Dave Meltzer: Strong Style Mark?

Hi Scott

I was looking over Meltzer's 5* match listings and was shocked by the matches left off the list (HBK/UT WM, Bret/Owen WM, Austin/Rock, Foley/HHH etc.) I get that it's subjective and all but to go from that list, from '97 to now, nothing was better than Punk/Cena MitB. I'm a huge fan of that match but can name 5 in that time period that are better off the top of my head.

Meanwhile, over in Japan, especially in the 90s, Meltzer was giving out 5*s left and right. What gives? Was Meltzer just a huge fan of the strong style? Was it an snob thing where people like to say, "US matches are nothing compared to what goes on overseas…" I'll readily admit to being bred on WWE style and not quite getting Japan, but come on, wasn't Meltzer being a bit biased?

​I think Dave would readily admit to being biased towards Japanese strong style.  And it's not like his star ratings are word of law or anything.  That's what I'm here for.  ​

Dave Meltzer Rates Mania 31

Four-Way Tag Match: ***1/2
Andre Battle Royal: ***1/4
Intercontinental Ladder Match: ****1/4
Orton vs Rollins: ****
HHH vs Sting: **1/2
AJ&Paige vs Bellas: **1/2
Cena vs Rusev: ***1/2
Undertaker vs Bray: **3/4
Lesnar vs Reigns (vs Rollins): ****1/2

As can be seen, he believes this was a very entertaining four hours.

Discuss here.

Big Dave

Did WWE really drop the ball not going all in on Batista last year? They clearly messed up attempting to bring him in as a face but once he turned heel he was really killing it. The Wrestlemania XXX main event and the 6 man Evolution vs. Shield tag matches were all amazing stuff. Even his outfits were on point, the "Bluetista" attire has to be the best heel attire of the last 10 years. Of course his movie was huge last summer which would have generated much desired main stream press. I was also thinking if they really are going all in on Reigns, Big Dave would be the perfect heel to try and get him over. After a year of perspective I really loved his run after the heel turn and it's a damn shame he's not on TV right now.

​Bluetista was just the victim of being the wrong guy at the wrong time, unfortunately.  Also, bringing him in as a babyface was a wicked dumb move too, when clearly the Evolution reunion with Big Hollywood Star Dave was the right direction from jump street.  Thankfully Wrestlemania still worked out OK last year, but Dave had bigger career ambitions anyway.  ​

Dave Scherer Goes Insane, Threatens To Sue Me

Now, to be clear here, I'm not publishing e-mails from Mr. Scherer, because he has made it clear that any e-mails sent from him do not have permission to be published on this site under threat of legal action.  Even though it's been clearly established that people who e-mail me can reasonably have the expectation of having their e-mails published.  But just to summarize today's events without publication involved:
– Dave e-mails me with threats of legal action if Brian publishes e-mails from him.
– I tell Dave to blow it out his ass and leave me out of it.  That's a quote, by the way.
– Dave responds with more legal threats, plus some unwarranted personal attacks against me and Brian.  Apparently I've always been a freak.  
Given I haven't even spoken to Dave since 1995 I don't even know what his issue is anymore (and he hasn't produced any evidence of what was "stolen" in the first place) I can only presume he's gone off the deep end.  So go subscribe to his site, everyone!  

Big Dave



What with Batista being pretty well universally panned right now, I was thinking about when he wasn't.  In 05 when he caught fire, how did that come about?  Was it a gradual thing and I'm just not remembering it correctly?  I distinctly remember it going, one week he was "Batista: Evolution's Heavy.", and the next week he was "Batista: Super babyface, WrestleMania Main Eventer."  Am I remembering it wrong?

Thanks,
Steve Stevens

Wait, Steve Stevens the guitarist?  You were awesome on "Rebel Yell"!
Anyway, yes, you're remembering it wrong.   Dave did a slow burn where Flair and Hunter would be talking shit behind his back and Dave would happen to hear them, thus creating dramatic tension because the audience had info that the heels didn't.  It created exactly the organic babyface turn that Orton should have been.  In particular I remember being really hyped to see Dave win the title in the Chamber when it was vacated there at the end of 04.  

Scott vs Dave

I was sent this analysis from a fan of Scott’s who goes by the name Joesph, the other day. As he puts it:

“It’s a frequency analysis I did on all of his matches rated above 4
stars (****1/4 to *****). I took 12 wrestlers as I mention in the study
who put on great matches. I just completed a study for Dave Meltzer’s
ratings as well and compared the two”

It’s no surprise who’s at number 1, really. Also, keep in mind, this is strictly for a person’s WWE career. Other promotions need not apply. This was a great deal of work, and an interesting read. Especially that The Rock doesn’t get any 5 star love. I thought for sure most people considered WMX7 to be a 5 star main event, but I suppose the ending does sour it.

Anyone else want to use the Caliber Express Line: [email protected]


Scott Keith Ratings 

*****
HBK-8   Austin-6   Jericho-1
Bret-6    Rock-0   Benoit-5
Undertaker-3   HHH-6    Angle-1
Foley-2   Edge-4   Flair-1

****3/4
HBK-6    Austin-2   Jericho-5
Bret-2    Rock-3    Benoit-5
Undertaker-0   HHH-4   Angle-2
Foley-1   Edge-1   Flair-0

****1/2
HBK-7   Austin-3   Jericho-5
Bret-6   Rock-8   Benoit-6
Undertaker-7    HHH-7   Angle-8
Foley-2   Edge-6   Flair-1

****1/4
HBK-9   Austin-4    Jericho-4
Bret-7   Rock-2    Benoit-13
Undertaker-3   HHH-3   Angle-13
Foley-3    Edge-9   Flair-4

Total Values (4.25-5* Matches) From Greatest to Least 

HBK-30
Benoit-29
Angle-24
Bret-21
HHH-20
Edge-20
Austin-15
Jericho-15
Undertaker-13
Rock-13
Foley-8
Flair-6

NOTES:
I counted every Scott Keith match that was listed above 4* for 12 WWE
wrestlers who put on many matches above the 4 star level throughout
their careers, in order to evaluate what superstars had higher quality
matches over their careers than their fellow wrestlers. (This included
the updated Rock vs. John Cena match from WM28 at ****1/2). So from
4.25*-5*, every match was reviewed. I counted tag team matches and
survivor series matches as well. For example, The Rockers vs.
Brainbusters received a rating of ****1/2 and since it has Shawn in it;
therefore, Shawn received a tally mark. Another example: The tag team
match from Survivor Series ’87 (rated ****1/4) had Bret compete in it;
therefore, he received a tally mark for that match. Royal Rumble matches
were only tallied for wrestlers if they won that rumble e.g. Flair,
Benoit, and Edge each won a rumble rated *****; therefore, they each
received one tally mark. Other participants on this list who
participated in the rumble, but did not win it, received no tally mark.

As the results show, Shawn had the most ***** and ****3/4
matches at 8 and 6 respectively. Angle and The Rock tied for the most
****1/2 matches at 8. Benoit and Angle tied for the most ****1/4 matches
at 13. Overall, Shawn had the most matches rated above 4 stars on SK’s
list at 30 matches, barely beating out Benoit’s 29 matches. Variables
included when these wrestlers wrestled. For example, Flair had most of
his best matches in the ‘80s in NWA, and since this statistical study
only included WWF/WWE matches, he did not score as high. Longevity in a
wrestler’s career would statistically increase the amount of matches
over 4 stars a wrestler would have, as well as other variables such as:
the amount of PPV’s a wrestler wrestled in, lack of injuries, how many
TV matches on Superstars/Raw/Smackdown, etc. a wrestler competed in,
etc., – would all naturally be factors affecting the outcome of whether
a wrestler had a lot of high rated matches or not. Keep in mind that
these are the opinions of one man only-Scott Keith, and are in no way
determinate on what others may think; however, Scott Keith is one of the
most knowledgeable reviewers on the topic and has issued more wrestling
reviews than just about any other person I have ever seen (with maybe
the exception of Dave Meltzer). Even if very knowledgeable fans disagree
with a match by 0.25* or 0.5*, the list is still very accurate for many
criteria, such as the following example: If Wrestler “A” had 22 matches
rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and Wrestler “B” had 9 matches
rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and they both wrestled for about
the same amount of longevity, with just a few injuries throughout each
one’s career, etc. , then Wrestler “A” clearly had better matches over
the course of his career; hence, it can be argued, that Wrestler “A” was
the better wrestler and had the better career.

Dave Meltzer Ratings 

*****
HBK-2   Austin-1   Jericho-0
Bret-2    Rock-0   Benoit-0
Undertaker-1    HHH-0   Angle-0
Foley-0   Edge-0   Flair-0

****3/4
HBK-7   Austin-2   Jericho-3
Bret-2    Rock-0   Benoit-6
Undertaker-3   HHH-4   Angle-3
Foley-0   Edge-3   Flair-0

****1/2
HBK-9   Austin-7    Jericho-6
Bret-2   Rock-5   Benoit-5
Undertaker-6   HHH-7   Angle-8
Foley-5   Edge-9   Flair-0

****1/4
HBK-13   Austin-5   Jericho-9
Bret-6   Rock-7   Benoit-13
Undertaker-4   HHH-10   Angle-15
Foley-1   Edge-16   Flair-2

Total Values (4.25-5* Matches) From Greatest to Least 

HBK-31
Edge-28
Angle-26
Benoit-24
HHH-21
Jericho-18
Austin-15
Undertaker-14
Bret-12
Rock-12
Foley-6
Flair-2

NOTES:
I counted every Dave Meltzer match that was listed above 4* for 12 WWE
wrestlers who put on many matches above the 4 star level throughout
their careers, in order to evaluate what superstars had higher quality
matches over their careers than their fellow wrestlers. So from
4.25*-5*, every match was reviewed. I counted tag team matches and
survivor series matches as well. For example, The Rockers vs.
Brainbusters received a rating of ****1/4 and since it has Shawn in it;
therefore, Shawn received a tally mark. Another example: The tag team
match from Survivor Series ’01 (rated ****1/2) had Austin, Angle, The
Rock, and Jericho compete in it; therefore, they each received a tally
mark for that match. As the results show, Shawn and Bret had the most
***** matches at 2 apiece (though DM only has given a 5 star rating 5
times). Shawn had the most ****3/4 matches at 7. Shawn and Edge tied for
the most ****1/2 matches at 9 apiece. Edge had the most ****1/4 matches
at 16. Overall, Shawn had the most matches rated above 4 stars on DM’s
list at 31 matches, beating out Edge’s 28 matches. Variables included
when these wrestlers wrestled. For example, Flair had most of his best
matches in the ‘80s in NWA, and since this statistical study only
included
WWF/WWE matches, he did not score as high. Longevity in a
wrestler’s career would statistically increase the amount of matches
over 4 stars a wrestler would have, as well as other variables such as:
the amount of PPV’s a wrestler wrestled in, lack of injuries, how many
TV matches on Superstars/Raw/Smackdown, etc. a wrestler competed in,
etc., – would all naturally be factors affecting the outcome of whether
a wrestler had a lot of high rated matches or not. Keep in mind that
these are the opinions of one man only-Dave Meltzer and are in no way
determinate on what others may think; however, Dave Meltzer is one of
the most knowledgeable reviewers on the topic and has issued more
wrestling reviews than just about any other person I have ever seen
(with maybe the exception of Scott Keith). Even if very knowledgeable
fans disagree with a match by 0.25* or 0.5*, the list is still very
accurate for many criteria, such as the following example: If Wrestler
“A” had 22 matches rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and Wrestler
“B” had 9 matches rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and they both
wrestled for about the same amount of longevity, with just a few
injuries throughout each one’s career, etc. , then Wrestler “A” clearly
had better matches over the course of his career; hence, it can be
argued, that Wrestler “A” was the better wrestler and had the better
career.

***Comparing Dave Meltzer to Scott Keith’s ratings*** 

Scott
and Dave’s lists are interesting to compare for a number of reasons.
First off, once again Shawn Michaels tops the list with the highest
number of matches rated above **** at 30 and 31, respectively. Angle and
Benoit finished high on DM’s ratings, just like SK’s, only on DM’s,
Edge finished very high at #2 for highest number of matches rated above
****. HHH, Austin, Undertaker, and The Rock finished similar on both
frequency analyses. Jericho scored higher on DM’s list; whereas, Bret
surprisingly finished much lower on DM’s list, than he did on SK’s.
Foley and Flair, once again finished in the bottom two.
There
were naturally some matches that only Scott Keith reviewed and not Dave
Meltzer and vice versa, which would naturally be a factor scoring;
however, both guys had about the same amount of matches rated in each of
the four categories from ****1/4 to *****. Meltzer is very harsh on
giving out a 5 star rating with only 5; whereas, Keith (like most fans)
goes the full monty much more generously.