Tag Archives: Dave Meltzer

My Influences in Wrestling

This is interesting, I’m not sure I have many. I listen to a great deal of podcasts and YouTube shows. For the most part, I respect the opinions of the people I listen to (I respect all of their opinions as a rule…that is why I listen to them). At the same time, I am not sure there is someone who influences how I approach analyzing what I see. I guess if anyone is an influence on how I approach looking at wrestling critically it would be Dave Meltzer.

The reason that Meltzer is the biggest influence on me is because he looks at wrestling the way that it should be looked at, which is what works. I completely agree with his philosophy that the key to getting over is getting over. That is how I look at wrestling as well. I don’t really have many preferences…I just like to see things that work. My philosophy on entertainment is completely different from my philosophy on “real life.” In entertainment the goal is to engage the audience and whatever draws the audience (with very very very few exceptions) is good…no matter what it is. In my real life I try to be as different as possible and I get frustrated by the bandwagon mentality, but in entertainment the idea is to create that mentality….I accept and endorse that. Getting back to Meltzer, I do not agree with everything he says…but his approach to looking at wrestling is similar to mine.

I am not sure anyone else is an influence. I could listen to someone talk about a show or a segment or the overall landscape of a promotion or wrestling in general and I could agree with their isolated opinion…but for instance Wade Keller, Sam Roberts, Dalyxman, JD from New York, Bruce Mitchell, Todd Martin, Bryan Alvarez, Good Mic Work are all people that I listen to, but only Martin and Mitchell are even close to being “influences”…the other people I just named are just guys with a microphone. I enjoy listening to them, but that’s where it stops.

Even though Meltzer gets criticized for how he views certain matches in terms of actual match quality….I see where he is coming from. His mentality is the goal should be to engage the audience and people who do that should get credit for it. Do our favorite matches line up? I don’t know. At the same time, I will say that I tend to be more on the Meltzer scale in terms of what makes a good match than those who favor minimalism. I absolutely respect and endorse those who do more with less because efficiency in wrestling is the best approach, but I am not going to complain about a crazy Young Bucks match.

I also think there is a difference between looking at booking/presentation versus matches. I may not always agree with Meltzer on matches, but first of all (as I said) I tend to have the same approach on analyzing matches as he does and secondly I think that even if someone disagrees with Meltzer on match quality…that is easier to ignore, especially because he seems to have his favorites. You can agree to disagree on matches while still respecting Meltzer’s opinion on the booking/presentation which actually does more to draw because in that sense Meltzer is as unbiased as it gets.

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Speaking of Spoilers

My one criticism of Dave Meltzer’s work is that how casually he gives away spoilers. I am a big fan of Meltzer in general, but his arrogance and stubborness when it comes to giving away spoilers is disappointing. He is right when he says it is news. At the same time, a spoiler warning is not that hard to give to listeners or readers of his newsletter. It feels as if because he does not care about spoilers, no one else should.

In his defense, multiple times Meltzer has said if listeners (or readers) do not want spoilers…they should not listen to him. I do not think that is good enough, but it is something.

I Feel Like…

I should do a correct PWTorch entry every day. There are so many things that they get factually wrong. I admit that I am someone who remembers a lot and I watch the WWE Network often and Wade Keller and Bruce Mitchell don’t. Moreover, the things they do not remember are not that important for analysis of today (or the past in many cases)-but still…

For instance, I believe that Bruce Mitchell (who I am a fan of) said that Vince Russo booked the Bagwell turn in July 0f 1998 (which was a big deal or could have been because after the neck injury-Bagwell had babyface potential). Russo wasn’t booking WCW until late 1999.

Wade Keller often speaks about how Edge and Christian were just stunt guys and Edge did not really get a chance to talk until the Matt Hardy situation. Edge and Christian talked just about every week in 2000 once they turned heel. What Keller said is factually wrong.

I have a PWtorch.com subscription so if I committed to it-I could probably do a correction article every day.

As far as the Torch goes, I want to talk about this more another time-but I would say it is worth the money. If you are only willing to pay for one between the Torch and the Observer-I would still say that latter. Meltzer has too much information-both historically and in terms of today’s wrestling.

WrestlingObserver.com-Neutral

Before getting into the negatives of wrestlingobserver.com, I will take a detour (WWE Countdown ™) into the neutral aspects of the website.

TV Reports:

Eh…every website has television recaps. The ones on wrestlingobserver.com are no better or worse than anyone else from the major websites. I am sure that many wrestling fans that would be willing to put the time in could do just as good or better than the observer re-cappers (, but they aren’t bad. Ultimately, the best recaps are not on the computer screen, they are on the audio with Bryan and Dave-which I discussed in my last post.

Figure Four Weekly:

This is the other regular newsletter on the site besides the Wrestling Observer newsletter. Figure Four Weekly is different from the observer in that it was never a tremendous source of news, but now it has shifted into becoming an entity which is not a source of news at all. The first part of the newsletter features writing from David Bixenspan, which is always nice for me to read because he is one of my favorite message board posters-but it is not a must-read by any means. Moreover, there are negatives when it comes to Figure Four Weekly (which will be discussed below).

Bryan and Vinny: Obviously everything that I say in the reviews for the Wrestling Observer membership or any other website/membership is subjective. At the same time, there are two reasons that I am putting the Bryan and Vinny show in the neutral instead of negative column. The first is that it is a popular show and if I am going to be fair-I have to acknowledge that there are people who enjoy the show. The second is that this more than anything is an example of my personal taste. The Bryan and Vinny show is too (to use one of their words) “wacky” for me. It is obvious from listening to this show-which I stopped doing years ago-that Dave reels in Bryan’s worst tendencies like a grounded wrestler reels another wrestler who only does high-spots. In other words, I am refraining from putting Bryan and Vinny in the negative column because even though it is all subjective-there are too many people that love the show and if anyone reading this hasn’t tried it out, I don’t want to make it seem like it is a bad show. It is a bad show for me.