Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania

‘YES!: MY IMPROBABLE JOURNEY TO THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA’


JUMP TO SECTION:

OPENING LINE:

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!


PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY:

One of WWE’s most unlikely champions of all time and also one of its most popular, Bryan has proved to the world and to all of WWE that looks can be deceiving. Just ask anyone who’s ever underestimated him…right before he went out and whipped the WWE universe into a frenzy.
This is Bryan’s behind-the-scenes story told for the first time ever by the “YES!” Man himself – from his beginnings as a child wanting to wrestle to his ten years circling the globe on the independent circuit and his remarkable climb to the upper ranks of WWE.
As the biggest week of his life unfolds, Aberdeen, Washington’s bearded son reflects in full detail on his incredible path to the top and gives his take on the events that have shaped him. With his Bryan-ized blend of modesty and surprising candor, Daniel pulls no punches (or martial arts kicks) as he reveals his true thoughts on his evolution as a performer, his various roles in WWE versus the independent years, life on the road, at home, and much more.
And of course, get the untold story surrounding the “YES!” chant that evolved to full-fledged movement, skyrocketing his career. This audiobook chronicles all the hard work, values, influences, unique life choices, and more, leading to his watershed week at WrestleMania 30. You won’t want to miss it. Yes! We’re sure about this.
©2015 WWE (P)2015 Macmillan Audio


THE PLOT:

While reading ‘Yes!’ it struck me that it’s not very difficult to understand the popularity of Daniel Bryan. For one thing, he is a very gifted performer in the ring. However, he comes across as such a genuine and down to earth kind of guy that it is hard for me to believe that there are people who don’t find him charming.
‘Yes!’ tells the story of Daniel Bryan’s life from his childhood in Aberdeen, Washington all the way through his two match performance at WrestleMania XXX. The book covers his wrestling training, years traveling the world on the Independent circuit, and his run in the WWE from 2009 to winning the championship at WrestleMania XXX in 2014.
Along the way, Bryan tells some funny stories, talks about some of his lifestyle choices, including his time as a Vegan, and at no point did I find myself wishing that he would move on to a different subject.
Where a lot of wrestling biographies, particularly from guys of a certain generation, are prone to exaggeration, Bryan’s book is refreshing because he is prone to under estimation.
I’m surprised a couple of the stories actually made it into this book. The WWE has tried to convey their superstars as guys and gals who go back to their rooms and play video games after the show is over, yet Bryan tells a couple of stories about drunk coworkers and how a couple of them interrupted the first time he and Brie Bella tried to have sex.
The book ends with him winning the championship at WrestleMania XXX. The epilogue deals with the wedding to Brie and the death of his father shortly thereafter. I hope that there is a sequel one day in which Bryan addresses what happened with his championship reign after WrestleMania. Things really did go downhill fast, and there were a lot of personal trials in a short amount of time. Bryan strikes me as honest when documenting the things that he likes and does not like in WWE, and so it would be interesting to get his take on the way he was booked after his big WrestleMania victory.


THE AUTHOR:

The structure of the book is actually a lot of fun. The first part of each chapter is told in the third person and chronicles Daniel Bryan’s week leading up to WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans. It gives you a real good sense of how busy a top of the card guy can be during that week, not to mention the fact that he was preparing to get married just five days later.
The second part of each chapter, and always the longer of the two, is told in the first person. This is where we find out about Bryan’s life growing up and everything in his career leading up to that big week. The final couple of chapters retell of that early April night from both the third and first person point of view.


THE NARRATION:

The way they structured the narration works pretty well. Peter Berkrot reads the sections of the book that are told in the third person. Daniel Bryan reads all of the sections that are told from his first person point of view – except in Chapter Ten where Bryan reads the whole chapter for some reason.
Daniel Bryan gives a pretty measured performance. There’s not a lot of emoting going on and it is very businesslike. Still, I give him credit for narrating as much of the book as he does. Out of the wrestler biographies that have made it to audio, very few are narrated by the wrestlers themselves. Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and Mick Foley have all read abridged versions of their books, but that has been the extent of it as far as I know.
Berkrot did a decent job as well. Although I enjoyed his reading of ‘Snowblind’, I didn’t enjoy this quite as much. He read his sections as though he was narrating a hype video to air on Monday Night Raw. Most of my irritation stems from his mispronunciation of John Cena saying it like “John Sayna”. So close to getting a wrestling book with no mispronunciations, only to be denied with such a simple name.
Still, I was glad they went with the duel narrator approach. When Daniel Bryan was reading in third person in Chapter Ten, it just sounded wrong. Daniel Bryan should never be talking about himself as if he were The Rock. It was a little distraction and not just because it was the only chapter of the book in which that happened.


THE PRODUCTION:

There is some rock music to open the book, though it would have been cool if they had gotten permission to use his WWE theme. The track sounds great with even volume level throughout and the chapter stops are all in the right spots.
There is a glitch on the Audible version of the track. After the epilogue plays, the closing music and credits play. Then the epilogue is played again followed by the closing credits. I expect this is an error that will be fixed eventually.


CONCLUSION:

If you are a fan of Daniel Bryan but are undecided as to whether or not you should give this book a listen, the answer could not be more obvious. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!


QUICK FACTS:

Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Score
Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania Daniel Bryan, Craig Tello Daniel Bryan, Peter Berkrot Macmillan Audio Biography and Memoirs 07/21/2015 9 hours, 3 minutes 8.75/10

DISCLAIMER:

A copy of ‘YES: MY IMPROBABLE JOURNEY TO THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA’ was purchased from Audible for review.

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One thought on “Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania

  1. Pingback: My Audiobook Reads and Purchases: August 2015 | Random Catastrophe

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