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Photograph © World Wrestling Entertainment, used with permission

Good Sport

Chris Weber

The A-Train

In a profession where pummeling coworkers is not only tolerated but expected, Matt Bloom (CGS ’94) anxiously stood offstage in Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, eagerly awaiting his cue, while fighting the urge to vomit during his first day on the job.

Matt Bloom, better known as professional wrestling’s A-Train, is grappling with success.

On the other side of the curtain? The realization of a dream and a chance for the former Pitt football player and high school thespian to put his talents to use as a professional wrestler with the hugely popular World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

"I love being a heel," says Bloom, who, along with his tag-team partner burst from behind the curtain towards the ring in a classic "run-down" to beat up on an unwitting foe in front of more than 19,000 rabid fans. "To hear everyone in the crowd screaming at us was unbelievable. I was in awe."

Bloom — all 6-feet-7, 380 pounds of him — is better known today among wrestling faithful as the heavily body-pierced "A-Train." A native of Peabody, Mass., Bloom earned his BA degree in legal studies and played with the Panthers as an offensive tackle from 1992 to 1994. His 1999 debut with the WWF (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment) came after a brief career as a teacher in Boston followed by intensive wrestling-school training.

"Wrestling is tough, but I’m working hard and enjoying the ride," says Bloom, 31, whose high school acting credits included roles in Fiddler on the Roof and Dogs (a parody of the Broadway hit Cats). "My goal is to always put on a good show; to either make the fans stand up and applaud or boo me to death."

Bloom, who wrestles an average of 26 dates per month across the country, can be seen Thursday nights on WWE’s television show SmackDown!

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