|Born||David Allen Meltzer|
October 24, 1959
New York City, U.S.
|Occupation||Author, journalist, historian|
|Alma mater||San Jose State|
David Allen Meltzer (born October 24, 1959) is an American journalist who reports on professional wrestling and mixed martial arts.
Since 1983, he has been the publisher and editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON). He has also written for the Oakland Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! Sports, SI.com, 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 lived in upstate New York, later moving with his family to San Jose, California.
Meltzer earned a journalism degree from San Jose State University and started out as a sportswriter 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. Meltzer comes from a Lithuanian Jewish background.
Main article: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
The beginnings of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter 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 and 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 6 and 6.5 stars took place in 1981. 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. Wrestlers such as Bret Hart have written how proud they were when their performances were praised in the WON.