Japanese wrestling journalist Fumi Saito reported that Matt Sydal has been released from jail. He was arrested on September 23rd in the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan after he was caught with 2.12 grams of liquid cannabis in his THC vape cartridge. While the amount itself is rather minimal, Japan is extremely strict about bringing in marijuana.
During the time of arrest, Sydal had missed New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Destruction in Kobe show, which resulted in his partners Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima to be stripped of their NEVER Openweight Six-man Tag Team Championships. Sydal tweeted at the time that he was in Hawaii due to visa issues, but it is believed that he was in Japan the entire time, and there are rumours that he had a relative tweet that out for him.
Fumi Saito stated that Sydal’s court date was set for this past week where he was allowed to plead guilty. He was faced with a choice of either 18-months in jail or three years’ probation. Sydal took the second option and will be on probation for three years. He is expected to go back to the United States next week. In the US, he won’t face any legal troubles, but he will apparently not be legally allowed to enter Japan for several years.
Saito stated that an “unknown source” tipped off customs officials that Sydal was bringing in “banned substances” to Japan.
With this saga being over, aside from just being barred from entering Japan for a few years, Sydal will likely never wrestle in Japan again due to the strictness that Japanese promotions have. Not long after the incident, New Japan Pro Wrestling removed his profile from their website, ending their association with him. It is very likely that Sydal could have been carrying the THC vape cartridges to deal with pain. It is well known in the United States that several athletes from various sports get THC vape cartridges to deal with the pain they face.
This is what Sydal’s “banned substance” would have looked like
Sydal got suspended by WWE for failing their Wellness Policy in 2011 due to consuming Synthetic Marijuana. In WWE, use of marijuana is punishable by fine and not suspension. However, Synthetic weed is punishable by suspension and some years ago WWE began testing for that as well.