On Tuesday 17th January Matthew ‘Evan Bourne’ Korklan was suspended for violating the WWE Wellness Policy. This is his second violation, and suspension, in less than three months. He previously tested positive for a banned synthetic marijuana named Spice in October and served a suspension from November 1st to November 30th.
That he has been suspended again roughly one month after returning tells us he clearly hasn’t learnt anything from the unpaid, unofficial holiday. Instead of coming back and keeping his nose clean (both metaphorically and literally) he has thrown away the biggest push of his WWE career. He was chosen, alongside Kofi Kingston, to become the focal point of the promotion’s tag team division (such as it is) guaranteed Bourne appearances on television and pay-per-view as well as the backing of the company’s merchandising department. That’s not a bad situation for a mid-card performer to be in.
It seemed odd that WWE elected to keep the tag team titles on Air Boom throughout the duration of the first suspension, but it indicated that the duo were still valued and the intention to push them was still there. They were clearly willing to overlook Bourne’s transgression and resume the push because that’s exactly what they did.
Unfortunately for Bourne WWE is not the kind of environment that gives small, disposable performers chance after chance. Top guys like Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy have suffered lengthy suspensions (and a sacking in Hardy’s case) for this sort of behaviour so there’s no way Bourne is going to escape unscathed. It’s also worth pointing out that there are dozens of high-flying guys on the independent circuit who could replace Bourne’s smiley underdog babyface persona with ease. He would be very easy to replace.
That Bourne gave no thought to how his actions would affect Kofi Kingston is what I find most irritating about the situation. Kofi has been shuffled up and down the WWE ranks, in and out of prominence, for years now. He’d finally become a regular performer on TV again thanks to the Air Boom unit and now that’s over through no fault of his own.
Evan Bourne performs a lovely Shooting Star Press, but so do a lot of guys on the independent circuit.
Perhaps that’s a pessimistic attitude. Maybe WWE will reinstate the team when Bourne’s latest suspension has been served. Maybe they will replace Bourne and give someone else the chance to team with Kofi each week on TV. Maybe ‘The Dreadlocked Dynamo’ will be returned to the singles ranks and become a featured performer there. If any of these things happened it would make Bourne’s behaviour slightly more tolerable.
Hopefully Matthew Korklan will use the next two months to get whatever issues he has with banned substances sorted out. While he’s at it he could work on his TV character a bit and try to improve his verbal skills. If he has to sit out he can at least make it work to his advantage. If he doesn’t then he may be getting future endeavoured in the not too distant future.