The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is a grand institution within the hardcore wrestling fandom.
Since 1983, it has served as a valuable resource for generations of wrestling fans, enlightening them as to which talents and promotions to pay attention. Rarely in its rich, thirty year-plus history has its editor, the venerable Dave Meltzer, got it wrong - or at least not drastically so. By 'it', we are referring to his method of match appraisal, the star rating system, from which the phrase 'five star match' is (often incorrectly) bandied about.
There are certain matches, though, which I feel he may have been a little too critical or generous towards. The (tired) joke going the rounds is that Meltzer exhibits an anti-WWE bias which, while largely untrue - Shane McMahon has been bestowed two ****+ matches in 2017 - contains within it an element of truth. To date, Meltzer has awarded just five WWE matches the full five star treatment - a bit of a oversight at best, an indictment at worst.
To do this fairly, his own criteria must be taken into account. Meltzer assigns ratings based primarily on work-rate, the way in which storylines are progressed through utilisation of moves, the execution and difficulty of the moves themselves, the crowd reaction, and, if applicable, the history between the wrestlers contesting the match.