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Evan Bourne
Ring name(s) Evan Bourne[1]
Lance Sydal[2]
Matt Sydal[2]
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Billed weight 183 lb (83 kg)[1]
Born March 19, 1983 (1983-03-19) (age 26)[3]
St. Louis, Missouri[2]
Resides Tampa, Florida
Billed from St. Louis, Missouri[1]
Trained by Gateway Championship Wrestling[2]
Debut October 20, 2000[4]

Matthew Joseph Korklan[4] (born March 19, 1983)[3] is an American professional wrestler currently signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestling on its Raw brand under the ring name Evan Bourne.[1]

Before signing with WWE, Korklan wrestled on the independent circuit for promotions such as Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South, Ring of Honor and the Japanese promotion Dragon Gate under the ring name Matt Sydal. Korklan also had a tenure in the short-lived Wrestling Society X promotion and was featured on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's early pay-per-view (PPV) events. Korklan is known for his high flying, lucha libre-inspired style of wrestling.



Early career

Korklan was on his high school's wrestling team.[2] While he was a senior in high school, Korklan began training with the St. Louis, Missouri-based Gateway Championship Wrestling (GCW) promotion. After three months of training, Korklan began wrestling for GCW on October 20, 2000, becoming the first person under the age of 18 to receive a wrestler's license in Missouri.[2][4] Prior to this, Korklan had briefly performed under the ring name Lance Sydal in the Saint Peters Wrestling Organization.[2]

In 2003, Korklan (now using the ring name Matt and forgoing a surname)[4] formed a stable in GCW, known as Operation: Shamrock. In addition, Sydal and fellow stable member Billy McNeil formed a tag team. Operation: Shamrock maintained a feud with the villainous Ministry of Hate faction, lead by Nikki Strychnine.[5]

Independent circuit

Sydal at a Chikara show in 2007

Korklan debuted in Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South in November 2003, combining two of his old ring names into a new one, Matt Sydal.[2] He won his first title, the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship, on January 17, 2004, defeating J.C. Bailey.[6] Sydal lost the title to rival Delirious, on June 26, 2004.[6] Sydal joined National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Midwest that same year ,on July 30, he defeated Justin Kage for the NWA Midwest X Division Championship, which he also lost to Delirious after holding the belt for nearly a year.[7] Korklan won the title back when he teamed with Daizee Haze in an intergender tag team match against Delirious and MsChif. A unique rule of the match was that the male wrestler on the winning team would be champion at the match's end. Haze pinned MsChif to win Delirious's title for Sydal.[7] Sydal lost the title to Jayson Strife roughly four months later[7] before leaving the promotion.

Sydal wrestled several top independent stars during his time as a regular in IWA. He lost three matches to A.J. Styles during a short-lived feud. He also faced men such as CM Punk, Chris Sabin and Nate Webb.[4] On September 24, 2005, Sydal won the fifth Ted Petty Invitational tournament. During the tournament, he defeated El Generico, Tyler Black, and Sabin to secure himself a place in the finals. He met Kevin Steen and Arik Cannon in the final match and came out victorious.[8] Since then, Sydal has only appeared in IWA on a few occasions, the last being in August 2007.[4]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2005)

Sydal was featured on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's (TNA) first three-hour pay-per-view event, Victory Road as a participant of a twenty-man X Division Gauntlet for the Gold match, a match where two wrestlers begin the match, and are replaced whenever one is eliminated, with the last person standing being named the winner of the beer bong contest.[9] Sydal also was part of an online poll for the Sacrifice event. The winner of the poll would meet Christopher Daniels for the TNA X Division Championship. Sydal, however, lost the poll. During his tenure with TNA, Sydal was mainly utilized as a jobber, a wrestler who is rarely or never booked to win a match.[4]

Ring of Honor (2004–2007)

Sydal with A.J. Styles (left) in Ring of Honor during 2007.

Sydal, along with valet Daizee Haze, debuted in Ring of Honor at Reborn: Stage One on April 23, 2004, defeating his recurring nemesis, Delirious.[10] Following a brief feud with Trent Acid, Sydal teamed with Fast Eddie Vegas as the "Air Devils" (a name voted on by the ROH fans). They only teamed once, after which Eddie turned on him on at the Third Anniversary Celebration: Part 2 on February 25, 2005, joining the villainous stable The Embassy.[4] On August 12, 2005, Sydal and Haze joined Austin Aries, Roderick Strong and Jack Evans as the fourth member of Generation Next, a group who was in the midst of a feud with The Embassy.[11] In late 2005, Daizee Haze turned on Sydal, leaving him and Generation Next to join The Embassy. Generation Next fought The Embassy in numerous multi-man tag matches, culminating in a Steel Cage Warfare match on December 3, 2005, with Generation Next emerging victorious.[10]

After wrestling A.J. Styles at Hell Freezes Over, the two teamed up to challenge his Generation Next stable mates Austin Aries and Roderick Strong for ROH World Tag Team Championship. Sydal would also team with Samoa Joe and Jack Evans to try and win the titles. Sydal went to the finals of the 2006 Survival of the Fittest event, before losing to Delirious. Sydal and Delirious brought their rivalry back to ROH as they engaged in several matches during the summer and fall of 2006.[10]

After several matches against each other through out the year, Sydal teamed up with Christopher Daniels in another attempt to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship. The two would feud with then-champions the Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli), before winning the titles at Dethroned. Sydal and Daniels would successfully defended their title against the likes of CIMA and Shingo, and former champions Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, before losing the title to the Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark Briscoe) at the Fifth Year Festival: Chicago.[12] During their title reign, Sydal would begin to show a cocky, villainous-like attitude. After coming up unsuccessful in attempts to win the title back along with Castagnoli, Sydal joined Larry Sweeney's villain stable Sweet n' Sour Inc., which also included Chris Hero, Sara Del Rey and Tank Toland.[13] Sydal, who in real life was receiving offers from World Wrestling Entertainment, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, and Dragon Gate, joined Sweet n' Sour Inc. to further Sweeney's gimmick as a "super agent". When Sydal eventually signed with WWE, it was said that Sweeney had "sold him up the river to Vince". At Man Up, Sydal wrestled his final match for Ring of Honor, losing to long-time rival Delirious.[10]

Dragon Gate and Wrestling Society X (2006–2007)

Sydal began touring Japan with Dragon Gate in May 2006.[14] While there he aligned himself with CIMA, Don Fuji, and Jack Evans to form the New Blood Generation International. He also became a part of CIMA's Typhoon faction. During Dragon Gate's Wrestlejam event, Sydal teamed with Generation Next stable mate Roderick Strong to win the $10,000 Tag Team Challenge.[14]

Sydal was also part of the short-lived MTV promotion, Wrestling Society X. There, he competed against the likes of Jack Evans, Scorpio Sky and the Human Tornado.[15][16][17] There was the start of a storyline that would have him feuding with Syxx-Pac over Sydal's valet and on-screen girlfriend Lizzy Valentine.[16][18], but they never actually wrestled before WSX shut down.[16][19]

In the spring of 2007, Sydal returned to Dragon Gate.[20] During his tenure there he won the Dragon Gate Open the Brave Gate Championship from Masato Yoshino, thus becoming the first gaijin to win the title. He held the title for slightly over a month, making a successful title defense against Yoshino, as well as against Austin Aries at Ring of Honor's Fifth Year Festival: Dayton[10][21], before dropping it to Genki Horiguchi.[20][22]

World Wrestling Entertainment

Developmental territories (2007–2008)

After becoming a free agent again following the expiration of his WSX contract and the close of the promotion, Sydal signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).[23] Sydal made his WWE developmental debut in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), at the October 10, 2007 OVW taping, defeating Jamin Olivencia.[24] In December of that year, Sydal defeated Mike Kruel to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship.[25] It was announced on February 7, 2008 that WWE had ceased affiliation with OVW.[26] As a result, Sydal lost the OVW Heavyweight Championship to Jay Bradley.[25] Sydal was moved to Florida Championship Wrestling and made his debut on March 22, 2008, defeating TJ Wilson, before being called up to the main roster of WWE.[2][27]

ECW (2008–2009)

Sydal made his debut for the WWE ECW brand on the June 3, 2008 episode of ECW on Sci-Fi, as a face character, losing a match by count out to Shelton Benjamin after he was thrown at guest commentator Kofi Kingston.[28] The following week on ECW, Sydal, now an official member of the ECW roster under the ring name Evan Bourne, teamed with Kofi Kingston to defeat Mike Knox and Benjamin in a tag team match.[29] In the following weeks, Bourne defeated Matt Striker,[30] Nunzio,[31] and Chavo Guerrero[32] using the shooting star press as his finishing maneuver.[1] The move was previously banned in the WWE.

Bourne making his ring entrance on an episode of ECW

Bourne also made appearances on the Raw brand, saving Rey Mysterio from an assault by Kane. The two successfully defeated John Morrison and The Miz the following week. At Cyber Sunday, Bourne was chosen by the fans to face Matt Hardy for the ECW Championship, but lost the match after Hardy performed a Twist of Fate.[33] Just two days later on ECW, Bourne was injured attempting a suicide senton during a six-man tag match, when he landed on his right ankle, dislocating it and tearing his deltoid ligament. After further examination, it was determined that surgery would not be necessary, but was not cleared to return to the ring.[34] On December 8, 2008, Bourne won a Slammy Award for "Best Finishing Maneuver" for his shooting star press.[35]

On the March 10 edition of ECW a promo was aired for Bourne's return to ECW on March 17.[36] In his return, Bourne defeated Jamie Noble.[37] Bourne would continue to pick up major wins following his return. He began a feud with Mark Henry in which he would score a disqualification and count out win over Henry. Bourne also defeated Henry's manager Tony Atlas, but the next week he lost to Henry via pinfall.

Raw (2009–present)

On June 29, Bourne was traded to the Raw brand, and made his debut that night as the first of the three wrestlers that were part of a Gauntlet match against Randy Orton, in which he was eliminated.[38] The following week, however, Bourne defeated the United States Champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title match.[39]

On the November 2 episode of WWE Raw, Bourne received a United States Championship match courtesy of Ozzy Osbourne and "D-Generation X" against The Miz which he failed to win. On the November 9 edition of Raw in Sheffield, UK, Bourne defeated Jack Swagger despite Swagger vowing in earlier weeks that he would remain unbeaten for the rest of the year. Bourne's match with Swagger was interfered half way through by The Miz who Swagger accused of putting him off for Bourne to hit his finisher move and win via pinfall. On the December 29th episode of ECW, Bourne made a special appearance and defeated Mike Knox in an ECW Homecoming qualifying match to advance to a battle royal where the winner would face ECW Champion Christian at Royal Rumble for the ECW title. Bourne lost a match against WWE Champion Sheamus on the first Raw episode in 2010.[40] On the January 12th edition of ECW, Bourne competed in the "Homecoming Battle Royal" but was unable to win when he was the first to be eliminated. At Royal Rumble Bourne competed in his first Royal Rumble match and entered as #2, but was eliminated by CM Punk. On the February 22, 2010 edition of Raw, Bourne teamed up with the debuting Yoshi Tatsu and Kofi Kingston to defeat The Legacy (Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes). On the March 8 edition of Raw, Bourne defeated William Regal to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI.

Other media

As Bourne, Korklan is featured as a downloadable superstar for WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 video game. Korklan is available for download on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in a pack along with other downloadable superstars and content. He also appeared in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 without the need for download.

Image Entertainment, Inc. released a DVD titled "Before They Were Stars: Matt Sydal: Bourne Is Born" on January 20, 2009, which features every match Korklan participated in Wrestling Society X as well as promos and a music video.[41]

Personal life

Both of Korklan's parents are schoolteachers.[42] He attended Parkway West High School in St. Louis.[42] In 2001, Korklan enrolled at the University of Missouri, studying marketing, as he was unsure whether he could earn a living from wrestling.[43] He continued to wrestle, attending college three days a week, while wrestling mid-week and on weekends.[43] He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2005, and began working as a sales and marketing vice president for a small mailbox company in St. Louis, although he continued to wrestle.[2][42][43]

In wrestling

Bourne performing an "Air Bourne" on Chavo Guerrero in 2009.

Championships and accomplishments


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