On July 23rd in Waterloo, IA, Wrestling Observer founder Dave Meltzer received the Jim Melby Award and was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Melby was a professional wrestling historian and magazine editor, and in his speech Meltzer noted the influence that Melby had on his career. The award recognizes excellence in professional wrestling journalism.
At 11 years old, Meltzer wrote his first wrestling newsletter and sent it to Melby, who had ran a fan club column in the Wrestling Weekly magazine. Melby praised the newsletter and told Meltzer that he had potential.
Melby included it in Wrestling Monthly, and Meltzer started to receive quarters from people wanting to buy the newsletter. One of those people is still subscribed to this day. Meltzer said that he might have never written another newsletter if Melby didn’t do that for him.
Meltzer thanked his parents, and said that being married for over 60 years is more impressive than anything he would do in his life. He also mentioned meeting Barbara Goodish, the wife of the late Bruiser Brody, for the first time over the weekend. Meltzer credited Brody for teaching him a lot about the wrestling business.
After mentioning that Gerald Brisco was there for the weekend, Meltzer told a story of watching Brisco every Wednesday night when he would visit his grandmother in Florida. He also gave a ringing endorsement of a more modern wrestler who was in the audience, and said that if there is a god in the world, Ricochet will be a huge star in the business.
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Meltzer thanked F4WOnline co-owner Bryan Alvarez for making his life easier, and said that he would not have been able to keep up with professional wrestling and MMA without Alvarez’s help. Near the end of the speech, Meltzer also thanked everyone who had read his work or listened to his podcasts for motivating him to keep doing what he does.
He also noted that while he may not have been the most popular person in the business in the 1980s, it’s unbelievable to see how things have changed. Meltzer noted that on a recent Ring of Honor pay-per-view, the finishing move in two straight matches (the Meltzer Driver and Best Meltzer Ever) was named after him.
The full acceptance speech is available to watch below: