Bingo’s Breakdown: Evan Bourne

Greetings Jabronis,



Geez, my columns seem to be wielding some sort of voodoo curse upon their subjects. First, Jack Swagger’s push is reportedly being put on the backburner (which is just plain stupid) and secondly, Mike Knox has been even more absent than normal (i.e. 100% absent) following my scribe, and he most certainly didn’t get Punk’s bodyguard role. Let’s see if I can keep it up…

So now, as I continue to assess the up and coming talent trying to make themselves matter in the wacky world of sports entertainment, I shall be applying my rubber glove and inserting my index finger into the sphincter of the elegantly bouncy superstar Evan Bourne.

It needs to be said, so we’ll get it done from the outset. Evan Bourne is short. Not just by wrestling standards, but also by regular human being standards. Of course, this never bodes well when applying for a position in what is traditionally a “Land of the Giants” – unless of course you’re auditioning for the role of a comedy leprechaun.

Folk will always point to Rey Mysterio as proof that little men can go all the way to the top in the WWE, but I feel Rey is a very different case. Not only is Rey a massive draw for Hispanic audiences, his look and act are also incredibly marketable to kids. WWE, like any other company, exists to make money – pure and simple. Coupled with these facts are the reports that Mr Mysterio is also a very shrewd and intelligent individual when it comes to backstage politics. I’m not denying he has talent but, believe me, these are the main reasons for his sustained stay amidst the upper echelons.

Conversely, as far as I know, Bourne is not a big draw for Hispanic audiences. Nor does he have a marketable look. And backstage politics to this young star likely amount to what he sees written on the locker room toilet walls (“Jerico is gay lol” and so forth). It’s easy to say that true talent will always shine through, but to that I say Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Shannon Moore… what do they all have in common? Yep, they were all smaller guys who, perhaps following an initial push, were jobbed out mercilessly and released. Yet the likes of The Great Khali still has a job in the promotion. It’s enough to make a hardened criminal wince. So how can Evan Bourne avoid a similar fate?

Bourne, formally Matt Sydal, is a graduate of ROH, Dragon Gate, TNA and other (arguably) respected wrestling organisations. Which is great for wrestling fans who, you know, enjoy actual wrestling. But doesn’t always sit so well with WWE bigwigs and their insistence that everyone either wrestle their way or pack their bags. Thankfully, or perhaps miraculously, Bourne seems to be have adopted an acceptable wrestling style without toning down his ‘crazy bastard’ antics an incredible amount. And on a side note – his selling is absolutely stellar. Any wrestler of any size must love being in the ring with this guy because he can make even a hip toss look like it has killed him. Or at least crippled him.

Right now, Bourne has to be fairly pleased with his WWE role following his transfer to RAW. He’s had mini feuds with Chavo and Swagger that were pretty well received – and his association with Hornswoggle has ensured him regular TV time in the past (that’s something no wrestling columnist should ever have to write). So the future would seem to hold much esteem I hear you cry.

But to that I say: hold your horses. And stop crying.

I truly believe that Bourne’s current rudder on the RAW ladder is likely as high as he’s ever going to get. With the simultaneous rising of young guns Rhodes, DiBiase, Kingston, Swagger{?) and Sheamus all in motion, and Bourne’s lack of size against him., he seems destined to remain a curtain jerker – someone to giddy up the crowd with some high-flying spots before the “real” stars take centre stage.

To me, Bourne’s ideal home is where he began in the WWE, back on ECW. In this environment, he was able to showcase his wrestling ability on a regular basis with 10-15 minutes matches. Also, size seems to be less of an issue in the land of the extreme. Have ECW commentators yet to point out that Yoshi Tatsu is a wee bit on the small side? I believe not, and his star is rising fast on the brand. Conversely, practically every Bourne win on RAW is presented to us as an upset, and all losses are communicated as being largely expected. Sure, everyone loves a fighting underdog, but how is he ever going to be taken seriously as a competitor if all his wins come via a fluke? (Answer: He isn’t.)

Failing a move back to ECW, another way for Bourne to avoid his WWE career stalling would perhaps be WWE’s age old favourite tactic of throwing random, under-used guys into a tag team. Can anyone think of another talented, young high-flyer who could benefit from a tag team partnership? … Primo, anyone? Why the tag team of Carlito and Primo was ever split up I will never understand, but that’s for another column. Throw Bourne and Primo together and I think WWE would be onto a winner. Both guys have entertaining offence and could have decent tag bouts with literally anyone else on the roster. And, let me be the ten millionth person to say it, the tag team scene certainly needs a boost.

So there you have it. I hope I haven’t come across as being overly negative towards Bourne as I genuinely do enjoy watching his bouts, as I’m sure many others do. But if he wants to take my advice (Bourne – wrestled for 5 different organisations and held 6 different championships, Me – once finished Smackdown 2008 on PS3 using Mr Kennedy) then he perhaps shouldn’t view a return to ECW as a demotion should it occur, as I believe that realistically it is the only singles title he could ever hold in WWE. And it is the only place in the WWE where he can truly showcase his ability.

If my curse continues, then Bourne’s career may well be over in a couple of week’s time following an unprovoked attack from robot, ninja dinosaurs. But I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen.

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