After every WWE
PPV premium live event, we ask you all to rank each match on the show using the star rating system made famous by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer.
The results are in from Royal Rumble, one of WWE’s most popular shows of the year, and the start of the Road to WrestleMania 39. Below you’ll see how our little corner of the wrestle web graded what happened in the ring on Jan. 28 from San Antonio — and how our subjective grades compare to Meltzer’s.
Many have asked “why Dave?”, which to me is fairly obvious. Love, hate, or don’t care about him, the Observer Star Rating is the proverbial industry standard. No one else’s are tracked by Wikipedia and other web outlets. You can’t place online bets on what grades other pundits will give big matches.
But in order to not make this all about Meltz, we added another fan-voted rating to the mix - this one from Cagematch. That site uses a ten point scale, so we’ve halved their ratings for ease of comparison.
Here’s what that all looks like:
The lowest scores in all three systems went to the non-main event singles matches. Both the scores confirm something we knew but had forgotten in the almost two years since we’ve rated things involving Bray Wyatt — our community includes some people that really enjoy things that involve Bray Wyatt. Or maybe they just like watching the world burn? Same difference?
While the majority of wrestling fans love them, Rumble matches are inherently tough to rate. Even the best of them have lulls, or stories and spots within them that don’t work for everyone. The 2023 men’s match seems to have been slightly better received than the women’s version, but folks seemed to enjoy both of them this year. Beyond that, to whatever extent you care about Star Ratings in general, I wouldn’t waste too much time looking much more deeply into those two scores.
It’s with the main event — which was the highest rated in two of the three systems and aslo won our “Match of the Night” poll from immediately after the show — that things get interesting. Meltzer scored the post-match angle separately (he gave it five stars), and a lot of our (and Cagematch’s) commenters indicated they would have liked to do the same thing. Perhaps we should have, but we’ve never done that in the past. The angle doesn’t happen without the match, either.
Anyway... if you want to average out Dave’s ratings for the match and the angle, he would have given it a 4.25.
For the overall show average, we’ve added the Observer’s rating for the post-match stuff as a sixth “match”. However you slice it up though, last Saturday’s show was among everyone’s lowest rated of the past year — which goes to show that Star Ratings don’t necessarily capture overall enjoyment, especially for show like Royal Rumble ‘23 where almost everyone’s favorite thing happened outside of a match.
Here’s our rundown of those averages for all of WWE’s PLEs over the past 12 months:
Do Cageside’s Community Ratings match up with your personal ones? Any final thoughts on Royal Rumble?
NOTE: The initial version of this post incorrectly listed Meltzer’s score for the Belair/Bliss match. We apologize for the error.