Book Review: Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania by Daniel Bryan and Craig Tello | Smark Out Moment
Yes! Daniel Bryan Book Bri Craig Tello Bella Autobiography review
Released in July 2015, Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania is Daniel Bryan's behind the scenes story. From his beginnings as a child wanting to wrestle, to his ten years on the circuit before finally making it in WWE, this book chronicles all the hard work, values, influences, unique life choices and more leading to his watershed week at WrestleMania 30.

The book is 320 pages divided into 26 chapters with each chapter typically ranging from 15-20 pages long. This is an official WWE-sanctioned release, so the use of WWE photographs has been allowed in addition to photos of Bryan's independent circuit days and ones of a more personal nature too.

The story is essentially made up of two separate voices. There is the third-person viewpoint which opens each chapter, and then the second (and bulk of the book) is Daniel Bryan in first-person. Each voice also takes place in different time frames, with the third-person starting a few weeks prior to WrestleMania 30 and Bryan's starting from his birth and upbringing.

The third-person viewpoint observes the short-term "journey to WrestleMania" part of his story, following him around press events, signings, hotel rooms, and even what he goes shopping! The first-person sections, on the other hand, detail the long-term part of the journey—how he learned his skills, rose up through the independents, fought around the world, got to WWE, got let go, went back around the world, back to WWE, got let go, back around the world, and finally back to WWE.

Unsurprisingly, Daniel Bryan's own voice is the most interesting aspect of the book. The third-person part offers a nice insight, but obviously has heavy WWE editing, so it reads a little more like a PR magazine release at times. However, that being said, WWE has not been as intrusive for Bryan's side of the story, for there is a surprising amount of swearing and references to acts that are anything but PG! All of this helps to make it read as a more realistic and gripping tale.

As Bryan spent ten years on the independents, and five (consistent) years in WWE, there is understandably a greater emphasis on the indy side. There are lots of great road tales here and plenty that made me laugh, but occasionally, he can spend a little too long describing almost every move that went into some matches. Unfortunately, this grates after a while, and I found myself wishing he would hurry up and get to the more "political" backstage goings-on of WWE. Deny it all you want, but fans love this part as much as the sport itself.

Brian Danielson Daniel Bryan NXT ROH Rookie Book

Once Daniel gets to WWE full-time again, he does manage to cover near enough everything I can remember of him. His NXT days, the United States title reign, the Bella Twins love triangle angle, feuding with CM Punk over AJ Lee, Team Hell No (which he wanted to call Team Friendship!), and of course, the YES Movement are all detailed.

However, a surprising omission is cancer patient Connor "The Crusher" Michalek. Given how much of an impact they appeared to have on each others' lives, I can only conclude out of respect for the family, he did not wish to be seen as exploiting it. Nevertheless, it still seemed strange to have not included him in the story.

Brie Bella Wife Married Wrestlemania 30 Daniel
Bryan does give a good balance between personal and professional, though, and provides plenty of insight into his own family life, relationship with wife Brie, his beard, diet, and general outlook on life. So, you will leave it feeling you understand a great deal more about the man he is today and what he is all about.

While it just falls short of the heady heights of the wrestling author alumni — Mick Foley, Bret Hart, and Chris Jericho—I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and if anyone was to ask me if I recommended it? YES-YES-YES!

HIGH SPOTS

+ Detailed account of his indy and WWE career to date
+ Cohesive well constructed narrative
+ Funny
+ Good balance between professional and personal life

LOW BLOWS

- The 3rd person segments aren't as interesting by comparison to the 1st person
- No Connor The Crusher mention?
- Occasional dragging when describing matches

CRITIQUE RATING SCALE: 3-COUNT (pinfall)

* I have since discovered the UK version is edited slightly differently from the US version. Though I still cannot fathom why, this might have been one of the things edited out.
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ROSS K. FOAD

Ross K Foad is a writer, actor, YouTuber and founder of the Sherlock Holmes website No Place Like Holmes. He has been a published writer since age 13 with a comic strip in a regional newspaper and a wrestling fan since the Rock 'n' Wrestling era. You can follow him on Twitter

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