Meltzer in March 2018
|Born||David Allen Meltzer|
October 24, 1959
New York, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Author, journalist, professional wrestling historian|
|Alma mater||San Jose State|
Mixed martial arts
|Notable works||Wrestling Observer Newsletter; Tributes: Remembering Some of the World's Greatest Wrestlers|
Mary Anne Mirabal (m. 2002)
Since 1983, he has been the publisher and or of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON). He has also written for the Oakland Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! Sports, and The National Sports Daily. He has extensively covered mixed martial arts since UFC 1 in 1993 and currently covers the sport for SB Nation. He has been called "the most accomplished reporter in sports journalism" by Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated.
He is also a frequent lecturer on many aspects of the business of MMA, professional wrestling, and boxing at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
Meltzer was born in New York City, and lived in upstate New York until he was ten, before his family settled in San Jose, California. Meltzer earned a journalism degree from San Jose State University and started out as a sports writer for the Wichita Falls Times Record News and the Turlock Journal. He demonstrated an interest in professional wrestling and a journalistic approach to it early in life. Meltzer wrote several wrestling-related publications that predate WON, dating back to 1971. The most notable of these was the California Wrestling Report, ca. 1973–1974, which reported on the still-extant National Wrestling Alliance territories operating out of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The beginnings of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON) date back to 1980, when Meltzer began an annual poll amongst those with whom he corresponded regarding professional wrestling. According to Meltzer, he was just a fan at first. A short time later, he began maintaining a tape-trading list, and would occasionally send match results and news updates along with tape updates. Meltzer stated that he wanted to keep his friends in college "in the loop" for his tape trading as well as the happenings in the business, as the mainstream wrestling magazines catered to a somewhat younger demographic.
Meltzer popularized the "star rating" system (devised by Jim Cornette and his childhood friend Norm M. Dooley), which rates matches on a scale of zero to five stars (sometimes going to negative five stars in the case of very bad matches) in a similar manner to that used by many movie critics.
Meltzer has also given ratings that have exceeded five-stars. The first match Meltzer has given a rating that was above five-stars was Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada from a June 3, 1994 All Japan show. The highest he has ever rated a match was seven stars (*******), given to Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega for their match at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall in June 2018.