Attention Dave Meltzer aka “you know who”: I just want to go on record and say that your star match ratings absolutely suck and show just how much of a shill for the business you really are. I would like to thank Virtue for allowing me to use his forum to express the many issues that revolve around the wrestling business today. Over time, the star match rating system “you know who” has in place has not only desensitized fans, but it has also influenced many wrestlers to work unnecessarily dangerous and unsafe. Remember when pro wrestling was a work? Today, many wrestlers are legitimately hurting one another, even if unintentional. I remember when all-time classic wrasslin’ matches were more of a treat, like Savage Vs Steamboat from WrestleMania III and Owen Vs Bret from WM-X. Today, they seem to be a dime a dozen because (again) many wrestlers want to impress “you know who”. Talk about cringe worthy!
The fact that most of the matches that are awarded higher than 4 stars are obviously very good to great matches to even the casual fan, well, that really dumbs down the star match rating system as a whole. Just when we thought a 5 was the best rating a match could get, “you know who” went out of his way to award some New Japan matches higher than that in 2017. Seriously? All that really did was change the scale and basically diluted past great matches that were scored between a 4 and a 5. But honestly, that only diluted those matches in the eyes of “you know who”s minions. Anybody with real wrestling logic and sense can look beyond such a silly rating system and see greatness in a more significant way than how a match flows and finishes. Sure, a great match should flow smoothly with no botches, but there have been many great matches over the years that were not perfect from a technical standpoint, but they still stand the test of time as good to great.
If wrestling matches were supposed to be rated with stars, Andre the Giant Vs Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage Vs Rickey Steamboat at WrestleMania III should be the bar. Wrestling matches are not good or bad based on execution, but rather based on lasting impact on the business itself. For the rest of this article, I will use WrestleMania 1-14 (Golden Era to beginning of Attitude Era) as the playing field and list ten matches “you know who” rated 4 stars or less, that in my opinion, are just as great as some of the 4.25+ star matches. Again, it’s really funny how every match “you know who" gives 5 stars (or greater) is seemingly watering down past great matches. The wrestlers who then strive for those stars are having matches that desensitize fans and are more at risk of getting injured. When you make a scale, leave it the F*CK alone. If a 5 is perfection, then leave it as the highest you can score a match. Or better yet, stop rating matches with stars all together. Okay, here we go…
*Andre the Giant Vs Hulk Hogan WM3: Yes, we know this was not a great match from a technical standpoint because of the parties involved. But seriously, it is still the biggest billed match in the history of pro wrestling and drew the highest indoor attendance for a wrestling event ever. Sorry WrestleMania 32, but that is the truth. “you know who” gave it 4 stars.
*Ted DiBiase Vs Randy Savage WM4: This was the tournament final, and a great pairing up of two rising WWF superstars in the Million Dollar Man Vs the Macho Man. These characters were simply larger than life and for the first time in the Mania Era, someone other than Hogan became the top guy. This match also started what might very well be the greatest angle/story of all-time with the Mega Powers eventually colliding. “you know who” gave it 2.25 stars.
*Hulk Hogan Vs Randy Savage WM5: As previously stated, this was the magnificent payoff for the Mega Powers colliding angle that was a year in the making. Unfortunately, it did put the title back on Hogan, but it also led to Savage becoming the brilliant Macho King gimmick that eventually led to his classic feud against the Ultimate Warrior. “you know who” gave it 2.75 stars.
*Ultimate Warrior Vs Hulk Hogan WM6: Champion Vs Champion! With the Intercontinental title against the WWF title, and the top two baby faces in the company, this was perhaps the biggest match in WWF since Andre Vs Hogan at WM3. Vince McMahon was hoping that this would be a torch passing from Hogan to Warrior; however, we know how that turned out because of the bad working relationship with Warrior and McMahon. Nonetheless, this was an all-time class build and match, despite the two participants’ limitations. “you know who” gave it 3.75 stars.
*Rowdy Roddy Piper Vs Bret the Hitman Hart WM8: This was one of the greatest IC title matches ever, but for some reason, “you know who” did not seem to think so. It was perhaps Piper’s swan song as an active wrestler in WWF. This match was also a huge push towards the top for Bret Hart. “you know who” gave it only 3.5 stars.
*Shawn Michaels Vs Tatanka WM9: This was basically HBK’s coming out party as Mr. WrestleMania, and boy did he and Tatanka deliver a hot opener in Las Vegas. But “you know who” only gave it 3.5 stars.
*Randy Savage Vs Crush at WM10: This was Savage’s PPV swan song as a wrestler in WWF. Although the rules of this Falls Count Anywhere match were a bit funky, it delivered as a midcard bout. It definitely gets lost in the shuffle with Owen Vs Bret and HBK Vs Razor Ladder Match being on the same show. “you know who” gave it 2.75 stars.
*Jeff Jarrett Vs Razor Ramon WM11: Okay, so there was not much great about WM11; however, this match was definitely underrated. "you know who" gave it 2.75 stars.
*Triple H Vs Owen Hart WM14: Owen really helped elevate Triple H to the next level here. And guess what? “you know who” only gave it 3 stars.
*Shawn Michaels Vs Stone Cold Steve Austin WM14: Considering the circumstances of Michaels’ back injury and Austin sustaining a broken neck just months prior, this match still goes down as one of the greatest of all-time. “you know who” gave it 3.25 stars.
So there you have it. Star match ratings are extremely overrated, especially today. While I do agree with many of the matches “you know who” rated 4.25+ stars, most wrestling fans already know those matches were good to great. However, an overzealous star rating system has left many other good to great matches in the dust, especially when compared to the 6 and 6.25 star Okada Vs Omega matches from NJPW. And I only used a small sample size from WM1 through WM14. Are you freakin’ serious?
PPV Grades for 2017
NXT TakeOver: San Antonio = B++
WWE Royal Rumble = B
WWE Elimination Chamber = B
WWE FastLane = C++
NXT TakeOver: Orlando = B++
WWE WrestleMania 33 = B+
WWE Payback = B
NXT TakeOver Chicago = A-
WWE Backlash = B-
WWE Extreme Rules = B
WWE Money in the Bank = B-
WWE Great Balls of Fire = A-
WWE Battleground = C
NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III = A-
WWE SummerSlam = C++
WWE No Mercy = B+
WWE Hell in a Cell = B+
WWE TLC = A-
NXT TakeOver War Games = B++