Done with the observer

Hello sir,

I just want to take a second to speak about the sorry state of reporting breaking wrestling news.

Like many that visit this site, I joined the wrestling observer website because it made me feel that I was connected to the business of wrestling. My friends watched wrestling but I was the guy that had the behind the scenes dirt because I was willing to pay the ten bucks a month to find out the scoops before everyone else.

Now after every story is reported by everyone else I have to hear Meltzer say oh I've known something was going down for weeks blah blah blah. Then why haven't you said so on one of 35 shows you do every week in between all of your well you know/I don't knows?  I'm not paying to hear Bryan Alvarez talk to his grandmother. I want the dirt. You acting like this fountain of knowledge while not giving your members the information you have is a disservice. The truth is no one really breaks news in a professional and entertaining way anymore. The inside fan is better off just going on to get the scoops.

​I think a lot of that is valid, actually.  As much as I love the daily Observer Radio shows with Dave and Bryan, Dave can be really evasive about stuff or does a lot of "Oh, ask me after we're off the air" to protect sources and such.  And yeah, I also find the Granny and contest portions of the B&V show a drag and generally skip them.  And the Todd Martin departure was such an embarrassment on a lot of levels for them.  I will say I'm enjoying Filthy Tom Lawlor's appearances thus far as Todd's replacement.  And for me, as you can probably tell by now, having the 1996 Observer archive to get insights from the time while I'm reviewing the shows is invaluable and worth the $10 a month for me by itself.  Which is not to say Dave himself can't be kind of a jerk about things at times, but personally I get my money's worth out of the subscription even with all the flaws.  It's not like Bryan isn't TRYING to make things better​, but even the F4W board has pointed out a lot of the same things.  

Reading an old Observer

Reading the March 30, 1998 Observer, and two things struck me. I was curious what you'd think.
"In the 4/27 battle with Raw in Hampton and Nitro in Norfolk, WWF has sold 5,910 tickets for $102,000 or about 80% of the building while Nitro is already sold out at 9,000 tickets and $164,000."
This, of course, was the famous DX Invasion. When I've seen the WWE's side of the story, Nitro was supposedly papered to all heck, but according to this, the Nitro show (during the peak of WCW's business) was sold out in a bigger building with a bigger gate, faster than the WWF show cross-town. So who's right here? Is the WWE lying today, or did Meltzer get ba


info back then?

Given that Nitro was at its hottest point then, it's pretty clearly WWE lying.  In fact WCW used to err on the side of going too small with the arenas for a while when they could have sold out bigger ones.  But that was the propaganda line from Vince — they paper their shows, we don't.  

"Kevin "Nailz" Wacholz, the original Latrell Sprewell, is expected to join the NWO and get a big push."
Nailz was supposed to get a WCW job? What happened? Do you remember this? This seems out of the blue, as this would have been seven years after choking McMahon and four years after the steroid trials. In retrospect, this would have been a bigger disaster than Warrior in WCW, right?
​But what would they have named him?  Nutz?  Boltz?  ​

Observer vs PW Torch

Hey Scott,
I've been following your blog for the past year and I have a great respect for your opinion.  All this network talk has me back into wrestling like I haven't been since the attitude area.  I'm thinking about subscribing to one of the big newsletters… What can you tell me about Me


tzer's Observer (which I see you reference often) vs Kell


r's Torch?

I can't really give you any insight into the Torch because I was only a reader very briefly in the Monday Night Wars era, but I've been a subscriber to the Observer basically since 1999, although I tend to enjoy the site more for the podcasts than the Observer itself these days.  Dave used to be much more animated in his analysis of wrestling than he is now, and he certainly doesn't crack as many jokes and bust on guys who are terrible as he used to.  Clearly he's as burned out on the sport as CM Punk is, but with the added problem of having to base his entire income on covering it.  The discussions in particular on Daniel Bryan are really interesting, as Dave is very focused on house show numbers and merch sales alone in backing Vince's stance towards not pushing him as the top guy.  Dave tends to drop a LOT of info into the radio show, given that we're paying for it and we don't need to be directed to the newsletter for the real scoops, which is nice.  
As for the Torch, Keller and Bruce Mitchell are both great guys and there's some cool people who write for it, but I have no real experience with it and I hate their website layout anyway.  

Wrestling Observer Award Questions

Hey Scott quick question

I was reading up on the past Meltzer's Wrestling Observer awards. I've been watching wrestling since prolly 82 or so, so I know pretty much about everything that was awarded. In 81, he gave the most disgusting promotional tactic to "Monster Character" in Lebelle Promotions. What is this? I have tried looking it up and am unsuccessful. Also in 82, the most disgusting promotional tactic was 'Bob Backlund as WWF Champion'. What was so disgusting about this? I assume he was pretty stale at this point, but was it really *THAT* disgusting of a tactic? Just a couple questions for you

Meltzer was asked about the Backlund one just recently, and even he doesn't remember what the deal was there.  Early 80s Dave was a different beast than today, with the awards more based on his own whims of the time than any kind of scientific voting method.  So basically he or some of his friends might have been really sick of Backlund at the time.  
The "monster character", no clue there either.  I barely even remember Lebelle's promotion, although again it would have been pretty specific to someone like Meltzer who was based in California in that area at the time.  
So yeah, not really much help for you, sorry.  

Observer Hall of Fame 2012!

…kinda sucks.

John Cena, Hans Schmidt, Mick McManus, Gus Sonnenburg, Captain Lou Albano and announcer Alfonso Morales.  Cena was a shoo-in, Albano should have been in there already, and the rest are pretty whatever to me. Big Daddy didn't even get close after all the hysteria from his supporters, Sting is still stuck at 38%, Edge wasn't even close in the year where you'd think it would be his best shot.  Rock N Roll Express and Bill Apter are still creeping up and hopefully one or either gets in soon.
So there you go.