Albert Re-Signs With WWE

Eight years after his release and after impressing in New Japan Pro Wrestling as "Giant Bernard", the A-Train has returned to the WWE.

International superstar Matt Bloom, who has been a big name in New Japan Pro Wrestling for years as Giant Bernard but is better known over here under the names Prince Albert, Albert and A-Train, has resigned with the WWE eight years after his release. Wrestling Observer reports that Bloom will make his return to the company after next month's WrestleMania 28, and that the current plan is for him to play the new henchman to John Laurinaitis. The signing of Bloom is out of the left field as it's rare the WWE sign up wrestlers who are 39 and especially those who didn't hit the heights that were expected of them with the company previously. Though we have been hearing regular reports of Bloom impressing in Japan and as Giant Bernard is almost unrecognisable with his ring work which to be fair wasn't bad in the WWE, he just didn't get the luck with the gimmicks he was given. Bloom started with the WWE in 1999 at the height of the attitude era and because of his dozens of piercings was given the gimmick "Prince Albert". He was teamed with Droz for a little while and billed as his "personal tattooist" but after his horrific injury, Bloom started to get a rub as half of the tag-team T & A with Andrew Martin (Test) and managed by Trish Stratus. After the team split up, Albert teamed with X-Pac and Justin Credible as "The X-Factor" during with time he won the WWE Intercontinental Title in 2001 before the team got lost in lower midcard obscurity when the WCW/ECW Invasion feud began. After a disastrous run as "The Hip Hop Hippo" as a dancing sidekick to Scotty 2 Hotty, Albert was repackaged as "A-Train" (still a name that did him no favours) in late 2002 with the idea of pushing him as a modern day Mark Henry esque monster. He was teamed with Big Show and Paul Heyman and they ended up even being opponents for The Undertaker at WrestleMania 19 and as a singles opponent at SummerSlam 2003. Since being released in 2004 at a time when the WWE roster had become bloated, Bloom has captured the IWGP Tag Team Gold on two occasions and is a huge international name. Hopefully WWE will bring him back with a brand new and improved name and will make mention of how big he has been in Japan and will make him more than just a Big Boss Man esque gimmick for Lauriniatis.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.