Yes!: My Improbable Journey To The Main Event Of WrestleMania


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“I love wrestling and Daniel Bryan is one of my favourite wrestlers”- Author Joel Savage

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 book 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.

The Author

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DANIEL BRYAN (aka Bryan Danielson) is a WWE Superstar, three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, one-time World Heavyweight, Intercontinental and United States Champion and 2013 Slammy Award-winning Superstar of the Year.

Bryan is world-renowned for his signature offensive style, a mix of Japanese and American moves, including the “YES!” Lock named after his popular, fan-driven “YES!” Movement. Bryan is married to WWE Diva and Total Divas star Brie Bella.

What’s Your Favourite Sport?: WWE Battleground Tonight

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Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins

In the past and present societies, sports have become part of our everyday life. Surprisingly, people who are not directly involved are influenced to them. People take part and watch sports for a various reasons and also as a source of entertainment.

Thousands undertake long journeys to watch football match, hockey, athletics, basket ball, golf, cricket, bowling and others, just to enjoy themselves. The interest in sports is expanding rapidly than expected since many make a living through sports gambling.

I love watching football matches and athletics, but no sport enthralls me than wrestling. I have been watching wrestling since my youth and never feel tired of watching, because I love it. I feel very happy indeed that after my passion to write, there is a sort of entertainment like wrestling to refresh my tired psychological state.

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The great undertaker

Every sport enthusiastic has a reason he or she likes that particular sports. I love wrestling due to certain wrestlers I consider to be great wrestlers of all time. Apart from their incredible talent and prowess, these wrestlers made wrestling worthy to watch, creating something different, thus; making wrestling more entertaining.

Undertaker, Sting, Shaun Michaels, Goldberg, Triple H, Booker T, Bret Hitman Hart, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, etc, are some of the wrestlers that made the game more interesting to stick to. Undertaker to me is one of the greatest wrestlers the world has ever produced. The reason whenever he steps into the wrestling arena, whether to fight or not, the whole atmosphere changes.

Since without Undertaker, Sting and Goldberg, wrestling wouldn’t have meant anything special to me, I consider the three wrestlers great, in the field of the wrestling entertainment. Not even Kane has impressed me, despite how vicious he was in his glorious days. One remarkable about wwe is the sport never dies, more young talented wrestlers such as Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Ryback etc, are gradually making the wwe more entertaining.

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As for female wrestling, that doesn’t inspire me in anyway, but I have respect for all of them, including Stephanie McMahon and Vickie Guerrero because it’s not easy to be a female wrestler, when they go through similar pains the men go through. Tonight is WWE’s Battleground match, I am strongly behind Brock Lesnar, because I hate the way Seth Rollins betrayed the ‘The Shield’ because of greed.

Triple H: Let WWE Be Real



The WWE has been one of the greatest source of entertainments viewed worldwide. Under the canopy of past and present great wrestlers, such as Undertaker, Triple H, Shaun Michaels, Rey Misterio, Brock Lesnar, Hulk Hogan, Sting, Booker T, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan etc; and the management of the McMahon family, the WWE has inspired many and generated gross revenue for the American entertaiment industry.

As a matter of fact, despite WWE ranked as the most viewed entertainment among others, many people don’t consider WWE as serious entertainment enough to waste their precious time to sit for a minute and watch, because of poor management, cheatings, dishonesty, betrayals, discrimination and favorism.

In this article, I’m going to pin point on two issues of which if care is not taken could lead WWE to disaster in the future. The institutionalized ‘The Face Of WWE and The Authority Always Wins.’ Like every wrestler in an association, every one has aims and objects to reach the top. With fractured bones, pain and suffering, they put their lives on the line to entertain the world.

What is the significance of ‘The Face Of WWE’ here, when every one has the same goal to reach the top? The selfish desire of the management to split ‘The Shield’ and keep Seth Rollings as the face of WWE led to many problems, including the betrayal of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose by Seth Rollins. Then after, nearly end the career of Randy Orton. Triple H mustn’t say this is good for business, because such things reflect on him as a man of dishonesty and inefficient.



The management is now being run with full of discrimnation. Example of that is what Daniel Bryan went through after winning the world championship belt last year. We know that the authority Always wins, because if plan A doesn’t work, there is plan B. The question is, do these plans of the authority reflect on them as good efficient managers or a group of deceitful betrayers, dishonesty and backstabbing? This is where Triple-H and his wife are going wrong and think they are the best.

Nation rises and nation falls. I’m not a clairvoyant or a soothsayer, but the management of WWE should be very careful. Pride shouldn’t stand on their path to think, it can never happen, because nothing is impossible. At the just concluded ‘Elimination Chamber,’ the whole world witnessed the astonishing defeat of Seth Rollins by his rival, Dean Ambrose, yet the poor management of WWE, like always, robbed Ambrose of the world championship belt. Where is WWE heading to in the name of ‘It’s good for business? When in fact, it’s completely disgraceful and eyesore.

Finally, I congratulate Ryback for winning the Inter-continental Championship Belt. He deserves it. That man has suffered a great deal to reach where he is now. That belt he is holding now means a lot to his fans. As for Kane, it’s unfortunate that after building such a successful carreer, he has now ruined his reputation as a puppet on a string in the position of ‘Director of Operations.’

Rick Rubin On Wrestling And How Roddy Piper Turned The Beastie Boys Bad

Article originally posted at RollingStone : April 20, 2015.

“We were as inspired by pro wrestling and Monty Python as we were music,” the iconic producer says of the Beasties’ ‘License to Ill’ era


Rick Rubin

But here’s something that’ll shake your chakras: Rubin is also a massive pro-wrestling fan, a lifelong obsessive who grew up idolizing “Superstar” Billy Graham and Ivan Putski, once backed a “blood and guts” Southern wrestling federation and now sits ringside at seemingly every WWE event on the West Coast. There have even been moments when his fandom bled into his business – what were the Beastie Boys, if not Def Jam’s first heel stable?

Still buzzing from the events of last month’s WrestleMania (of course he was there), Rubin spoke with Rolling Stone about growing up a grappling fanatic, embracing the sheer ridiculousness of Ric Flair, the worst part of funding a federation and how “Rowdy” Roddy Piper helped turn the Beastie Boys heel.

When did you first become obsessed with professional wrestling?
I was very young. The very first promotion I ever saw was called the IWA, a short-lived New York independent that was kind of competition for the WWWF, and it had guys like Tex McKenzie and Mil Máscaras. Then I started watching the WWWF, they had an hour-long show – I think it was on Saturday nights – and I watched that for several years. And then I started watching lucha libre in Spanish, coming from the Olympic Auditorium, and there I would have seen Roddy Piper for the first time, Chavo Guerrero Sr.; it was very exciting, there were more masked guys and more acrobatics. It felt like outsider entertainment, like it was on the fringes of society.

I would go see wrestling all the time, too. I went to Nassau Coliseum, Madison Square Garden every month – I had a subscription to wrestling at the Garden, so I had a pair of tickets for every match, same seats, for my whole high-school life. And I remember going to Sunnyside, Queens. There was an arena there, more like a gym, but with bleachers, and there was something interesting about seeing wrestling on that scale. And as a kid, I remember going to Disney World with my parents, and I was really insistent that we figured out how far Disney was from wrestling, so we could see Dusty Rhodes! I used to watch Championship Wrestling from Florida with Gordon Solie, and the NWA on TBS, which was really my favorite – the Four Horsemen, Ric Flair, Jim Cornette. That was great; it was during a time when the WWE had kind of gone soft, and that felt like real rasslin’. The WWE wanted to appeal to kids, and there were more wrestlers like Koko B. Ware. It was kind of cartoon-y, less blood and guts and fighting for what’s right. I’ve always liked that outlaw aspect of wrestling.

It seems that “outlaw aspect” also influenced your career in music, especially during the early Def Jam/Def American days. Would you agree?
For sure. There’s no question that, early on, the Beastie Boys were very influenced by pro wrestling. One-hundred percent. The idea of being bad-guy rappers, saying really outlandish things in interviews, that all came from a love of pro wrestling. We didn’t say it because it was true – we said it because it was entertaining. To me, it was performance art; we were as inspired by pro wrestling and Monty Python as we were music. I remember showing them videotapes of old matches, because I was the fan, and we’d laugh about the stuff on there. And at that time, there was a wrestling hotline, and we’d call and listen to prerecorded messages from Roddy Piper and get inspired by the crazy things he’d say. Kerry King [from Slayer] was really into wrestling, too. Later, I worked with Andrew Dice Clay, and he was a perfect heel.

Eventually, you even got into the wrestling business, putting up the money to launch Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1991. Would it be fair to say you enjoyed being a fan more than a financial backer?
When I met Jim Cornette, it was at a low point in wrestling, where WWE was really appealing to kids, and the NWA, which had previously been great, had been bought by Ted Turner and was starting to follow the WWE’s model. So, as a real wrestling fan, nobody was programming to me, and I felt there were probably other people who weren’t getting their real wrestling fix either. So that was the idea behind Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Cornette was really cool and he had the vision to do it, and I just supported it. Turns out, it’s a really difficult business; it’s not a fun business to be in if you don’t know about it. I only went to one house show. I remember that the culture was different, and a lot of the guys were great workers, but they weren’t in that top tier in terms of recognition, so we had to make up for that with wild action.

My comments to Jim were mainly, “Just make the storylines more extreme; less believable and more radically offensive.” I’ll say pretty much any time a man hits a woman with a chair, that’s really offensive, that gets heat. That’s really bad. Any time anyone takes advantage of anyone who can’t defend themselves, oh my God, you hate that person, and that builds that tension – you want to see the good guy conquer the bad guy, or at least you want to see how the bad guy will weasel their way out of it.

I’m always rooting for the heel. I get the feeling you are too…
I just think it’s funny when somebody is acting so bad, and it’s obviously so wrong. A great example is Ric Flair; you’d see him just getting destroyed in a match, begging, really acting un-champion like, getting beaten up for 20 minutes, and then he’d hit a low-blow and steal the victory. And then they’d interview him in the back and he’d have this big smile on his face, bragging about how he destroyed the guy. It’s unbelievable. Flair’s the ultimate. He’s the greatest character, says the funniest things; he’s incredible in the ring – the idea of him giving his five best shots to his opponent, and it having no effect on them, and his reaction to that, when it hits him that he’s done his best and it has no effect, and the way he runs away and the way he gets caught. It’s funny every time it happens, and as soon as he gets the upper hand, the arrogance kicks in. Plus, his falls, the delayed reactions, he takes three-or-four steps, as if everything is fine, and then the complete face-plant, he’s like a cartoon character. It’s so surreal. I love it when it’s surreal.

I love the commentators, too. Like, we’re watching this supposed sport, and we have a commentator calling the action, but then we also have a bad-guy commentator, who’s going to comment from the heel perspective; every time the bad guy does something horrible, the bad-guy commentator defends his actions. “He’s cheating!” “No, it’sgamesmanship!” It’s so funny. I don’t watch any other sports, because they’re never as entertaining – you can’t watch a baseball game and have the same emotional roller-coaster ride that you can watching pro wrestling. It’s not possible.

But do you feel that sometimes – especially recently – WWE relies too heavily on that heel dynamic? I’m thinking specifically of the big, bad McMahons and the “Authority” storyline. As a fan, it’s becoming a bit stale.
I think the writing is pretty good and I actually like the Authority. Did you watch WrestleMania? I thought Stephanie McMahon and Triple H’s speech was fantastic. Stephanie’s giving this heartfelt speech about all the people that were there, and seeing the growth of wrestling and then she goes, “Everyone has to thank me, because it couldn’t have happened without me and my husband Triple H” [laughs]. And then Triple H’s speech about, “Not only did I beat Sting tonight, but I beat everyone who ever came up against us. I beat 76,969 of you tonight.” It’s unbelievable! That’s so funny to me. I couldn’t write it! That extreme insanity is really appealing to me.

Speaking of “extreme,” you mentioned loving the “blood and guts” aspect of Southern wrestling, but were you also a fan of the stuff Paul Heyman was doing in ECW?
I honestly never really watched ECW, but I’ve seen some of the “Best Of” shows, and they had that guy Sabu who seemed really good. But I have to say, the idea of having somebody just bring a giant bag of tacks into the ring and spreading them everywhere, I don’t know if I necessarily like that – the idea of, “How far can we go?” I’m more drawn to the storyline; the emotional aspect of a match is what gets me, although I will say when a guy does a high spot, jumps off a 20-foot ladder through a table, it definitely reads. Even now, a wrestler like Luke Harper, he does a boot to the face, and every time he does it, it’s unbelievable that guys aren’t torn in half. Or when he threw Dean Ambrose through that ladder at WrestleMania? That was amazing.

Who are some other current wrestlers you enjoy watching?
I think Bray Wyatt’s really entertaining, I look forward to his matches. Randy Orton can create that drama; when something’s on the line, he can be really good. Seth Rollins, obviously. Dean Ambrose. I will say Daniel Bryan’s matches are exciting, you always know his matches are going to be really good. Brock Lesnar is unbelievable, he seems genuinely terrifying; the combo of him and Paul Heyman is unbeatable. It really seems like that guy could be champion for as long as he wants, if that’s how it worked. Cesaro’s great. Rusev is great. The flag, all of it, it’s so inflammatory. CM Punk, when he was doing the whole “pipe bomb” thing, that’s really when I started liking him. Before that, when he was “the Straight Edge wrestler,” it wasn’t speaking to me, but once the pipe-bomb era started, and he was with Paul Heyman, I was a fan. Also, Heyman’s fantastic; so funny, really easy to hate. He’s great.


Rowdy Roddy Piper

Speaking of hatred, is there anyone on the roster you can’t stand?

Not really, it’s more the idea of the babyface; how they book them. It’s always interesting to me when they choose to keep something in a babyface that I would say nobody likes. John Cena, for example – I would say the main reason people don’t like him is the Five Knuckle Shuffle [laughs]. But they keep working it into his matches! That’s another interesting thing in wrestling; it’s like a Jerry Lewis movie, where he’ll do something, and it’s funny, and he’ll keep doing it and it’s not funny anymore. They seem to do that in wrestling. I’m frustrated by it, but maybe that’s one of the great things about wrestling. My friend Vincent Gallo had a great line – he came with me to Rawat Staples Center, right before WrestleMania, and he loved it. One time, he told me, “The obvious can never be re-stated too often.” And I feel like that’s wrestling.

You’re always in the front row when WWE comes through California, but do you ever watch NXT, or any of the competition?
I have not watched NXT. There’s so much to watch as is – there’s five hours of WWE a week, and then usually a three-hour pay-per-view every month, so I’m usually backed up with that. And of course, I subscribed to the WWE Network the first day it was possible. I think it’s great; I mean, I used to buy all the pay-per-views, and now I’m getting them for $9.99 a month and I’m getting all this other content, too, so it’s a win-win for everybody involved. I record TNA wrestling, too, but I never really get to watch it. I’m pretty busy [laughs

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Hacksaw: The Jim Duggan Story

Offering professional wrestling fans a ringside seat into his adventurous life, WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Jim Duggan recounts for the first time key moments and legendary bouts both inside and outside the ring. Known to millions of enthusiasts as a charismatic patriot—with an American flag in his right hand and his signature two-by-four in his left—Duggan here reflects on his early life as a student-athlete on the Southern Methodist University football squad.

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Drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, Duggan shares how an injury-plagued rookie season curtailed his football ambitions and paved the way for a brighter career in professional wrestling. Rising to fame in the Cold War–era 1980s, Duggan immediately put himself at odds with anti-American “heels” and engaged in legendary feuds with some of the most legendary names in the sport, including the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Andre the Giant.

In this who’s who of top-tier wrestling, Duggan reveals not only the high points of championship bouts but also the low points that occurred far away from the TV cameras and screaming fans, including his fight against kidney cancer during the prime of his career. With each page peppered with Duggan’s charming wit, fans will find much to enjoy and discover about the man they once knew only as “Hacksaw.”

The Author

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No Superstar in history was as patriotic as “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.

A true red-blooded American, the tough, but lovable big guy always marched to the ring with a 2×4 slung over his shoulder and a red, white and blue flag gripped tightly in his hand. Often going up against underhanded foreign villains, Duggan would always get the crowd behind him by inspiring massive chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” that would shake the rafters and intimidate his opponents. For more than two decades, “Hacksaw” defended America’s honor in the ring and enjoyed distinction as one of the most recognizable Superstars in the world.

Duggan’s immense popularity did not come overnight, though. An exceptional athlete, “Hacksaw” was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, but was later cut due to knee injuries. With his football career over, Duggan turned his attention to sports-entertainment. Starting out in the late ’70s, the powerful grappler competed across the country under the name “Big” Jim Duggan. The tough guy clearly had strength and charisma, but there was little to distinguish him from the hundreds of other brawlers ruling the rings at the time.

It wasn’t until the New York native joined Mid-South Wrestling in 1982 that he began to develop the personality traits that fans love him for today. After battling Butch Reed for the rights to the nickname “Hacksaw,” Duggan began carrying a 2×4 to the ring. The big man’s block of wood became an iconic part of his persona, but its beginnings were practical. With fans being extremely overzealous and often dangerous at the time, Duggan’s mentor, Bruiser Brody, suggested he lug a weapon to the ring to protect himself. “Hacksaw” grabbed a 2×4 and the rest is history.

The 2×4 would be firmly in Duggan’s grasp when he joined WWE in 1987. Wasting no time in displaying his patriotism, “Hacksaw” immediately locked up with the massive Russian known as Nikolai Volkoff and had many hard-hitting matches with the dangerous Soviet. The following year, “Hacksaw” had one of the biggest victories of his career when he won the inaugural Royal Rumble by eliminating One Man Gang. The victory was proof that Duggan was the real deal.

In the years that followed, the patriot continued to cultivate a massive fan following through his heroic battles against hated villains like Dino Bravo, Bad News Brown and Boris Zhukov. Duggan even defeated Haku in 1989 to win the right to call himself the “King of Wrestling.” The shiny crown may have looked out of place atop “Hacksaw’s” smiling mug, but he wore the prize with great pride.

Throughout the early ’90s, Duggan’s reputation as a fan favorite carried on, but he eventually suffered a series of disappointing losses to the likes of Yokozuna and Bam Bam Bigelow. The losing streak led “Hacksaw” to make a surprising change when he joined World Championship Wrestling in 1994. The move proved to be a good one for him, though, as he defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to win the United States Championship on his first night in the company. Duggan would battle the likes of Big Bubba Rogers and Diamond Dallas Page over the next four years before something changed his life forever.

In 1998, “Hacksaw” was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The disease was an intimidating opponent for a man who had locked up with the likes of Andre the Giant, but Duggan refused to go down without a fight. Thanks to early detection and “Hacksaw’s” unbreakable spirit, he beat cancer and amazingly returned to the ring with little time off.

After finishing out his contract with WCW, Duggan made his long-awaited return to WWE in 2005. Teaming with talented young Superstars like Super Crazy and Eugene, “Hacksaw” was able to pass on everything he’d learned throughout his life to a new generation of competitors. And he was still able to stir the WWE Universe into a frenzy of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” chants like he always had.

Duggan has made sporadic appearances in WWE over the last few years, but his popularity has never waned. Still carrying his 2×4 and waving Old Glory proudly, “Hacksaw” is a bona fide legend in the ring and truly deserving of his spot in WWE’s Hall of Fame class of 2011.