Dave Meltzer Retire Bitch

Less than a week ago I let loose on Twitter with a rant aimed at the Apex Predator of wrestling journalism Dave Meltzer. This was specifically about his comments on women’s wrestling, including the quote “The deal with women’s wrestling in the U.S. is that you are supposed to say it’s good even when it’s not.”

No, Dave, that’s not the deal.

And in the Twitter rant I addressed the fact that we have gone through years of being told women’s wrestling in the US is bad because women are involved. Also, how the attitude of “it’s not good because they don’t wrestle LIKE MEN” is an inherently sexist opinion. Why does “like the boys” have to be the standard? Women in wrestling should be innovating, not just trying to mimic what the guys are doing in hopes of a pat on the head. They don’t want to be as good as the boys, they want to be better and, in more cases than Meltzer will admit, they are.

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But now, less than a week later, Meltzer opens his mouth again and spews out some tripe about how Peyton Royce and Billie Kay were “hotter in NXT,” specifically citing Peyton looking like she’s gained weight in his opinion.

Thankfully, Peyton shot back at him immediately, because they don’t just call her “Iconic” for no reason, folks.

I tend to try to limit my vulgarity when writing for this site, but I’m going to repeat a point I’ve made twice in 6 days:

Dave Meltzer Retire Bitch.

Because we don’t need him anymore. There are plenty of voices out there ready and willing to give you their take on modern wrestling. Do you need someone to arbitrarily assign a star rating to a match? Want someone to downplay anything good happening in WWE because it’s WWE? Searching for a wrestling hipster to throw money and attention at? Good news, I’m willing to do all of these things if it means we can finally toss Meltzer and his ilk out the back door and tell them not to come back.

If your contributions in a day and age where WWE is headed towards their first all-women’s PPV are “I don’t want to get called sexist for my opinions, by the way this girl got fat since her call-up” then we don’t need you here. I’ve spoken before about how the Women’s Revolution/Evolution isn’t just limited to the ring, it should be a revolution on all levels. This includes hiring women and non-binary people for your wrestling websites and YouTube channels, and featuring their work and opinions as prominently as your men. It also includes dumping the likes of Dave Meltzer from your radar.

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Allowing this kind of sexism, even unconscious or “I didn’t mean it to be sexist” at that level of “respectable wrestling journalism” (and c’mon, folks, let’s be frank here, there really isn’t such a thing) only fuels the sort of behavior that we’ve witnessed online from people angry that women are allowed to be in the spotlight. It encourages bad behavior at live shows and tapings, including at this year’s Mae Young Classic, a tournament specifically for women’s wrestling.

Because there are people who will claim Meltzer isn’t sexist. I saw this last week when there were claims of how much he supported women’s joshi in Japan. But when you have that singular example versus the mounting evidence and comments about US women’s wrestling and US women, plus his snide remark about how NJPW has “hotter female fans,” it starts to feel less like “an argument against sexism” and more “I support Japanese women because I think they’re hotter.” I’m not stating for a fact that Meltzer has confused his support for what he personally considers attractive or fetishizes, but I am saying that’s the vibe I get from a lot of this.

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No matter what, Meltzer should be enough of a professional to know that his comments on someone’s weight, man or woman, are ridiculous. But especially how horrible it is to think your commentary on a woman’s attractiveness because of her weight is even valid. This comes after Paige very publicly had someone scream in her face about how “fat” she’s gotten, after an entire fat-shaming storyline WWE did leading up to Wrestlemania and, I assume, the knowledge of how many women in wrestling have struggled with eating disorders, because don’t tell me all of a sudden Dave Meltzer doesn’t know something like that.

I think these stickers by the awesome artxcore on Twitter say it perfectly. “NO GODS, NO MELTZERS.”

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3 thoughts on “Dave Meltzer Retire Bitch

  1. Hi

    Just read your article and thought it was an interesting read. I came by it on Twitter as I listen to Chelsea on the true penny show so check out her tweets.

    I’d like to hear your take on this if possible (and chelseas as when I’ve heard her discuss this issues she has been very insightful)

    I’ve seen a lot of critiscm from WWE fans at Dave Meltzer for his comments, a lot have been justified. However, I don’t understand how you on the one hand can be a WWE fan and also be so critical of Dave meltzers comments as to want him to reitre. Just off the top off my head this year alone: WWE has-

    – a disgusting segment where a group of African Americans were put in drag and then beaten up. The treatment of transgender people in America is horrific, for me this was one of the worst things I’ve seen them do.
    – fat shaming Nia Jax
    – Saudia Arabia and all the issues with that.
    – Randy ortons behavior
    – Michael Hayes is still employed there, even tho he frequently calls African Americans the N Word.
    – Hulk Hogan being reintroduced to the company even though he has shown zero remorse.

    I’m not whataboutism this, as I say I don’t agree with what meltzer said, and if you don’t want to listen to him I can totally understand that. I just don’t see how you can be outraged at Meltzer but still follow and support the WWE.

    Not to predict anything you do say but I do understand you are a critic of the product. However I get the impression you are a fan who became a critic and who is still a fan, and would be watching this product even if you didn’t write about it.

    Personally I stopped watching it and dropped my network subscription after reading Phil Mcuniks work on Jimmy Snuka and how WWE behaved during that. How anyone could read that story and support the WWE is far beyond me.

    Anyways thanks for the article, hopefully I’ve made some sense in here and haven’t just rambles away

    Mark

    1. Hi Mark. First of all, good call on checking out on Chelsea, she’s awesome.

      Secondly, I suggest you check out some of my WMFR columns for the deeper answers to all of this. For a short answer: yes, I’m a fan who became a critic. And I’m a fan who walked away from WWE for years because of this sort of thing. I can’t say I would or wouldn’t still watch right now if I weren’t writing on the shows, I definitely might not watch as diligently, I can say that.

      But I can be mad at Dave because I am very good at being angry. I am capable of being upset about multiple things from multiple opposing sources. In this case, I can be upset at WWE as a corporate entity (and I often am, again, I suggest you backread some of my other columns on this site to see evidence of that) but also feel that just because Meltzer isn’t as bad or is the counter to them doesn’t mean he isn’t equally damaging in his own way. He is still the pinnacle of wrestling journalism, his opinions carry weight and as I said in this piece setting the precedent that it is still okay to make disparaging comments about a performer’s weight (or, as he/his fans have tried to backtrack, her choice to get breast enhancement surgery, which I wrote about in the piece just before this actually) is hurtful as a standard set for fans.

      The other point is, we’re all hypocrites. There is moral consumption, period. Somewhere along the line your money ends up in the hands of someone unscrupulous. I choose to give my money and attention to WWE because, despite all of the issues you outlined above, I think individual women (and men) in the company are doing their parts to change things in the ways they can. And I support that. But I also don’t disparage anyone who feels they can’t continue to support the company for reasons, including your own.

      I hope that answers your questions.

  2. Hi Ashly

    Thanks for the thorough, articulate response. I’ve read through a few of your articles and like a lot of what you have to say.

    Your response has really helped clarify 2 things for me which is really appreciated.

    Firstly from your response and reading your articles it’s clear you are an intelligent critic. If critics switch off from something because they start to find areas of it too repugnant then an important voice gets lost which goes against the WWE. My only point (aimed towards people who are fans not a critic) which has come to mind from what you discussed, is at what point do you stop supporting the wwe and thus their women wrestlers because of their treatment and trampling on of minorities (such the heavily persecuted African american Transgender community, where the WWE put men are in drag to be mocked and beaten). The reality is, with their new tv contracts, the main way for fans to show their displeasure and force further change is to turn the channel.

    Secondly I’m in total agreement with people being mad at meltzer. I don’t personally agree with the hypocrite argument you make because Dave Meltzer and wwe are so intertwined, it feels a little to easy a way to push the issue a side. It has helped me understand what was my over riding issue with the response of WWE wrestlers and fans. It’s simply much easier to be mad at Meltzer (as people should) and make a stand on that because you don’t like him, than it is to make a stand towards the wwe and all their thousands of flaws because you like the product (or at least parts of the product). It really is the easy way out to show moral character and outrage towards a journalist who you don’t like, then a product and company you do like, or even a company you do work for. That is my personal issue with this response by general wwe fans, as it hasn’t seemed to have made them stop and look at what this company does and think “if I’m angry at Dave Meltzer for this, then maybe I should stop watching and supporting them a product like the WWE”.

    Thanks again.

    Mark

    Mark

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