For the majority of his wrestling career, Matt Sydal has used his aerial arsenal to impress the fans, playing the role of a babyface. With the exception of a heel run in Ring of Honor early in his near 20-year career, Sydal was a babyface as Evan Bourne in WWE and ECW, a babyface as Matt Sydal while competing in the junor heavyweight division in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and a babyface as Matt Sydal during a significant portion of his career in Impact Wrestling.
Months ago, Sydal started to show some heelish characteristics, telling audiences that he is under the direction of his "spirit guide". This adviser was later to be revealed as Josh Mathews, although that portion of his character quickly dropped. However, Sydal remains playing a heel, and has achieved great success in Impact Wrestling as a former Grand Champion and current X Division Champion, even holding the titles simultaneously at one period of time.
Interestingly, the man behind this character change is Jimmy Jacobs, who has spent much time sharing creative input backstage at Impact, while also managing super heavyweight Kongo Kong.
In an interview with Vulture Hound, Jacobs explained the reason behind Sydal's character change.
"Matt Sydal has been one thing his whole career, it's been great, being a sort of babyface that can have great matches, who doesn't talk much, being a good wrestler and doing high-flying stuff. That's been him his whole career and, a few months back, we took a chance on him when we said: 'hey I think there's something more,'" said Jacobs. "We capitalized on what he's in real life, with him being kind of spiritual and holistic and those sort of things. We thought why not adding that in his character and try something else. There were people even internally who thought that was a bad idea. People want to cheer Matt because he does impressive moves, they're going to be confused by this new character of his.
"But over the past month, seeing Matt develop and seeing him during the last tapings session in early June, the promo he cuts that's going to air in a few weeks and the backstage promos on Brian Cage, it was the best thing I shot from all we got, from anybody. Matt has never been a good talker, he's never been great with promos, and this guy cuts the best promo I saw that week. To see that transformation, to see that happen, to see somebody who didn't even know they had it in themselves and to see that come out because you believe in them, because the group of people here saw something else in him and to see that come to fruition, that's awesome. That's great, I love it."
Jacobs is happy with his current role in Impact, and enjoys managing Kong who he has known as a teenager before he started his wrestling career. While Jacobs still competes at independent shows, he said that he does not see himself competing for Impact anytime soon due to juggling his responsibilities he already has with the company.
Source: Vulture Hound