5 Ways the WWE Can Utilize the Returning Evan Bourne
It had been nearly fifteen months since Evan Bourne appeared on WWE TV.
His hiatus began when he failed his second WWE Wellness Policy drug test, which lead to a mandatory 60-day suspension. While on suspension, Bourne broke his foot in a car accident. The guy couldn't catch a break.
It seemed as though Bourne would never return to the WWE and rumors circulated that he'd be fired by the company, until he showed up at the March 28th NXT tapings.
Now that Evan Bourne is born again, let's look at all the exciting possibilities he's opened for the WWE.
The WWE main roster has seen a huge overhaul since Evan Bourne last participated in the ring. A lot of the guys being brought in are friends of Bourne's from his days on the independent wrestling circuit. Bourne has been wrestling for more than a decade, and in that time he's crossed paths with Antonio Cesaro, Seth Rollins, and a bunch of the NXT regulars. Even the guy he worked upon returning, Sammy Sane aka El Generico, was one of Bourne's foes back before his WWE days.
None of the guys I listed work the same style, but they all compliment Evan Bourne in different ways. Big guys can wow the crowd by tossing Bourne around like he weighs nothing, smaller guys can blow the crowd's mind by matching blazing speed with Evan. There's no one on the roster that Bourne can't help, at least a little.
A U.S. Title feud with Cesaro would be an especially big money maker for both men. Cesaro hasn't had much to hang his hat on during his six month title reign, and a feud with Bourne could really spice things up. The crowd loved seeing Evan Bourne pre-injury, and to have him return to stick up for America would put him instantly back over with the fans. Cesaro would ultimately win the feud, keeping his title, but the entire turn of events would be a blast.
The WWE has lacked a certain "death-defying" feeling in the past few years. Maneuvers that used to be common place in this business, like piledrivers, have been outlawed by Vince McMahon and company. Guys like Evan Bourne, who can practically jump out of the building, are one of the last vestiges of the high risk style. Each time Air Bourne takes off into the skies, it's must-watch.
Bourne isn't the only guy on the roster who features an aerial offense (Sin Cara, Kofi Kingston, etc), but unlike the Justin Gabriel's of the world, Evan actually gets a fair amount of screen time when he's healthy. The more shooting star presses we see on television the better.
Bourne's return also bodes well for Money in the Bank matches. It felt like last year's PPV lacked a certain fearless attitude that we've come to expect from WWE's newest staple Pay Per View. If Bourne can stay healthy, and clear of drug tests, which is a big "if", Money in the Bank should become a part of the 2013 WWE highlight reel.
Guys like Evan Bourne seem to have some trouble catching on in WWE singles competition. The majority of his opponents clearly outweigh him, and since he's not Rey Mysterio, that means a lot of singles competition losses for Air Bourne.
To offset this problem, WWE usually pairs Bourne (and guys like him) with a partner he can believably win with. This could be someone who he compliments in style, like his former Tag Team Championship teammate Kofi Kingston, or it could be with someone you'd never have figured, like Ryback.
The list of guys they could pair with Bourne is endless, and while these types of teams are usually dead ends for guys with nothing better to do, there's a new found hope with the resurgence of WWE's tag team division. The current champions, Team HellNo, can't reign forever, and it would be fun to see Evan Bourne and someone like Mark Henry randomly team-up, and take out the old guard.
If I was a betting man, I'd wager that Evan Bourne will never be the WWE Champion. He's not exactly dropping "pipebombs" with his mic work, and he's about as big as I was in fifth grade. This doesn't mean he can't become a highly functioning member of the WWE roster, but it makes becoming the top guy nearly impossible.
They could start a Cruiserweight Championship Tournament because who doesn't love tournaments? WWE could throw guys like Bourne, Mysterio, Sin Cara, the criminally underused Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd if he ever returns, and even Yoshi Tatsu and WWE re-capture the magic of WCW-style cruiserweight bouts from the late 1990s.
Put all of these guys in the ring week after week, and you'd be making a license to print money. Who doesn't want to see more guys working an extremely fast pace, and putting their lives on the line? WWE rings are quite large, and have never truly lent themselves to these styles of matches, but it can work, and Evan Bourne is just the guy to prove it.
This whole list began with me putting over Evan Bourne and all of his independent wrestling cohorts. Well, one of the key players from his time in the minors is missing from WWE shows. The man I'm referring to is "The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles.
It's a bit of a shame to say that the best thing Evan Bourne could do is bring in another guy to take his spot, but Styles is a Top 10 talent in the business. Neither of these guys are getting any younger and their abilities to wow the crowd will lessen over time, so I'm holding out hope something like this gets done within a year or so. AJ just recently returned to action, himself, and this is a far stretch of an idea, but that's what makes these list so enjoyable.
Styles is a lot like Evan Bourne in the ability department, only he's built to do more in WWE's ranks. Styles works for WWE's "rival", but that doesn't mean this can't happen.
It's widely known that Bourne and Styles have remained close throughout their careers. Styles has been made out to be the kind of guy who would never step foot in a WWE ring again, but unlike guys like Sting, A.J. has yet to experience the big payday. A little convincing from Bourne mixed with a lot of convincing from dead presidents, and you may have a new contract in order.
The matches Style and Bourne could have would be unlike anything seen on WWE TV. If only Vince actually cared about who A.J. Styles is.