After Chris Jericho had his first match rated five stars by Dave Meltzer at the age of 47 back in January, curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out who the oldest wrestlers to ever be in a five-star classic were (a list which you can read here). Naturally, once I’d spent hours of my life working out pro wrestlers’ ages down to the very day, channelling my inner professor Scott Steiner, something began to bug me – what about those at the other end of the scale? Who managed to earn this honour in the earliest days of their career? Well, once again, curiosity got the better of me, and I had to brush up once more on my Steiner mathematics, so here it is – the Top 20 Youngest Wrestlers That Were in a Dave Meltzer Five-Star Match.
When Chris Jericho finally had his first-ever match rated five stars by renowned wrestling and MMA journalist Dave Meltzer on January 4th this year, it was a testament of how incredibly hard the former-WWE Champion works, and how when most wrestlers would have slowed down by now, Chris is still able to put on some of the best work of his career. To some, Meltzer’s opinion means nothing, to others, it’s the gospel. Personally, while I don’t always agree with his views, I do respect that somebody who’s been critiquing pro wrestling professionally for over four decades probably knows what he’s talking about, and as such, his ratings intrigue me. It’s incredible that in such a globally supported sport as pro wrestling, there’s only one critic who’s opinion really has any meaning behind it. Sure, you may be interested what other journalists, fans or personalities have to say, but a match is never referred to as five stars unless Dave Meltzer declares that it is. (Learn more about Dave Meltzer’s dedication to pro wrestling and why his opinion is so well respected by fans and competitors alike by reading my list of the Top 20 Five-Star Matches.)
In every other field of entertainment, whether it be music, television, film, etc., the determination of how good or bad something is isn’t down to one individual. Opinions from hundreds of critics are gathered to determine whether a piece of cinema or music is universally acclaimed, middle of the road, or panned by the world. Yet as it is in so many ways, wrestling is unique when it comes to critical opinion. Despite being enjoyed by millions of people around the world, there is only one opinion that truly determines how good a match is. Sure, there are hundreds of podcasters, YouTubers, journalists and fans out there that give their opinions on every match they’ve ever seen, and yes, you may be interested in what certain people have to say, yet in the wider context of the wrestling world, their opinion holds no real merit. No match is ever quoted as being 10/10 or absolutely perfect because somebody from WhatCulture said so, or because another wrestler is quoted as saying it is, no matter how admired they are by the community. However, if respected journalist Dave Meltzer says a match is five stars, then it’s known forever as a five-star match.