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

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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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