Dave Meltzer On If Wrestling Popularity is in a Resurgence, NJPW’s Expansion, Omega vs Okada, Explains His Five Star Rating System, More

omega vs okada

Credit: NJPW/TV Asahi

Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com recently spoke with The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling and below are some interview highlights:

The emphasis put on the star ratings and matches obtaining 5 stars:

“I put thought into it but I consider my reporting to be a million times more important than my star ratings which is why I find it hilarious when there are big stories in wrestling and real big things where people just say why didn’t you give that match 5 stars when you gave it 4 3/4 and it is like Jesus Christ I said it was a great match (laughing).”

“I’ll always say is it 5 or 4 3/4? I said this after the Cena match with AJ (at the Royal Rumble) and I said it after Okada and Tanahashi’s G1 match and as soon as I ask that question it is a 4 3/4 star match and that is it. A 5 star match I would never have to ask that question. That is the difference. When people say why didn’t you give it 5? Well because when it was over I wasn’t sure so it is 4 3/4 and when you are not sure it is 4 3/4.”

Going back to change a star rating and older matches holding up:

“There is not really time for me to go back and watch a 40 minute match twice although obviously (laughing) Omega and Okada I watched three times. If the time permits and all that yeah but it’s generally not something that I would do and the one thing that I would never do is go back twenty years and rate a match because I think that when you go back it is like if I watch wrestling now and I watch something from twenty years ago everything about wrestling is different now than it was twenty years ago. So if I am watching with my 2017 eyes a match from 1997 or 1987 and I go well it is not as good as I remember it, NO you can’t say that because when we were watching it that is what it was. The wrestlers are not performing for 2017 fans they are performing for 1987 fans. That is what people when they go back and watch older stuff and say and whenever I see the term “it didn’t hold up” , you don’t get wrestling. They are not performing for a fan thirty years (later) who has seen all these new moves.

Is wrestling’s in a resurgence of popularity:

“I once went to a hockey game with Ric Flair and this is 1989 and it is like this guy, you just have no idea how much this guy was mobbed and I would talk to people when Punk would go to hockey games and say “oh my God” they must mob him and they say well no they don’t. But it is like the people who are wrestling fans have more wrestling to watch and are more into wrestling and I think that the hardcore wrestling fans are more into wrestling and will spend more money on wrestling than any fan base ever would before but there is not as many of them. Even if you go to the late 80s period there were way, way more wrestling fans but it is not like they are going to be spending $2,000 to go on their vacation to a wrestling show because they wouldn’t do that. It was just a different era.”

New Japan’s expansion into the United States:

“In the 90s when New Japan and even more  All Japan were really great and I was thinking wouldn’t it be great if New Japan and All Japan got TV in the Unites States? There were talks and I knew people in television who talked about it but they could never get the deal done because at that point in time All Japan and New Japan wanted so much money in rights fees and these were small stations that weren’t willing to spend that kind of money. I would have never dreamed that like now where the Tokyo Dome I can just turn on my computer and I’m watching the Toyko Dome like I’m there instead of having to go there or having to wait two weeks for a video tape to come through. I was always thinking wouldn’t it be great if these All Japan matches were available to the public? As opposed to just the tape traders and now we actually have that. You can get New Japan World and get every big New Japan match live practically.”

The Okada / Omega match helping New Japan World’s subscriptions:

“It is nothing compared to WWE as far as mainstream goes but it is servicing a hardcore fan base. There would have never been that many people if you had gone and had this kind of service years ago as big as All Japan was or in that era and as great as they were. The number of people who watched All Japan video tapes is minuscule compared to the people who subscribe to New Japan World in North America which is probably between 10 and 15 thousand let alone the people who will just go on YouTube and watch for free down the line or the 200,000 or so that are watching every Friday night on AXS so it is kind of amazing in that way.”

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