Matt Sydal on how CM Punk helped him come up with his Evan Bourne name in WWE, getting the attention of the WWE office, convincing WWE officials to let him use the Shooting Star Press finisher

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Matt Sydal
Hosts: Chad and JP (transcription by John Poz)
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Interview available at

Getting called up to the main roster in WWE: Yeah I called myself up. I mean I brought myself to a show. I showed up on Sunday and by Tuesday I was on ECW. What happened was a wrestler that kind of sucked, had called me and asked me if I could get a dark match. I said dude, I’m in developmental, I don’t know how to get myself a dark match, I’ve never had one. Then I thought how come I have never had a dark match. I deserve a dark match, not this jerk who called me on the phone asking for one. So I just basically showed up to a WWE show in an attempt to get a dark match. On Sunday, I wrestled before the event, and then on Monday I wrestled in the dark match, and then on Tuesday I was wrestling on ECW TV.

Getting the office’s attention in WWE: Yeah essentially, I mean I just thought the way wrestling works is if you want to wrestle somewhere you have to be there. So even though I worked for the company I was never at the event so how could you possibly prove yourself. You know, how can a wrestler show your worthiness to the office. Yeah, they watch stuff on video but the truth is, video doesn’t translate wrestling like it should. I just wanted to show the WWE what I can do in person. I didn’t have any expectations but I just figured I’m with the company so I should be getting a dark match for the love of God (laughs).

Choosing the name Evan Bourne or was it a WWE name generator: I first wrestled as Matt Sydal on that one ECW show and then the next week they bring me to TV and say you can’t be that name anymore. They said I was going to have to be a different name. They came back to me with some terrible name that was alliteration based with the letter J being the first letter of my first and last names. I asked the writer can we change this since I have to deal with this for the rest of my life. Can I please pick something better than that name and the writer said OK, but you have 20 minutes to figure it out. So I was in a little panic and I looked to CM Punk, who had kind of been a mentor and a guy that I knew from the Indy scene. Punk said let’s talk to Joey Styles in his office, where we can chalk down a couple names that we could live with. Then we brought those names over to the legal team and they approved Evan Bourne. Two minutes later, I was doing a promo and then as soon as it was over, we realized what we could do with the name Airbourne as a tag team which was great and then off to the races we went.

Using the shooting star press in the WWE: Yeah, well, the move was originally banned by WWE, so when I first came, I showed them what I could do and they surprisingly let me use it. The type of wrestling that I was doing was always what the fans wanted and it was just a matter of getting it in front of the bigger audience. If you look at kind of what I resurrected with the shooting star press, it is now passed onto all these awesome high flyers today. The guys are going nuts on Monday Night Raw and AEW with the 360’s and so on. You know the high flyers of today have certainly proven their worth.

Other topics include innovating a style, WWE, NJPW, Impact Wrestling, ROH, Evolve, AEW, and more.

You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Write This Way May 22, 2020 @ 7:15 pm

    “The guys are going nuts on Monday Night Raw and AEW with the 360’s and so on. You know the high flyers of today have certainly proven their worth.”

    Viewership and live attendance sucks these days. They definitely have shown their worth and they’re killing the business.

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