Let’s Talk About the Star Ratings

Alright, I’m not going to spend my time with this piece ripping on Dave Meltzer. I like Meltzer. I watch a lot of his videos that go up on YouTube. His place in the industry is set in stone. He is one of the most knowledgeable people in the wrestling world, he’s a great historian, and his opinions on the various products are very interesting to listen to. People can rip him all they want, feud with him online all they want, and try to discredit him as a paid chaos actor against WWE all they want. The truth is that he’s just a well-respected, knowledgeable guy with an opinion. You may disagree with those opinions, but that doesn’t change the status that he has achieved covering wrestling for decades. I respect him and I’m happy to say that a lot of things I’ve learned about the business have come from listening to him. The thing I’m going to talk about here are his star ratings which has become a hot button topic as of late.

Dave is famous for his star ratings for individual matches. It is because of his status in the industry that his match ratings carry weight with wrestlers. Dave has his opinions on what makes a 5-star match and he’s absolutely entitled to have those opinions. I think it’s ridiculous to constantly rip him for giving his opinions in this way. People want to say that he’s biased against WWE, but he’s been vocal for years that he prefers a certain style and it’s a style that is historically not employed by the WWE. THAT’S FINE. It’s okay that he values one style over another. Wrestling fans favor different styles over others ALL THE TIME. So, it’s okay for us to favor WWE’s style over AEW’s or NJPW’s but it’s not okay for Dave to favor the Japanese style of wrestling. That sounds a tad hypocritical, doesn’t it? We get into this debate though because Dave’s name and opinion carries weight. You can argue whether it should, but it does. He’s earned it.

Do I agree with his ratings all the time? Definitely not. Do I believe that there are a ton of WWE matches that deserve a 5-star rating? Absolutely. Does it ultimately matter whether those matches got a 5-star rating or not? NO. That doesn’t invalidate Dave’s opinion, but like Seth Rollins said on Logan Paul’s podcast recently, the wrestlers just want to put on a great match, and we all know what a great match looks like as fans. It’s ridiculous to get so hung up on whether a match gets a 5-star rating. Is Hogan vs. Rock at WrestleMania not one of the best matches ever because it didn’t get 5 stars from Dave? Of course not. That match was amazing. How about Kurt vs. HBK at Mania 21, or HHH vs. Undertaker at Mania 27/28, Undertaker vs. HBK at Mania 25/26? Those are some of the greatest matches of all time. I can go on and on about incredible, all-time great matches that didn’t get 5-stars. People can agree with his opinions, wrestlers can perform in a style they think will garner 5-stars, but it ultimately doesn’t matter when it comes to perception.

The matches people think are GOAT matches will be GOAT matches no matter how many stars Dave gives them. What makes a 5-star match to me is different from what someone else considers a 5-star match. Back during the Monday Night Wars, people preferred WCW’s style over WWE’s or ECW’s over both of them. It’s subjective. Does it really matter that Stone Cold Steve Austin only has ONE 5-star rating in his career? Does it really matter that Kurt Angle has ZERO 5-star ratings? What matters is that they are regarded as two of the greatest of all time. The Undertaker’s streak garnered no 5-star ratings. It doesn’t matter. The streak is one of the greatest things ever done in pro-wrestling and yielded some of the best matches ever. People care about this so much because they’re more invested in hating Dave.

If people hate Dave so much, then why is this debate about his ratings even a thing? Why do people invest so much time into making it known how much they hate him? People even argue with on him Twitter and get mad when he hits them with facts. If you don’t agree with him, then cool, don’t agree with him. To sit there and argue with him about wrestling when he’s probably forgotten more about the business than any of us will ever learn is laughable to me. Appreciate whatever style you enjoy. Let Dave do the same.