Screen grab: Wrestling Observer Radio

This week’s edition of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter included a deep dive on WWE’s ongoing WrestleMania XL storyline involving Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

But while Meltzer’s reporting focused on the nuances of the still-evolving storyline and its blurring of the lines between reality and fiction, it also included a curious passage about an apparent on-screen confrontation between The Rock and Paul “Triple H” Levesque.

“At the Mania press conference on 2/8 in Las Vegas, Levesque talked about guys going into business for themselves, with the idea Rock was going against the planned script,” Meltzer wrote. “Later they filmed a segment which didn’t air on television, but was all over social media, where Levesque and Rock went nose-to-nose and actually challenged each other for a match at Mania, although it was they would love to [wrestler] each other before a giant crowd at a WrestleMania without the idea it was this specific one. Given Levesque’s heart issues, such a match would seem to be impossible and virtually everyone believed that to be the case.”

Readers were confused by the part about The Rock and Triple H challenging each other to a match at WrestleMania, as nobody had seemingly seen the clip in question, despite Meltzer insisting it went viral. Many quickly deduced that the reporter had mistakenly referred to an old backstage confrontation between the longtime rivals, which had actually been filmed all the way back in 2014.

By Saturday afternoon, the excerpt had been deleted from this week’s Observer, with Meltzer noting on social media that a correction would be published in next week’s issue.

On Sunday’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer addressed the issue, admitting that he had been duped by the old video.

“Somebody had sent me this clip of Dwayne and Paul Levesque face to face and this and that. It was actually an old clip,” Meltzer said. “As soon as I found out, I took it out of the thing and am apologetic about it. It was a mistake. That aspect — it’s just kind of a bummer for me. It was a mistake.”

While it’s curious how Meltzer could have confused a video from 10 years ago as current, it’s a credit to him that he was willing to admit fault and address it head on. Given how much he writes and the nature of the current wrestling news cycle — in addition to the WrestleMania storyline, there’s the Vince McMahon sex trafficking lawsuit/federal investigation — it’s understandable how mistakes could happen. And all things considered, this one was relatively benign.

[Wrestling Observer Radio]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.