Some matches that could have been rated five-stars by Dave Meltzer were simply ignored, because they were “cinematic matches”.
The Cinematic Match is a type of professional wrestling that was popularized by Matt Hardy in TNA in 2016, with his incredible production named “The Final Deletion”.
The match pitted “Broken” Matt Hardy against his brother Jeff Hardy, battling to own the Hardy name.
It was filmed entirely in “The Hardy Compound”, pre-taped in the days prior and heavily edited before airing on TV.
This drew incredible acclaim from the wider wrestling world, even prompting WWE to copy it completely with The New Day vs Wyatt Family.
This match was considered to be terrible, and killed the Cinematic Match hype for years, until the pandemic hit in 2020.
It was at WrestleMania 36 that the cinematic match returned, with Undertaker vs AJ Styles in a Boneyard match, and Bray Wyatt’s dissection of the John Cena character in WWE.
While those two matches were incredible spectacles, Dave Meltzer refused to give them star ratings – claiming it was “unfair” on the other matches on the card.
Speaking on Twitter, Meltzer revealed why he neglected to give a star rating to Cinematic Matches in WWE and AEW.
The Wrestling Observer journalist was asked why he didn’t rate the matches, asking if there was a reason, or if it was simply an oversight.
Denying he just forgot to do it, Meltzer responded by claiming that he doesn’t rate cinematic-style matches, because they are heavily edited and not the same as an in-ring match.
He said that it was unfair on those who wrestle live, as their missed spots or botches are not edited out in post.
It’s not fair to rate matches that are heavily edited. It’s unfair to the people who have to do matches where the slow spots or flaws don’t get edited and don’t have the benefit of retakes.
It’s not fair to rate matches that are heavily edited. It’s unfair to the people who have to do matches where the slow spots or flaws don’t get edited and don’t have the benefit of retakes. https://t.co/gOuMyXwK0I— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) May 31, 2020
He also compared the famous Edge vs Randy Orton’s “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” to the Stadium Stampede cinematic match in AEW, noting the pre-taped nature of that match as well.
That bout was famous for being promoted as the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever”, weeks before it even taking place.
The bout also resulted in Edge suffering an injury that kept him out for nearly a year, returning at the 2021 Royal Rumble.
Nobody argues it’s not a match. It’s like the boneyard match or Stadium Stampede. I don’t see the argument that it is different from either.
Nobody argues it’s not a match. It’s like the boneyard match or Stadium Stampede. I don’t see the argument that it is different from either. https://t.co/SrrGQDMA2f— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) June 15, 2020
Many people have considered these cinematic matches, like the Final Deletion match, as a five-star match. Clearly, Meltzer disagrees, but you are free to hold that opinion if you wish!
However, his reason for not rating cinematic matches does make sense.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.