Matt Bloom is the latest in a string of wrestling success stories whose local roots can be directly traced back to the Kowalski Wrestling School in Malden.
For over 13 years, Killer Kowalski’s Pleasant Street studio has been a stepping stone into the world of professional wrestling, from the local circuit, to the World Wrestling Federation. Currently known in the WWF as ‘Albert,’ Bloom is the latest graduate to take that giant step towards super stardom, and his proud teacher couldn’t be more happier.
" Right now, I think he’s becoming one of the best wrestlers they have there, " said Walter ‘Killer’ Kowalski. " He’s a big guy that moves very, very well. He tremendous. I think he’s going to become the next WWF champion. I firmly believe that. "
Bloom trained at Killer Kowalski’s Professional Wrestling School for a year and a half. His relentless training regiment along with his muscular physique, quickly established the Peabody native as a force to be reckoned with within the local club circuit.
" He was an enormous guy that came in with a tremendous look, " said Richard Byrne, a Tang Soo Do Grandmaster, and veteran of both the independent and international wrestling circuit. According to Byrne, Bloom had what the professional scouts were looking for in terms of raw talent and physical strength. It was only a matter of fine tuning his craft inside the ring.
" He really hasn’t changed much from the time he came to the WWF to when he walked in here, " said Byrne, whose shares his Korean Karate Studio with Kowalski’s Wrestling School. " Because of the look and the size that he had, the door was already partially open. All he had to do is learn how to wrestle, and the door would open the rest of the way. He was the type that they were looking for. I told him that, and I’ve said it to maybe three people out of all the people that have walked through the door here. "
Bloom quickly drew the attention of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), who offered the Peabody native a contract. But at the advice of his teacher, Bloom balked at the WCW bid, holding out hope for a shot at the World Wrestling Federation.
" He became so good that WCW wanted to hire him, but I told him not to go, " admits Kowalski. " He was good enough to the point where if he went to WCW they might have tried to demean him a little bit. I told him to stay here, that the WWF will find out that WCW is interested, and they would come calling. "
As it turned out, Kowalski was right. The WWF hired Bloom soon after, allowing him train at Kowalski’s School for 7 more months, to perfect his craft, before finally taking him out on the road - and the rest was wrestling history.