news reporter profiled by New York Times - 15th May
New York Times has published an article profiling
longtime wrestling news reporter Dave Meltzer, editor
of the frequently-attributed Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
has been publishing his newsletter since 1983, which
was initially considered groundbreaking since he divulged
insider news and various behind-the-scenes happenings
in the professional wrestling industry when its secrets
were heavily guarded. The intriguing publication,
which was referred as a "dirt sheet" by
wrestlers, was passed around in locker rooms, with
some even subscribing under their birth names in an
attempt to hide their identity.
didn't think I knew their real names," said Meltzer.
legendary wrestler, promoter and trainer Stu Hart
was an avid subscriber to the Wrestling Observer Newsletterhe
would have wife Helen read it to him at their Calgary
homeiconic grappling son Bret Hart, on the other
hand, wasn't fond of Meltzer revealing the secrets
of professional wrestling.
wanted to punch him out," Hart said. "I
didn't like the idea of somebody trying to tell everyone
what was going on."
J. Dillon, who worked as a front office executive
for Vince McMahon in the World Wrestling Federation
from the late-eighties through the mid-nineties, added,
"There would be a board meeting and information
that was only discussed in that meeting with key people
and Dave would report on it. It drove Vince nuts."
"exasperated" McMahon began communicating
with Meltzer when he was hired in 1990 as a wrestling
columnist for short-lived The National Sports Daily,
elevating his reputation and readership.
was the difference from eking out a living to making
a good living, that exposure," Meltzer said.
1997, Hart signed a contract to perform for World
Championship Wrestling after having been affiliated
with the World Wrestling Federation since 1984. McMahon
sought to prevent Hart from leaving the organization
as the champion, but Hart was unwilling to lose the
title to Michaelswith whom he had been irritated
byat Survivor Series in his home country of
Canada. McMahon then conspired to ring the bell prematurely,
awarding the strap to Michaels. When McMahon went
to Hart's dressing room and tried to explain himself,
Hart angrily rebuffed him and warned him to leave
immediately or risk being punched. An altercation
ensued, with Hart dropping McMahon with a single punch.
Hart contacted Meltzer shortly thereafter, with the
entire scene being relayed in an issue of the Wrestling
knew then why I needed Meltzer," Hart said. "It
wasn't a storyline, it wasn't pretend. Wrestling writes
its own publicity. I was always grateful for someone
allowing the truth to come out."
many of Meltzer's readers digitally subscribe to the
newsletter at F4WOnline.com, about thirty percent
of his audience prefer the printed version.
haven't changed that much," said Hart, who still
visits locker rooms after retiring as a wrestler.
"Everyone fights for The Observer just to see
if they're in it. Sometimes you're in it and sometimes
you're not. Sometimes you like what he writes and
sometimes you don't. But I think wrestlers realize
it's good to have someone speaking for you."