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.
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.
As much as I adore wrestling, it has to be said that it does have its problems. Possibly the biggest drawback of all to this industry is its clear gender inequalities. As someone who’s focused the majority of their university studies on sexism, feminism, and representations of gender, it pains me that one of my biggest loves in life is plagued with unequal gender opportunities, and at times, overt sexism. Thankfully though, gone are the days of the Bra and Panties match, and bikini contests, as the major companies have finally realised that the fans aren’t actually watching their products for partial nudity and mild titillation, we’re watching for some good ol’ fashion wrasslin’.