|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON) is a wrestling magazine first published in 1983 by Dave Meltzer. Initially published as a way to keep wrestling fans in the loop of smaller and international promotions that wouldn't be covered by other, more mainstream publications, it eventually grew in reputation as a Smark friendly magazine, and is to this day the most well respected publication covering Professional Wrestling.
Ric Flair mentioned in his 2004 autobiography, To Be the Man, that the WON is the Bible for wrestlers. Aside from Flair, several professional wrestlers or promoters have read it, among them being Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, and Mick Foley.
Particularly notable is the "5-star" match rating system, to which Meltzer has given a 5 star rating to only 75 matches in the publications muti-decade spanning history. The most recent of these matches was Davey Richards vs Michael Elgin at Showdown In The Sun 2012.
In 2008 The Wrestling Observer website merged with Bryan Alvarez's popular wrestling website "Figure Four Daily." Dave Meltzer now pens regular news updates to the website, while the "Wrestling Observer" brand is applied to a daily radio show hosted by Bryan. There is also a weekly "Wrestling Observer Live" show hosted by Bryan Alvarez and Mike Sempervive which airs on the Sports Byline USA satellite radio network. In recent years both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly have dedicated more and more coverage to MMA this has proven to be no small cause of controversy among fans of the site.
Though both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly are published under the same brand, the two newsletters have distinctive feels. The Observer focuses more on straightforward news coverage and historic profiles, while Figure Four Weekly is focused more on Bryan Alvarez's comedic status as a Caustic Critic. On the radio shows both Alvarez and Meltzer are masters of snark.