He is close friends with Kofi in real life too.
- Breakup Breakout: Matt Sydal is the biggest name to come out of Operation Shamrock. Given his role in Dragon Gate and later, WWE, Evan Bourne is really the breakout of Gateway Championship Wrestling. The only names as widespread as his are those who had established themselves already, such as Kid Kash. There are several talents from GCW worth looking at if you are a wrestling fan mind you, you'll just have to look harder if you want to see them.
- The Bus Came Back: Immediately returned to TV when his first suspension was up. He never came back after his second suspension was up due to be being released after nearly 2 and a half year of inactivity due him being in an accident a few days his suspension was up, and broke his foot in four places and dislocated it in five, which could be career threatening even if it's healed properly. Sydal's career continued.
- Calling Your Attacks: Matt Sydal was known for doing this, especially if the name of the move was on one of his shirts.
- Cameo: As a hooded audience member on Shimmer volume one, that is unless you saw the show live or bought the non rental version of the DVD and got to see Matt's "dark match".
- Cast from Hit Points: Like most high flyers, the ends of his maneuvers tend to take something out of him, too.
- Combat Commentator: For IWA Mid-South
- Crowd Song and Crowd Chant: "Fuck Em Up Matt, Fuck Em Up" and "Matt's Hardcore" at the GCW shows ("adult" and "family" respectively), didn't catch on elsewhere.
- A Day in the Limelight: His feud with Chris Jericho is one of the very few time he's been given any sort of a push. Same can be said for when he won the Tag Team titles with Kofi, their reign might have been more memorable if he hadn't gotten busted for smoking pot.
- Demoted to Extra: Whenever he is getting a push and put in program to elevate him, he always get dropped down again. It looked to be averted when he and Kofi became Tag Team Champs, they where even allowed to keep the titles after he was suspended the first time, but after getting suspended a second time, this time for 60 days, they lost their titles at a house show to Primo and Epico.
- Enemy Mine: After making it two the final elimination match of the NWA Wild Side Super Indy Challenge, Matt Sydal's knee jerk reaction to seeing Delirious was to dive at him over the top rope and beat him up on the outside. However, after Matt was eliminated by Jimmy Rave, he and Daizee Haze took up steel chairs to prevent the also eliminated Fast Eddie and Sal Rinauro from interfering in the match and costing Delirious the win.
- He mentioned being an expy of Rey Mysterio and Sabu when he was a backyard wrestler.
- Cleaner wrestling style wise to Jeff Hardy. Maybe not so much lifestyle wise as he's been suspended twice for smoking synthetic marijuana.
- Small, natural underdog wrestler, clean-cut, almost boyish looks, he has a very optimistic personality. - all seemingly traits of a perpetual babyface. But you never know...
- He played a heel in Wrestling Society X. But it's not happening again any time soon. He played a heel lots of times in other organizations, such as ROH while he was with Christopher Daniels and Larry Sweeny. Matt Sydal's heel runs are largely restricted to tag teams or stables rather than individual efforts, at least runs where he got over as a heel.
- Fat and Skinny: His tag team with Mark Henry.
- Finishing Move
- The "Air Bourne", a huge Shooting Star Press.
- More awesome because he's presently one of the only people in the WWE to be permitted to use that move at all, as it's normally banned due to how dangerous it is. Bourne is just so skilled that he's able to pull it off consistently enough to convince them to let him use it.
- Also Aftershock (Gory neckbreaker similar to the widows peak) Cyclorama (Belly to belly moonsault slam) Double Helix (Springboard corkscrew moonsault) and "Here It Is" (Pumphandle half nelson driver)
- Fire-Forged Friends: How he ended up in tag teams with former rivals Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles
- Fragile Speedster: On GCW episode 36, Matt's weight was announced as "allegedly over 100lbs". Bourne's not likely to out-muscle anyone else on the roster. He makes his living by being faster than the other guy. Also a bit susceptible to injuries, both in and out of Kayfabe.
- Game-Breaking Injury: His various injuries that has put him out action. He dislocated and tore his deltoid ligament in his right ankle in 2008 after landing on it badly. Required shoulder surgery in 2010, so he was written out due to an attack from CM Punk. In 2012 he was in an accident and broke his foot in four places and dislocated it in five other. And this was just days after his second suspension was up. After this he disappeared from TV for 2 1/2 years before he was released in June 2014.
- Glass Cannon: Is unfortunately injury prone.
- Gosh Darnit To Heck: Even on GCW's "Adult" shows, Matt tried to keep his language clean to make sure he offended no one who might otherwise buy his shirt.
- Hope Spot/Not So Fast Bucko: Was the victim of this some time back with Randy Orton. After gotten RKO'ed by Randy after their win over Edge and Chris Jericho the week before, Bourne decided on some revenge. Things went... Well see for yourself.
- I Got Bigger: Not by much but Evan Bourne has grown two inches and gained at least thirty pounds over the course of his career, 190 being his max "I need this bulk because I'm really going to get beat up soon" weight, an over sixty pound gain but 160 being his average.
- I Have Many Names: he's mentioned he doesn't mind what fans call him. He started out as Sydal in his own backyard wrestler fed based off of Sabu who was homicidal, genocidal etc, so he was just Sydal, then he was Lance Sydal in local backyard shows, then he became MATT in GCW(too young for a last name) and he mentioned on Art of Wrestling he came up with Matt Sydal while in TNA and it stuck. Evan Bourne came from the help of Joey styles( he was going to be called Jordan Jackson)
- Informed Judaism: mentioned on twitter and in a youtube video of an indie locker room, he said he was raised Jewish but hasn't mentioned his religious beliefs
- I Have the High Ground: The staple of Bourne's game - arguably more so than anyone on the WWE Roster. He can not only do moonsaults anywhere, he also does them in radically different form depending on whether he is standing in the ring, on the top rope or spring boarding off the second (which he's done with one leg).
- Jack of All Stats- Matt/Evan is known for being a solid in ring technician with educated feet as well as a fearless but never reckless cruiserweight. Being an ECW fan he does have some hardcore in him, most of it he used in GCW but did show some in MITB matches. He has/had many power moves prior to WWE including: a kneeling back to belly pile driver, here we go driver( half nelson pumphandle slam), Sydal Special/Cyclorama(a super/avalanche belly to belly moonsault slam)
- Jobber: What his role in TNA amounted to.
- Keet: Oh, good lord, yes.
- Kid Hero/Kid Hero All Grown Up: Parodied. He debuted at age 17 but was treated as a twelve year old by Gateway Championship Wrestling. On the final Adults F-N Only Show Nikki Strychnine derided Matt as prepubescent boy unworthy of even being on the card. In a somewhat straight example though, Matt has down some growing, gaining anywhere from 9 to 31 kilgrams (or 20 to 70 pounds) over the course of his career.
- Mr. Fanservice: One of the reasons Delirious does not like him, once accusing Evan Bourne of being a Gorgeous George who slept his way to the top. It made him a hit in Dragon Gate too (being pretty that is, not his sexual escapades)
- Nice Jewish Boy: he mentioned on twitter and in a youtube video about being raised jewish but hasn't mentioned his beliefs
- Named by Democracy: How his and Kofi's tag team name Air Boom came about, was due to a poll on Twitter, where their followers could come up with name ideas, where the most popular one got chosen.
- Odd Couple: He was the one responsible for training Floyd Mayweather Jr. for his match with The Big Show.
- Older Than They Look: Even at 30 years old Evan Bourne could pass for being late high-school or early college age. This was mocked at GCW Adults F-N Only 2 where the commentators speculated on whether or not his balls had dropped yet. No, growing out his facial hair did not get anyone to change their stance.
- Perky Female Minion: Lizzy Valentine in Wrestling Society X
- Power Stable
- A member of Operation Shamrock in GCW with Sean Vincent, Ryan Ash and the Irish Luchador Billy McNeil.
- ROH saw Sydal join Generation Next with Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Jack Evans and Daizee Haze after Fast Eddie Vegas turned on him and joined the Embassy. Later in the same company Sydal would join Larry Sweeney's Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.
- Typhoon in Dragon Gate with Anthony W. Mori, BxB Hulk, CIMA, Dragon Kid, PAC, Ryo Saito and Susumu Yokosuka
- APPLE in WWE with Santino Marella, Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan. Honestly, APPLE was more like a Legion of Doom set up to take down the Corre than a power stable, except for the fact APPLE were not villains.
- Put on a Bus: For both of his suspensions. He came back after the first was up, not the other though, and he was released before ever making it on TV.
- Real Life Writes the Plot:
- Hastily dropped the OVW Heavyweight Championship to Jay Bradley when WWE dropped its affiliation with the company and took Matt Sydal with them.
- The reason for dropping the Tag Team titles on a house show to Primo and Epico, was due to his second suspension which carried a 60 day suspension period.
- Red Baron: Cocky Cover Boy
- Ricky Morton: Him and Kofi shared this role during their matches as Tag Team Champions, sometimes both of them playing it during the same match.
- Ship Tease: With Gail Kim in 2010. After Rosa Mendes had been drafted to Smackdown, Zack Ryder was looking for a new valet, trying to get Gail Kim and Alicia Fox to accompany him to the ring. Alicia Fox took a liking to Ryder and tried to help him beat Bourne but Gail came to Evans aid. Helps that Evan Bourne and Gail Kim are also good friends in real life.
- Signature Move: Jumping high knee strike, diving knees to shoulders from the top rope or to the outside of the ring, flashpoint (jumping clothesline variation), standing moonsault, corner shining wizard, frakensteiner, dragonrana, one arm sweep pin.
- Spot Monkey: To be expected of former backyard wrestler with a high flying style but Evan Bourne is surprisingly sensible with his spots and thus not an example of this trope...except for his TNA run, where he had a tendency to do unnecessary flips.
- Tag Team: Besides Air Boom, Sydal was one half of the Air Devils in Ring of Honor with Fast Eddie Vegas (now you know why that name won the vote)
- Technician vs performer
- The performer vs every member of Diabolic Khaos, except for the quick footed Jackal, who incidentally was even smaller than Matt!
- Answers this question a lot on podcasts of fans who manage to get him on. He admits he's both, he's a sound ground technician but his bread and butter is the high flying that makes him entertaining.
- This is also the case with his rivalry with The Miz. The Miz while an indie wrestler for 3 years while on The Real World before getting a job with WWE from being tough enough runner up, Bourne was a backyard wrestler turned pro wrestler getting licensed at 17 and was a 8 year veteran by the time he debuted on TV. Miz although a very improved wrestler over the years will never get the praise Matt does.
- The Stoner: Unfortunately starting to wear this collar in Real Life. (See below.)
- The Perfectionist: one of his flaws he's admitted to having especially more so when he was younger, he mentioned in his Youshoot getting riled up and hotheaded during matches at referees for missing pinfall cues or not keeping up. He's pointed out The Miz is very bad at basing(catching a highflying attack) which was used a voice over in botchamania when Miz failed to catch R Truth doing a plancha one time extremely bad. He's known for being very crisp and smooth in the ring and rarely botching.
- The Rival: As a member of Generation Next, The Kings Of Wrestling. After Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero beat Roderick Strong and Austin Aries for the ROH Tag Team Championships, Sydal won them back with Christopher Daniels.
- Theatrics Of Pain: He sells hits and high impact maneuvers on a level comparable to Tyler Black, which unfortunately has made him a frequent doer of the job in the WWE. Watch his matches with the Miz where Evan Bourne does almost all the real work.
- Too Dumb to Live/What the Hell, Hero?
- He was criticized by the GCW commentators for doing a cannonball off a balcony to Diabolic Khaos and The Outtkast after just returning from the hospital due to internal injuries previously suffered. The rest of Operation Shamrock really owed Matt for that.
- His second suspension WWE in a very short time. The first time he got suspended a month, for smoking synthetic weed, little before Survivor Series '11 and served 30 days. During that time he ratted out R-Truth for doing the same thing, (they had both been smoking at a party, Bourne got caught, Truth was not), which lead his suspension, right after that PPV. This lead to massive heat backstage for Bourne.
- He had a point, R-Truth happened to be getting ready for a PPV where he and The Miz were set to team up and face John Cena and The Rock. The party occurred a week or two before this PPV, and WWE knew before the PPV about R-Truth's violation...but they wrote him off on the following RAW. So Bourne's actions sort of exposed the fact that WWE's superstars aren't disciplined equally under the Wellness Policy, with superstars who are on more prominent spots of the card being shown more favor. Still, Bourne himself admitted on his Twitter account that he screwed up.
- Tournament Arc: Matt Sydal defeated Arik Cannon and Kevin Steen in a triple threat match at the finals of the 2005 IWA Mid-South Ted Petty Invitational.
- Underdogs Never Lose: Discussed when Evan Bourne wrestled Rey Mysterio, proclaiming that Mysterio had to be careful because for the first time, he was not the underdog. Rey Mysterio won anyway.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In an indy clip from Botchamania 185 in which Bourne vomits after a match with CM Punk. While Bourne is hurling on the apron, Punk cuts a promo to the camera saying he makes everyone sick.
- We Used to Be Friends: Despite having feuded with Delirious wherever they ended up together, this is how their feud was portrayed at NWA Wilde Side. At IWC Super Indy V, the commentators speculate that since Evan Bourne and Delirious don't try to kill each other the way other wrestlers who have feuded as long as they have often do, that they might have developed a friendship they'd rather not admit to. (Delirious has tried to take out Sydal's knees with a wooden stake but no, never tried to kill him. Sydal has hit Delirious in the head with that very same stake but it could be argued he was trying to remove Delirious's mask, rather than attempting murder)
- When She Smiles: And when he genuinely smiles, rather than smirks. Billy McNeil said it was worth a million bucks.
- Workaholic: while learning to wrestle and starting his career in GCW, he worked at an ice cream shop, while wrestling full tme on the indies in the early 2000s he managed to get his bachelor's in business and marketing and worked as vice president of his uncle's mail box company.
- Would Hit a Girl: MsChif was a frequent opponent of Sydal's and his application of this trope is another reason Delirious doesn't like him, since she was good friends with him. MsChif was so hateful her hatred killed the Ministry Of Hate but Sydal and Billy McNeil bending her in half over the top turnbuckle was a little...over the top.
- Wrestling Family: His brother wrestles on the indies as Mike Sydal.
- Xtremely Kool Letterz: "Sydal" was meant to be "cidal", as in killing (herbicidal). It was a product of the 1990s, as a quick skimming through various Gateway Alumni names will confirm.