Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A Bloomin' Good Time

You know what John Laurinaitis needs? A bodyguard! That, if you believe Internet rumours, is what the WWE booking squad believes at any rate. The man selected for the job? Thirty-nine year-old Matt Bloom, formerly known as A-Train.
It could be argued that one of the many men stationed in the soon-to-be-defunct FCW would be ideal for a bodyguard role but I actually think the former A-Train is a good choice. While a younger, fresher face would be preferable (because they would have a longer career ahead of them) that doesn't make Bloom a bad choice.
Bloom originally worked for WWE between 1999 and 2004. He was never the greatest wrestler, but he improved during his time with the organisation. He had an intriguing look that helped to set him apart from his peers and ultimately ended up becoming one of his chief gimmicks. His back hair was grown into a shaggy mat of fur and Jim Ross constantly reminded viewers that Train had a head that was "eight and three eighths" inches in measurement. This may sound daft and it was, but that was fine for a mid-card heel during the Attitude Era.
In fact I think the most positive thing you could say about A-Train is that he has the ability to make ridiculous characteristics palatable. He was first introduced to viewers under the ring name of Prince Albert, purportedly the personal tattoo artist for Droz. From there he became Albert and formed a unit with Test called T&A which was more about establishing Trish Stratus as an on-screen presence than anything else.
More tag teams were in Bloom's future as he formed X Factor alongside Justin Credible and X Pac in early 2001, which eventually led to Bloom being used in a regular combo with X Pac. Ultimately that went nowhere and, after a few months of nothing, he was paired with Scotty 2 Hotty and given the moniker 'The Hip Hop Hippo.' Why anyone thought that was a good idea we'll never know. It was more absurd than the Prince Albert gimmick.

What Bloom's been doing since leaving WWE

The bright side to Bloom’s history with whacky characters is that it bodes well for his latest persona: Lord Tensai. Judging by the video shown on RAW Bloom is going to be booked as a western character influenced by Japanese tradition. Throw in the bodyguard rumour and it sounds like a bit of a mess. Bloom has made situations more bizarre than this work to his advantage, so we can remain hopeful that Lord Tensai won’t be a complete flop.
Since leaving WWE Bloom has competed extensively in Japan and become known for his tag team work alongside Karl Anderson. The two have won the IWGP and NOAH tag team titles, both of which mean far more than a WWE tag title win. He has continued to improve as a worker to the point that I believe he'd be capable of carrying John Cena to entertaining matches. I keep thinking of Cena's enjoyable tussle with Umaga at Royal Rumble 2007 after 'The Samoan Bulldozer' had improved himself by spending time in the Orient. I think we could have a similar situation here.

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