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Review – Daniel Bryan/Craig Tello – YES: My Improbable Journey To The Main Event Of WrestleMania

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

 

If anybody from World Wrestling Entertainment has had an up-and-down career in and out of the ring, it’s Daniel Bryan.

Elevated from “Indie Wrestler Comes To WWE” status  in 2010 to an actual main event player in 2014, he went though a journey like none other.

His own “Cinderella Story” occurred between 2013 and WrestleMania XXX where he emerged an Undisputed Champion and married five days later to Brie Bella. It’s literally as perfect as one professional wrestler could dream of, especially one who didn’t fit the “corporate style” of what WWE traditionally spotlights.

How would this all translate in a book? With some help by WWE.com’s Craig Tello, we’d finally get that tell-all where Bryan describes his joyous upbringings and subsequent dream chase, with all the little things in-between.

Branded now as a New York Times bestseller, this 2015 autobiography provided a perfect perspective of his career to that point in time.

Let’s start with the basics – the design. One could look at the cover and automatically associate it with Bryan. The title’s aptly named after his 2012 catchphrase that originally became a heel tactic of “over-celebration” to rile up fans and worked instead towards the opposite, as hardcore fans who were familiar with him from his indy days used it to embrace him, despite several attempts by Bryan to undo that.

The colors are also appropriately maroon-and-white, which he has sported for the majority of his career, even back from his Ring Of Honor days with his ring jackets and simple trunks. Even as he adopted his “Yes!/No!” persona, he only got more involved with these colors.

The story also nicely goes back and forth between “present” – set for pre-WrestleMania XXX week filled with training and media appearances – and whatever point of his career he was up to. While it proves to be a faster read than other wrestling autobiographies (we’re looking at you, Bret Hart), you still get to know Bryan personally and professionally.

A good chunk early on covers his days in Shawn Michael’s Wrestling Academy and the close friendship with Brian Kendrick that developed, which still continues today. A real-life aspect of it was brought out during the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic when the two embraced in the ring.

From there, he describes his ROH days with no filter (this being a WWE book, you’d wonder how much he could get away with) and anybody in those hardcore crowds will appreciate his recalling of intense battles with Nigel McGuinness, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong and Takeshi Morishima, to name some.

The most interesting parts are his stories revolved around his original WWE days as an “NXT Rookie” when WWE experimented with the NXT concept as a “reality competition” show and revealed that a lot of it was in fact, unscripted. He was left in the dark about certain angles, which actually might’ve worked in his favor because he organically “got over” as he feuded with his “Pro” The Miz and Commentator Michael Cole simultaneously.

Many are already familiar with his first termination by way of a chokehold on Ring Announcer Justin Roberts (he coves it in his book too), so we won’t bore you with repetition. Some criticisms if any, was that they sort of skimmed the time he emerged as a fan favorite by way of the “Yes!” chants, but just enough’s described about his close relationship with Glenn Jacobs (aka Team Hell No partner Kane) to salvage it. You still got the sense that he was the guy the company would run with if there was no one else around, as he described.

We are dreamers and could only imagine how the book would’ve been had it been released in 2017, as the “Cinderella Story” came to crashing reality, as he vacated that WWE World Heavyweight Championship less than two months after he won it due to injury.

2015 saw an in-ring return for Bryan around Royal Rumble time, but for the second straight year, he was ignored for somebody fans didn’t want in the spotlight. Try as they did, they had Bryan come close to the WrestleMania 31 main event as he fought Roman Reigns at Fastlane for that spot, but came up short.

While he became WWE Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania 31 in a multi-man ladder match, he faced the same fate as the year before and vacated the belt shortly after, his last in-ring match ever on a SmackDown before that.

Follow that with his infamous in-ring retirement speech in Feb. 2016 and you’d think Bryan would fade back into obscurity. That did change, when he was announced to be the new SmackDown Live General Manager and has since been on a prominent on-screen role, mostly known for his “feud” with Miz.

Will they ever write a sequel book about Bryan’s time after WMXXX? That to us, would be a more interesting story to tell. Chalk it up to fate or whatever you may wish, but there’s more to Bryan than just a classic “Cinderella Story.” The real struggle would be what to name a second Bryan book if it were to ever come out.

Fantasies aside, “YES” is everything you come to expect from a Bryan book that ends at WMXXX. It’s a happy ending and we know Bryan worked hard to get there. It masters enough credibility to hang with both the independent and casuals alike. In many ways, Bryan’s one of the few pro wrestlers to organically get over in the modern era and we hope his future’s as bright as this story’s end.

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/6/17: Wild Samoans

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/6/17)

Wild Samoans 

– One week after Samoa Joe’s riveting debut that involved a sideline beatdown of Seth Rollins, it was probably no secret that the angle would be the focus to open the show. It’s funny how the Rollins-Triple H storyline mulls along through the months, but with big happenings, it heats up. At this time, Rollins was likely to miss WrestleMania, which actually put more heat on Joe and rather than ignore that, they used it to their advantage. The opening video delved into all that, with sleek editing that actually brought meaning to Trips’ promo on Rollins last week and set up the moment well for Joe to attack. We’ll guess Joe will be branded as “The Destroyer” from hereon out. The key as always is the followup.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 1/30/17: Meet The Destroyer

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 1/30/17)

Meet The Destroyer 

– The WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens/WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho/Braun Strowman/Raw General Manager Mick Foley in-ring segment was plenty to take in, but all made sense. We got the happy (yet sore) heel duo as they bragged about their accomplishments, only to get confronted by Strowman himself for a Title shot that Owens promised a month ago. Better yet – Strowman came armed with footage of that occurrence and that left Foley in no other position than to make it happen. It also helped that they had Owens bandaged up from the 65 bumps he took the night before. Also loved how before Strowman came out, Owens did everything but acknowledge that Strowman had anything to do with his victory. Also, #SixtyOneMinuteMan. On another note, what on earth was that green suit Foley wore? Austin Powers, eat your heart out.

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WWE Fastlane 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Another year, another chance for Roman Reigns to get into the WrestleMania main event and another year where he wins said chance.

Last year, it was against a heavy fan favorite in Daniel Bryan to take on the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the time, Brock Lesnar. Fans were so into Bryan’s return that they actually forced Mania plans to change again, with Reigns needing to beat him to get to Mania and be bought as a “main-eventer.”

This year, we have Reigns (who already had a World Title run) gunning for the same position, only Triple H is Champion, Lesnar’s in his way as is his “brother” Dean Ambrose, the heavy fan favorite.

Predictable booking squandered all a great main event could offer and despite some good matches, an odd final few segments/matches won’t leave Fastlane 2016 in the “classic shows” conversations.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 2/18/16: Here Comes The Pain

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/18/16)

Here Comes The Pain

– The opening video hyped the big triple-threat Fastlane main event between Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar – “Brother Vs. Brother Vs. Beast,” if you will. The video primarily focused on Ambrose talking about being in the “fight of his life” and how him wanting Lesnar turned into suffering an F5, Stephanie McMahon style, when she made him defend his WWE Intercontinental Championship against four other men and ended up losing the belt to Kevin Owens without even being pinned. The main question was what the Title loss did to Ambrose’s psyche.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/15/16: Friendship Reigns Supreme

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/15/16)

Friendship Reigns Supreme 

– The opening video showcased the events of last week’s Raw – WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose’s toughness, Brock Lesnar’s utter destruction and Roman Reigns simply hanging in the background, while others tried to throw stones in the fire that is the “brotherhood.”

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 2/11/16: The Phenomenal Two

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/11/16)

The Phenomenal Two

– SmackDown’s beginning to carve its own identity, with a solid three-man broadcast team possessing esteemed credibility and actual matches hyped from Raw, case in point, the AJ Styles-Chris Jericho rematch. We were assumedly getting the match as the main event, so it was surprising to see Jericho come out so soon. His starting promo was good for being the match intro, as he talked about this night being important for him because he’d finally get his rematch and expressed how he respected Styles, but didn’t like him. Even liked him bringing up how he was in Portland, Oregon and how he had the match of his career in 2008 in the same building against Shawn Michaels, taunting Styles with the line that “phenomenal wasn’t good enough for Y2J.” The match was about to start and out came The Social Outcasts (sans Bo Dallas) of all people and we were pretty sure where this was heading, since it’s SmackDown and all. The Teddy Long Special… On that note, pretty rough night on the mic for SO, who fell flat with their comedy attempts, even if “Axel Rose” was a cool take on Guns N’ Roses. Luckily, Jericho put an end to that and it was on to impromptu tag action.

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Booking The Territory Podcast – Vinny Marseglia Interview

Booking The Territory Podcast*A Booking The Territory Podcast Exclusive*

 

Check out the latest episode from our friends at Booking The Territory Podcast, featuring an interview with longtime independent wrestler Vinny Marseglia, who discusses his experiences in Ring Of Honor, CHIKARA, Dragon Gate and more!

Afterwards, Hosts Mike Mills, Doc Turner and Wildkat Sports and Entertainment’s Hardbody Harper discuss WWE, WWE Fastlane, ROH, TNA and other current wrestling news!

 

 

 

 

Link Below:

http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-vprm3-5cbb91#.VsPjwGjULT4.facebook

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/8/16: Thank You, Daniel Bryan

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/8/16)

Thank You, Daniel Bryan

– With the road to WrestleMania set to full-gear drive, we were hit with news earlier in the day by various outlets that spoke of Daniel Bryan retiring at age 34, but all of us hoped it was a last-second swerve to get fans hyped for Fastlane or WrestleMania but as we came to find out, it was indeed true. If they were going to do it, it had to be done in Seattle, Washington, not far from Aberdeen where Bryan hails from. It was awfully strange to suddenly hear Bryan references galore, as it seemed like WWE was avoiding bringing him up entirely due to concussions, but this was the night to let the Yes Movement enjoy its revival. Also liked the little additions to the opening montage.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 2/4/16: Accidents Happen

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/4/16)

Accidents Happen

– With Roman Reigns and WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose being two-thirds of the Fastlane main event with Brock Lesnar to determine the #1 Contender to face WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H at WrestleMania, there appeared to be an attempt to show slight ripples in the Ambrose/Reigns relationship, while also establishing their always-tight chemistry. We opened up with a Reigns-Rusev match that was nothing special though we applauded commentary getting Rusev & Co. over as one of the factors behind Reigns losing his Title at the Royal Rumble while Reigns/Ambrose powerbombed Rusev through the announce table recently as well and it at least built some interest in the bout. The DQ finish was bland, but as we saw with many SmackDowns, designed to have a tag main event. Will they ever make a planned SmackDown main event? Is WWE not aware how many times they do this? The Ambrose-Reigns interaction (Ambrose accidentally taking out Reigns with an apron-to-floor elbow drop) was set up to show that accidents happen, but made us wonder if this would affect their relationship going forward. Got a kick out of Jerry Lawler spinning things by saying Ambrose purposely took down Reigns.

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