Dave Meltzer has been giving star ratings to wrestling matches for over 40 years, so it makes sense he’d have a few duds over that time.
The Wrestling Observer editor is a polarizing figure in wrestling, but it would be a lie to claim he is not an influential member of the community.
His ratings get hugely noticed by fans and wrestlers alike, with many doing their best to impress him in their quest to rise to the top.
A five-star match is what everyone strives for, and truly symbolizes everything that a fantastic match should be.
Some matches deserve that star rating, while others are severely underrated by Dave Meltzer.
In this article, we’ll about when he was wrong about his star ratings and explain what Dave Meltzer’s star rating should have been instead.
Kurt Angle vs The Undertaker (No Way Out 2006)
Between 1997 and 2011, WWE did not have a single five-star match. Many came close, but none managed to cross over that threshold.
Dave Meltzer made a mistake with Kurt Angle vs The Undertaker at No Way Out 2006.
The bout was for Angle’s World Heavyweight Champion. He was set to defend the belt against Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 22, while Undertaker took on Mark Henry at the year’s biggest event.
The match was one of the most perfect matches WWE ever put on. Both men were in their in-ring prime, and put on a match that employed simple, yet incredibly effective storytelling.
It was a technical brawl with flashy moves, simple but effective, conscious storytelling and a very creative finish (Angle pinned ‘Taker while locked in the Hell’s Gate).
The fact that a match like this got only 4 stars from Dave Meltzer (the same as Logan Paul vs The Miz) shows just how far the “star inflation” has gone in recent years. For me, it is an automatic 5-star match.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 4 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 9.17
Adam Cole, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Christian Cage, Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (AEW Full Gear 2021)
Perhaps the most shocked I’ve been to see a match awarded a five-star match was the Jurassic Express vs Undisputed Elite match from All Out 2021.
The match was fine and certainly entertaining. The two teams had been feuding for a while and a hardcore match was definitely the right way to go.
The match some brutal spots and all six men went all out. Jungle Boy showed a new side to himself, and The Elite were their usual incredible selves. However, the match just lacked the excitement that needed to get it over that five-star mark.
Other matches on the show, like MJF vs Darby Allin and CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston, deserved the five-star marker over this match.
It’s the kind of match you watch once and say “wow, that was good”, and then never watch it again.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 5 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 7.83
CM Punk vs Samoa Joe (AEW All In London)
CM Punk wrestled his last match for AEW in Wembley Stadium, in arguably his best match in the company.
The former AEW Champion was fired a week later, after fighting with Jack Perry and Tony Khan backstage at AEW All In.
His match with Samoa Joe opened the show, and garnered some of the biggest crowd reactions of the night. The match absolutely flew by, with both wrestlers truly on their A-Game for this historic.
Dave Meltzer made a mistake with CM Punk vs Samoa Joe at All In. He gave the match a respectable 3.5 star rating, while it should have been closer to 5.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
- Cagematch Rating –
Eddie Gilbert vs Terry Funk (WWA 1992)
By far the worst 5-star match rated by Dave Meltzer is the bout between Eddie Gilbert and Terry Funk in 1992.
This is not to denigrate the two men. Both are legends in the ring, and two of the best brawlers of all time. However, this match did not showcase that.
As a match, it was fine. It was a Texas Death Match, but didn’t really do anything of note to get the fans excited. It was slow, awfully paced and mainly consisted of slow and lazy punches.
It is utterly bizarre that Dave Meltzer gave this match 5-stars. While the poor footage available doesn’t help the match, the actually quality of the in-ring action is as good as the footage.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 5 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 5.59
John Cena vs Roman Reigns (WWE No Mercy 2017)
How this match is worth a 4.25 star rating, I’ll never know.
It seems Meltzer got swept up in the occasion and the pageantry, deciding on his star rating before the bell even rang for this match.
While the build up for the match was entertaining (for the wrong reasons), the match was a perfect storm of John Cena and Roman Reigns, in the worst place possible.
Cena was on the way out, already a part-timer and quickly showing his age in the ring. He was slower and getting worse every week – probably why WWE hotshotted this match.
Meanwhile, this was at the peak of Roman Reigns’ stranglehold over WWE. The fans had rejected him years prior, and he hadn’t improved at all in that time, wrestling the same tired old match on a weekly basis.
To me, this is a two-star match at best. Where four and a quarter stars came from is a mystery.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 4.25
- Cagematch Rating – 6.25
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.