Air Bourne Grounded; Looking Back At The Rise & Fall Of Evan Bourne

Evan Bourne’s tumultuous run in WWE officially came to a close on Thursday as the company announced his release and wished him the best in his future endeavors.

The release comes as no surprise as we were told over a year ago Bourne was on the chopping block and he simply hadn’t been cut due to Triple H’s reluctance to publicly acknowledge main roster releases (something that went out the window on Thursday).

Bourne rose to WWE prominence with the use of the Shooting Star Press, a superb finishing maneuver Vince McMahon had been reluctant to let WWE talent use. Bourne made a name for himself in Ring of Honor as Matt Sydal before showcasing his high-flying move set in Dragon Gate and the short-lived Wrestling Society X. He was signed to a WWE developmental contract in 2007 and called up to the main roster on the company’s ECW brand on June 3, 2008, an anniversary he recently celebrated:

Things began to unravel for Bourne when he was suspended on November 1, 2011 in accordance with WWE’s Wellness Policy. The violation, Bourne’s first, carried a 30-day suspension without pay. It was learned that Bourne had tested positive for smoking Spice, a brand of synthetic marijuana.

Shortly after returning, Bourne, tested positive again and was suspended for 60-days on January 17, 2012. Evan was upset that he was suspended the first time nearly a month before R-Truth, who was smoking with him, when Truth was allowed to work Survivor Series 2011 and collect the show bonus before serving his suspension. The backstage heat that Bourne generated as a result of “ratting out” R-Truth was nuclear and resulted in private meetings with Triple H and Vince McMahon. R-Truth was suspended on November 22, 2011, after Survivor Series.

The consecutive Wellness policy violations soured WWE officials on Bourne and the incident with R-Truth got him labeled a locker room outcast. Former WWE and current ESPN personality Todd Grisham said there was a real problem with Bourne. Bourne later apologized and called himself his own worst enemy.

We detailed his second suspension and talked about how the feeling was that Bourne wasn’t taking the WWE Wellness Policy seriously. At the time, it was believed Bourne was hoping to get fired to pursue other opportunities.

Things went from bad to worse as Bourne’s second Wellness policy suspension expired. This time, he was in a car accident, and mangled his foot. The accident happened on Monday, March 19, 2012. It was later learned that Bourne suffered a Lisfranc mid-foot fracture and his career was in jeopardy.

A little over a year after the car accident, Bourne made good on his promise to fly again. He competed in a match at an NXT live event on March 28, 2013 against Sami Zayn (who was working at the time as Sammy Sane). The bout would end up being his last match with WWE.

Despite Bourne telling fans he was healthy in May 2013 and informing the WWE office he was ready for SummerSlam 2013, he was told he wasn’t needed.

Bourne fueled return rumors when he worked out at the WWE Performance Center earlier this year and continued to say he would be back but it was something that was never made good on.

Bourne was released on June 12, 2014, after more than two years of inactivity on the main WWE roster.

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  • WOW

    No wonder why R-Truth WWE career has been a downhill slope he was ratted out that shows you cannot trust anyone in the WWE locker room R-Truth hasn’t been the same since and that happen 3 years ago I thought WWE would have thought that he had learn his lesson he only had 1 strike these 3 years

  • David F

    WWE superstars shouldnt be suspend for smoking pot. Richard do you know if WWE still tests for pot? hopefully Bourne will go to GFW and get a shot there

    • iamjohnnymcb

      he wasnt suspended for pot, i believe he was suspended for something similar to pot but way more dangerous than pot…

    • Bob’s Diner

      Last I checked, marijuana is still illegal in most places. And a company can enforce whatever drug policies they see fit.

      The fact is, drug use can effect things like memory and concentration. Important things when wrestling – he could be easily do something that impacted badly on his opponent.

      BTW – GFW? They don’t even have a wrestling show. Or even a single event planned.
      Not sure how that would be considered getting a shot at anything, other than boredom.

      • David F

        I guess you guys are right. shame the guy was extremely talented and his shooting star press was always entertaining

    • Johnny Medrano

      It shouldn’t matter if its pot or whatever, the point is he broke it. He WAS thier employee, so he had to follow thier rules. If he had issues with it then he should’ve never signed on.

  • sam

    Evan being released is such a shame because he had soo much potential and between injuries and his 2 positive tests he shot himself in the foot.

  • Orton Out

    Funny Bourne/Truth are punished for violations and rarely shown but Orton has had what 2/3 violations and is shoved down our throats? #disgusted.

    • Bob’s Diner

      But remember, Orton apologised to the office! For that, he got rewarded with the WWE title while 9 others got suspended.

      I swear, Bob Orton must have some SERIOUS dirt on Vince McMahon

      • David F

        plus its different for main eventer like Orton. Remember when Hurricane Helms and Jericho were arrested and Helms was released because of it. There are different standards in WWE But Orton got be careful now one more strike and I dont think WWE has choice they have to let him go

    • Jay El Bee

      Wasn’t Orton de-pushed for about year after his most recent violation? I even remember him missing Raw 1000 in his hometown of St. Louis because of that violation.

  • Avalanchian

    I wish the cruiserweight title still existed. I actually prefer the high flyers action because it’s like true poetry in motion.

  • http://www.braysballtalk.com/ Aaron Giddens

    Despite his troubles, he was one of the more entertaining performers on the roster and it sucks he’s gone. While he was injured, I obviously understood why he was off TV, but when he got healthy and they continued to hold him off TV, it was a freaking travesty.

    • Jay El Bee

      Travesty, didn’t the guy try to get himself fired at one point. I’d say the guy is lucky the WWE kept him under contract for as long as they did.