Matt Sydal will celebrate his 20th year in the business later this year and he's worked with most of the top promotions around the world from WWE to New Japan to ROH to Impact. He discussed what in pro wrestling currently has his attention when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"I always pay attention to everything the best I can, but it's mainly because of the boys in the back and not promotions," said Sydal. "You can catch me following good wrestlers wherever they are. I watch Dragon Gate and that's not one I hear many people talk about wrestling based on the influence it's had on the world of wrestling…
"I watch Dragon Gate, New Japan, NXT, AEW. I love the Lucha Bros, The Young Bucks. Mainly I watch the guys in the shows that I'm on. I just did some EVOLVE Wrestling and I worked with AR Fox…We live in an age of surplus and are very fortunate."
Sydal also mentioned enjoying Eddie Kingston's work and he was asked why Kingston hasn't been used on a bigger stage than the indies.
"For us, our stage is always what it is. It's not about reaching the broadest audience as it's about doing quality work. I think Eddie Kingston believes in that with every night is special and that's our mentality," Sydal said before adding that he's done deathmatches with Kingston in front of 20 people.
"If you watch Eddie Kingston, you're gonna wanna watch him again."
When Sydal appeared at EVOLVE recently, he was advertised under his WWE name of Evan Bourne on some promo material. He clarified which name he wrestled under at the show.
"I did wrestle as Matt Sydal but because it was associated with NXT and WWE, they used [Evan Bourne] as a promotional tool. But I'm not gonna make new tights for that, I wrestled as Matt Sydal and that's basically it…," said Sydal.
"Evan Bourne is a ship that has sailed but if he wound up back at WWE, I'm imagine I'd run back to that name because of copyright ownership stuff."
Sydal suffered an injury at EVOLVE which set him back a bit and he opened up more about that.
"It was miserable. I got two heels – one to the head and one to the shoulder – and my whole body went numb and I was done for the day. Unfortunately, being an uncontacted talent, I've got bookings," Sydal said of trying to rehab while also make a living at the same time. "I just needed a little break. But I had a crazy one-on-one match with Curt Stallion, so I'm definitely back and ready to be that wild man in the ring like I'm used to.
"I agreed to do four EVOLVE shows and before that fourth show I said I need to wrestle Stallion one-on-one. I was able to get that match in which was fun and I'm feeling really good in singles competition. I still like doing tags and six-man wrestling though."
Sydal says wrestling consumes him but he talked about one of his non-wrestling hobbies which is tending to cacti.
"It's not my vice but by Zen-like way to relax. I like participating in the organic processes of life – watching the waves come in and the birds overhead – just the simple things," said Sydal. "Wrestling is very intense as it's a high sensory environment with lots of lights, sounds, yelling and talking. So when I come home I like to unplug. I don't spend time on social media sharing my personal life as I go with a reductionist approach. It's a good way to find peace and balance.
"Just sitting in silence – I think a lot of people are afraid to do that. Five minutes is scary just sitting and breathing but I try to do it more often and that's how I balance being on the road. When I get home I have to put in extra effort to relax, if that makes sense."
Matt will head to Doha, Qatar on February 21st for Qatar Pro Wrestling's SuperSlam 2. For more information please visit www.QPW-wrestling.com.
Sydal's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview Sydal discusses Qatar Pro Wrestling, what it's like wrestling in the middle east, pro wrestling spreading western influence, what pro wrestling shows he is watching at the moment, AEW's launch in 2019, his plans for 2020 and more.