This week it was announced that Daniel Bryan — real name, Bryan Danielson — is a free agent who is no longer with WWE, after letting his contract with the company expire. I was in attendance at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, which is inarguably the pinnacle of his amazing career. Now that Bryan is no longer with WWE, I figured now was as good a time as any to review the audiobook version of his autobiography, Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of Wrestlemania.
The physical or ebook version of Daniel Bryan’s autobiography is 319 pages. This translates to an audiobook that is nine hours and three minutes long, which is a nice length — not too short, and not too long. The best part about this audiobook is that it’s narrated by Daniel Bryan, for the most part. The structure of this book is strange. It alternates between the first-person and third-person points of view, with Bryan narrating the first-person chapters, and Peter Berkrot handling the third-person chapters. This brings to light the biggest issue with this book. The first-person chapters are excellent, providing a ton of detail from Bryan, and hearing him tell his story is a real treat. However, the third-person chapters read like filler. They come off as magazine puff pieces that are all sizzle and no steak. They could have been removed from the book entirely and it would have made for a stronger and less disjointed read. In its current form, the third-person chapters disrupt the flow of the story. And the narrator who handles them sounds like a creepy villain from a James Bond movie, so that makes matters substantially worse.
If you can get past the poor structure of this book and the demonic narrator tag-teaming this audiobook with Daniel Bryan, what you’ll find is an inspirational and wondrous journey through the world of professional wrestling. I’m so happy that I was there in New Orleans, chanting “Yes!” with 75,000 people, both in the arena and in the streets afterward. It was WWE storytelling at its finest, and this audiobook captures that magic and emotion. With Daniel Bryan at a crossroads in his career and life, now’s the perfect time to listen to this audiobook and relive his glory days.