Ever since leaving WWE in 2014, Matt Sydal (fka Evan Bourne) has made a living on the independents. The latest promotion he's working with is Qatar Pro Wrestling and he talked about how he hooked up with them when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"My first venture to Qatar was with WWE. It was an incredible tour and we stayed at a luxurious hotel. I ventured out by myself and wandered down to a shopping center and there was beautiful architecture everywhere. That was my first time in the Middle East, not to mention the show which was awesome," said Sydal.
"I think I wrestled William Regal and it was one of those that we kept going and going. It was a live event so I think it went 15 minutes. It was one of the favorite matches I had while with WWE."
Sydal then talked more about working with Regal and the influence he had over his career.
"I didn't realize it would be the last time we could work together. We were married on the road which was an excellent draw for me. How I learned everything about pro wrestling was when I got married to Chavo on the road or later on with Regal," revealed Sydal.
He added that he and Regal wanted to show the Qatar fans pure pro wrestling so they could make new fans. They didn't rely on storylines as they just showed up and did what they had to do.
"The type of wrestling I like to do, it transcends languages and boundaries. It doesn't matter if it's Japan, Qatar, Mexico or the US – we all speak the same language and that's the unifying thing. Some of the things I learned from Regal were the universal qualities of wrestling," stated Sydal who then talked about what wrestling fans in Qatar are like.
"They were extremely enthusiastic. The thing I noticed most from challenging from country to country is not the differences but the similarities. Wrestling fans are all the same. There's not this casual, 'Yeah, I kinda watch wrestling.' People either know nothing about it or they know everything. I'm always impressed when fans' knowledge surpasses me. I was there so how do you know more about these situations than I do?
"You find these fans everywhere but especially in Qatar which is why it's worth it for the wrestlers to make that long trip out there. We feel everybody out there deserves to get to enjoy pro wrestling."
Another person who will be a part of the Qatar show is Alberto El Patron. The former Alberto Del Rio recently suffered an MMA loss to Tito Ortiz and Sydal discussed wrestlers who dabble in MMA.
"I'm always supportive of my brothers who have the guts to step in the cage. Pro wrestling is dangerous but it takes a special kind of courage to lock yourself in a cage that wants to do you harm," Sydal said before saying he respects guys like El Patron and Jake Hager.
"I've had some great one-on-one and tag matches with Alberto – and I kinda wish I was wrestling him in Qatar – but I'm sure we'll get a chance to wrestle soon."
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.