The Author of Pro Wrestling's Weekly Bible
May 15, 2013 10:21 PM   Subscribe

Frank Deford, a 50-year veteran of Sports Illustrated, once labeled Meltzer the most accomplished reporter in sports journalism. “You could cover the Vatican or State Department,” Deford said recently, “and not do as good a job as Dave Meltzer does on wrestling.”
For nearly 30 years, Dave Meltzer has published the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, featuring weekly behind the locker room door insight into the business of professional wrestling. How far reaching has Meltzer's impact been? In one famous incident, Hulk Hogan, frustrated by what he perceived as consistently negative coverage in the publication, burned a copy of the newsletter during a live Pay-Per-View event.
posted by The Gooch (14 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

I've been a loyal Observer subscriber for years. I've even shown Meltzer's articles to non-fans who enjoyed them.
posted by Lusy P Hur at 11:05 PM on May 15, 2013

Subscribing to the Observer isn't in my budget, but Meltzer's impact certainly ripples outward beyond his subscriber base. When you see news posted on one of the Internet sites, it gains instant credibility if it's sourced to Dave Meltzer.
posted by cribcage at 11:13 PM on May 15, 2013

Kandarp's link includes links to legendary Japanese professional wrestling matches. Here's Akira Hokuto vs Manami Toyota. I've been reading Battle Royale and I thought those names were fictional.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:08 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

If they showed John Kerry and Pope Francis grappling in appropriately styled Mexican wrestling masks, I might watch.
posted by pracowity at 1:27 AM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Whoa, I was just thinking of Frank Deford last night. He used to (still does?) have a weekly segment on NPR that was always dependably exactly wrong about whatever he was talking about. He had a worse batting average than Mara Liasson, if you can imagine.
posted by DU at 4:05 AM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

“You could cover the Vatican or State Department,” Deford said recently, “and not do as good a job as Dave Meltzer does on wrestling.”

Not to take away from Meltzer, but in all honesty, I would do a really crappy job of covering the Vatican and State Department.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:26 AM on May 16, 2013

He used to (still does?) have a weekly segment on NPR...

Still does; here is yesterdays. I always enjoy listening to him
posted by TedW at 7:22 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd like to read some of this guy's writing, but everything's behind paywalls. Any samples anywhere?
posted by grubi at 8:06 AM on May 16, 2013

Cool article. Thank you for sharing it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:09 AM on May 16, 2013

I've been a subscriber since the days of the typewritten newsletter with handwritten corrections. These days, I read mostly for Dave's excellent coverage of the UFC and other mixed martial arts promotions.
posted by maurice at 9:07 AM on May 16, 2013

I started subscribing to the Wrestling Observer in 1988 when I was finishing up my freshman year of high school. I was a loyal subscriber until just a few years ago, which had more to do with me having stopped watching wrestling for the most part, so subscribing to the newsletter became akin to subscribing to a cricket or Australian Rules football publication in terms of how familiar I was with the subject matter, rather than any reflection on the quality of Meltzer's writing, which remained excellent.

The newsletter used to have a "Letters to the Editor" section. When I was in high school, prompted mostly by my enjoying seeing my name in print and imagining all of the wrestling luminaries who were reading my brilliant insights into the business, I had numerous letters published which are pretty cringe-worthy to read in hindsight. Another "thankfully this was before there was a permanent online record" moment for me.

I cannot overstate how big a part of my life reading this newsletter used to be. Without realizing it, Dave Meltzer has caused major friction in several of my relationships, including the one with my now-wife, because of how exasperated whoever I was dating at the time would get with my becoming completely useless for the next couple hours after having received a new issue in the mail.
posted by The Gooch at 9:34 AM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Using Frank Deford to endorse another sports writer does nothing to improve my respect for said writer. In fact, Frank Deford's commentaries on NPR make me reach for the dial more quickly than a pledge drive break.

Just sayin'.
posted by Doohickie at 11:14 AM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

“You could cover the Vatican or State Department,” Deford said recently, “and not do as good a job as Dave Meltzer does on wrestling.”

Sure, but that's because what goes on there is way more contrived and scripted than what goes on in the WWF.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:29 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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