Every Dave Meltzer 5 Star Match Of 2024

Every 5-star match ranked by Dave Meltzer in 2024

Award-winning pro wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer has been ranking matches using a star rating system in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter since the publication was created all the way back in 1982. A match receiving five stars or above from Meltzer has very much become an achievement for many within the industry and 243 matches have been awarded five or more stars in the past 42 years.

The wrestler that has the most five-star matches of all time is Will Ospreay with 32, followed by Kazuchika Okada with 26 and Kenny Omega, and Mitsuharu Misawa who both have had 25 five-star matches. 

2023 was another year filled with five-star matches from Meltzer but how many will 2024 have? So far, Dave Meltzer has rated only one match five stars, but the year is in its infancy. 

1. Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 - 5 1/4 Stars

Bryan danielson kazuchika okada bowing wrestle kingdom 18

It took a mere four days before Dave Meltzer handed out his first five-star match rating of 2024, with the honour going to Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 on January 4. As is customary for NJPW's January 4 show, it once again took place in the Tokyo Dome. 

Wrestle Kingdom 18 was the second meeting between Bryan Danielson and Kazuchika Okada following their first match at Forbidden Door II in June 2023. This match was much more personal, however, due to Danielson's broken arm at Forbidden Door and The American Dragon looking to break Okada's arm in retribution. Okada only made the match more personal in the early going, however, after he removed Danielson's eye patch to expose his broken orbital bone and laid in vicious kicks to the former ROH World Champion's eye. 

Danielson was able to fire back with a Busaiku Knee and he locked in the same submission that forced Okada to submit back in June but NJPW's top star survived on this occasion, making it to the bottom rope. Danielson remained on the offensive, however, and he hit a second Busaiku Knee one minute later before setting up for a third finisher as he led the Tokyo Dome in YES! chants. 

Okada avoided the move, though, and connected with a Cobra Flowsion before later following up with a Landslide and a second Rainmaker to win the match by pinfall. 

The match looked to be an important one for both men and they both bowed to each other following the contest. Their feud looks to be over, with Okada and Danielson actually teaming together alongside Jon Moxley and Tomohiro Ishii at New Year Dash on January 5 in a loss to TMDK. 

Meltzer noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that "you really could see what a big deal this match was to both guys, who have both had their share of great matches." 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

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