Matt Sydal, formerly known in WWE as Evan Bourne, has wrestled for just about every major promotion out there including New Japan. He appeared in NJPW from 2015-16 and there’s been speculation that he could return there.
Sydal was asked if he would like to return to Japan during an interview with All Real Wrestling Podcast.
“Yeah, I’d love to go back there. You know, there’s nothing that works right now but NJPW is one of my favorite wrestling organizations I’ve worked for. I love and respect what they do and I think it’s one of the greatest places for junior heavyweights. And yeah, like I said, the thing with where you wrestle is it’s made up of the wrestlers that are a part of the company, so I don’t really divide things up by companies,” said Sydal.
“It’s sort of like who’s in the locker room with me when I’m there and the NJPW locker room is just like they’re star-studded, they’re hard-working honorable guys. Like the guys – American guys I was working with at that time – Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish, the Young Bucks, they’re absolutely the best tag teams in the world and I love tag-team wrestling. If you know my history, I really came into my own wrestling for Dragon Gate which is famous for tag and six-man tag matches. So, I really loved tagging with Ricochet and really getting to stay in my wheelhouse because I wouldn’t say, you know, you keep trying to say that things are restricted or I’m held down but you can only wrestle the person that’s in front of you. And when you have the Young Bucks in front of you, your options are a lot superior than what I was given in WWE. The Great Khali wasn’t exactly the most agile big man to work with, however I did have matches with Mark Henry that I think were badass and took.”
Sydal had two stints with TNA/Impact Wrestling – one before his time in WWE and one afterwards. Sydal was a dual champion with Impact, holding both the Grand Championship and the X-Division Championship at the same time.
He was asked about his time at Impact and if he had a favorite match from his time there.
“The guys that I worked with in IMPACT were great. Like when I first started Chris Masters was there. John Morrison came in. Fenix and Pentagon were there. LAX, Santana, Ortiz these guys are the best wrestlers and you know that’s why things were going so good in IMPACT. I think everybody that showed up at these shows, nobody’s trying to take it easy. Everybody was showing up with something to prove,” stated Sydal.
“Sami Callihan, the oVe guys, everybody wants to make a name for themselves. I think that’s what the Rascalz are doing right now. To me they kind of represent the spirit, the original spirit, of TNA and I think that’s what you know Scott D’Amore and Sanjay, those guys are really working towards.
“So, my response to that is not one of my matches – it’s John Morrison vs Fenix. It was the greatest IMPACT match I’ve ever seen in my life, like one of the best matches I’ve ever seen live. So that’d be the one I’d recommend.”
Sydal’s current promotion is AEW who he first appeared for at All Out 2020. The promotion has many people in charge who Sydal worked with at various stops in his career, specifically at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla which helped launch the careers of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks.
Sydal discussed what was so appealing to him about AEW that eventually led to him signing a contract with the company in November.
“The guys that came out of PWG eventually started the company AEW and I mean it just goes to show you it took a little long for somebody to capitalize on it. But I mean they’ve been putting their hearts into some really incredible work for some time and it’s just a matter of time before somebody wanted to utilize that and make it a giant international destination instead of just receive a little American Legion Hall,” stated Sydal.
“I always feel like what AEW is going for is the PWG spirit, that mentality is sort of the heart is in the right place. I believe in what they do and there’s a lot of good wrestling and I love being in AEW. And there’s definitely benefits to being with these companies that are taking care of the wrestlers during this time.”