The arrest occurred on Sept. 23., as he was travelling to defend New Japan’s NEVER Openweight Six-Man championship with his partners Ricochet & Satoshi Kojima at the Destruction in Kobe show on Sept. 25 (the title was subsequently vacated, but reclaimed by Ricochet, Kojima and new partner David Finlay). A series of messages were sent from Sydal’s Twitter claiming he was having passport issues in Hawaii.
Hi everyone. Had passport trouble at the border after spending an extra day at LAX. Chillin in Hawaii until this sorts out #travelwoes— Matt Sydal (@findevan) September 25, 2016
According to the newspaper report, Sydal was charged with possessing a “hidden pipe containing liquid cannabis two and a pipe containing cannabis two of a state of being attached to the electronic cigarette”; slightly more than two grams in total.
Per PWInsider, Sydal (real name Matt Korklan) was convicted of the charges yesterday (Oct. 13), but has not been sentenced.
Japan is notoriously strict on cannibas possession. Although it likely means the end of his New Japan run, simply being barred from re-entering the country could be Sydal’s best case scenario. It’s not uncommon for those convicted of similar charges to be jailed for five - seven years.
A source Insider described as “a friend” offered their take on the situation:
People are going to villify him for this, but before they do, they should take a moment to think about the fact that he completely mangled his foot in that wreck a few years back. He is in a state of near-constant pain because of those injuries. It's amazing he's walking on it, much less performing on it. People have no idea what Matt goes through on a daily basis with that foot. So, if they villify him, they are villifying him for trying to maintain the quality of life he had before the wreck.
While he was with WWE, where he wrestled as Evan Bourne, Sydal was involved in a 2012 car accident which broke his foot in four places, and dislocated it in five. He was eventually released by the company in 2014 without ever reappearing on television.
He also failed two Wellness Policy tests during his time with WWE, and was suspended for 30 days in 2011 and 60 days in 2012. In later shoot interviews, Sydal revealed the suspensions were for synthetic marijuana.
Sydal’s social media accounts have been silent since the Sept. 25 Tweets, and PWInsider’s source says they haven’t spoken to him since before he left for Japan.