I like professional wrestling. Pretty sure I established that a few months ago. I may’ve implied I gave up on it some time ago… And as much as I would like to, they just keep finding ways of pulling me back in. Case in point, “The New Era”. They really need to work on that name (I’d go with “The Second Brand Extention” myself), but despite the fact it feels like every episode of Raw is recycling the same god damn matches every week, it’s actually not half bad.
And no, I’m not saying that because John Cena’s on the B-show now. Seriously! Okay fine, it’s PARTLY that. Still have to put up with Roman Reigns, but even Reigns has his moments. Also, Reigns doesn’t dress like a fucking six-year-old. Admittedly, he looks like a taller, muscular, more Samoan version of what I’d look like if my parents let me goth it up beyond the black hoody, but that’s a rant for another day.
Recently, in my quest to find some audio to cram into my earhole to distract me from my perpetual loneliness, ennui, and the fact February 11 can’t just get here already, I picked up Daniel Bryan’s autobiography off of Audible.com: a delightful little memoir known simply as “YES!”. Keep it simple, stupid.
The book is a joint effort by Daniel Bryan himself, and Craig Tello. I’ll bet you money Bryan just dictated, and Tello compiled it all into an easy to digest brick of paper. Or in my case, dozens of hours of audio read by Daniel Bryan himself, and Peter Berkrot.
Peter Berkrot’s portions of the book talk all about the leadup to WrestleMania30: what is so far looking like the last great WrestleMania. And I’m only partially saying that because D-Bry was involved in the main event. Seriously, now that Shawn Michaels is retired, The Undertaker’s streak is over, and the fact WWE still isn’t convinced we’re fucking sick of Roman fucking Reigns in the main event, I don’t think we’re going to see another epic. We’ll probably have some passable Wrestlemanias, but the words PASSABLE, and WRESTLEMANIA aren’t designed to be in the same sentence!
But I’m getting off topic.
Berkrot’s readings are very dramatic. I can’t tell if he’s going out of his way to do it like that, or if that’s just his default reading style, but it suits the tone just fine.
Daniel Bryan’s portions of the book… Well… It’s not the WORST reading I’ve ever heard, but aside from a couple reenactments of conversations with various other people… Well… I’d say “don’t quit your day job”, except he had to retire from that last year.
Honestly, Bryan just sounds like he’s rushing through it. I don’t want to say it feels like he could literally be anywhere else right now, but I do get this feeling like he was on a time table, and wanted to get this all down as quick as possible. It’s not quite as bad as the now legendary one-take approach in that Elderscrolls game, but it does kind of feel like he’s just rambling it all out.
But I can honestly look past that. Let’s be honest, guys like Luke Daniels, Steven Fry, and Wayne June among others, have set the bar pretty high. It’s the story I’m interested in. If I can endure Steven Brand trying to put me to fucking sleep despite reading an epic fantasy novel like The Waking Fire, I can endure this.
When it comes to the actual story… Well, I already knew about most of the WWE stuff he covered, but everything from his childhood, to training, to Ring of Honor, to Japan, and even some of the behind the scenes stuff while he was in WWE was actually pretty fascinating.
He even recommends other books to read within his own. Largely because he seems to feel he can’t do guys like William Regal justice when he talks about them, but all the same, that’s pretty cool of him. I just wish Audible.com HAD THEM! So far, out of the books he’s recommended, the only one I’ve found was that guide to Dao. And honestly, I’m not even sure it’s the one he was recommending.
While I did watch a lot of the stuff he was talking about in WWE, it was still interesting to hear his take on several of the rivalries, skits, and matches he’s had. Particularly, the nine months he spent tag teaming with Kane. A veagan and a libertarian in a demon mask walk into a bar… And only in the WWE would that NOT sound like the set-up for a bad joke. Or even a GOOD joke.
As much as I’d love to recommend this book, I realize not everybody’s all that in to pro-wrasslin’. Shit, I’m genuinely amazed I stuck with it this long. Still, I recommend it, minor narration problems aside. Also, you probably have more eye sight than I do, so that’s easily remedied by simply getting the hardcover version.