Meltzer in March 2018
|Born||David Allen Meltzer|
October 24, 1959
New York, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Author, journalist, professional wrestling historian|
|Alma mater||San Jose State|
Mixed martial arts
|Notable works||Wrestling Observer Newsletter; Tributes: Remembering Some of the World's Greatest Wrestlers|
Mary Anne Mirabal (m. 2002)
Since 1983, he has been the publisher and editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON). He has also written for the Oakland Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! Sports, and The National Sports Daily. He has extensively covered mixed martial arts since UFC 1 in 1993 and currently covers the sport for SB Nation. He has been called "the most accomplished reporter in sports journalism" by Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated.
He is also a frequent lecturer on many aspects of the business of MMA, professional wrestling, and boxing at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
Meltzer was born in New York City, and lived in upstate New York until he was ten, before his family settled in San Jose, California. Meltzer earned a journalism degree from San Jose State University and started out as a sports writer for the Wichita Falls Times Record News and the Turlock Journal. He demonstrated an interest in professional wrestling and a journalistic approach to it early in life. Meltzer wrote several wrestling-related publications that predate WON, dating back to 1971. The most notable of these was the California Wrestling Report, ca. 1973–1974, which reported on the still-extant National Wrestling Alliance territories operating out of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Wrestling Observer Editorial Page
The beginnings of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON) date back to 1980, when Meltzer began an annual poll amongst those with whom he corresponded regarding professional wrestling. According to Meltzer, he was just a fan at first. A short time later, he began maintaining a tape-trading list, and would occasionally send match results and news updates along with tape updates. Meltzer stated that he wanted to keep his friends in college "in the loop" for his tape trading as well as the happenings in the business, as the mainstream wrestling magazines catered to a somewhat younger demographic.
Star rating system and impact
Meltzer popularized the "star rating" system (devised by Jim Cornette and his childhood friend Norm M. Dooley), which rates matches on a scale of zero to five stars (sometimes going to negative five stars in the case of very bad matches) in a similar manner to that used by many movie critics.
Meltzer has also given ratings that have exceeded five-stars. The highest he has ever rated a match was seven stars (*******), given to Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega for their match at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall in June 2018. His matches rated above 5 stars are:
- Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat at a Landover, MD house show on March 18, 1989 (6 stars)
- Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada from a June 3, 1994 All Japan show (6 stars)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega from Wrestle Kingdom 11 on January 4, 2017 (6 stars)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall in June 2017 (6 1/4 stars)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega at the 2017 G1 Climax (6 stars)
- Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito at the 2017 G1 Climax (5 3/4 stars)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada from the 2018 Wrestling Dontaku (5 1/2 stars)
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. Taiji Ishimori 2018 Best of the Super Juniors Final (5 1/2 stars)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall (7 stars)
- Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii at the 2018 G1 Climax (5 1/2 Stars)
- Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega at the 2018 G1 Climax (5 1/2 stars)
- Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi at the 2018 G1 Climax (5 3/4 stars)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega at the Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4, 2019 (5 1/2 stars)
- Tributes: Remembering Some of the World's Greatest Wrestlers (Winding Stair Press, 2001, Hardcover) ISBN 1-55366-085-4 ISBN 978-1553660859
- Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Wrestlers (Sports Publishing, 2004, Hardcover) ISBN 1-58261-817-8 ISBN 978-1582618173
Awards and accomplishments
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- James Melby Historian Award (2017)
- George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Jim Melby Award (2016)
- Wrestling Professor, The (November 17, 2004). "Pick My Brain Interview: Dave Meltzer". The Armpit. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Laprade, Patric (July 18, 2016). "Melby Award for Meltzer proper recognition for pioneering work". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter trademark, Trademarkia, Accessed 2010-08-12
- Rossen, Jake (2013-05-15). "In World of Wrestling, Trying to Keep It Real". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- "Lecture by guest speakers Mike Church and Dave Meltzer in Prof. George Foster's class in SearchWorks".
- "Dean S. Planet's Celeb Interviews". Dean S. Planet's. Archived from the original on 2003-08-03. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
- Benaka, Lee (1991). "The Lee Benaka Interviews - Dave Meltzer". Benaka, Lee. Death Valley Driver Video Review. Archived from the original on 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
- Cornette, Jim. "STARS IN THEIR EYES--FSM#138". JimCornette.com. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Bixenspan, David. "Rating Pro Wrestling's New "Best Match Ever" Is Way More Contentious Than It Needs To Be". Deadspin. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- "Dave Meltzer on Twitter: "Misawa vs. Kawada"". Twitter. January 5, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Hart, Bret (2009). Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Grand Central Publishing. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-446-54528-0.
- "Congratulation to Dave Meltzer, the 2017 James Melby Historian Award Winner". Cauliflower Alley Club. December 20, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2017.