‘Journey to WrestleMania: Daniel Bryan’ was one of the first standout classics produced by the WWE Network. Yes, the WrestleMania Rewind and Countdown shows were also nice early on, but it was Journey to WrestleMania which made everyone chant “that was awesome!” — and boy do we ‘rasslin folk like to chant that.
So, I guess considering how awesome we all said it was, it was only right that it was released on DVD and Blu-ray eventually, and here we have it, re-packaged as “Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes!”. It doesn’t come alone either as along with the documentary is a bunch of bonus matches and some pretty cool interview features with the man himself.
Much like the ‘Destruction of The Shield’ and ‘Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe’ DVD/Blu-ray sets from earlier this year, Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! features an extended version of the WWE Network’s “Journey to WrestleMania”, but regrettably this time it was extended much less than the previous two features. In total “Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes!” has around 9 minutes added — if you’re a numbers fan, that’s 14% longer than the Network documentary (Destruction of The Shield had an added 23%, while Always Believe had 69% more footage!).
The documentary tells the story of Daniel Bryan’s voyage from Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy to Ring of Honor, to beginning of his oftentimes tumultuous career in WWE. While the documentary tells us Bryan’s career story, it also provides us with insight and behind the scenes details of Bryan’s time over WrestleMania XXX week, which culminated with his WWE World Heavyweight Championship victory in front of 75,167 inside the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome in New Orleans.
The documentary has a familiar yet unique feel. This is achieved with the interviews which were shot slightly differently; many were captured over the WrestleMania XXX weekend, which means that they weren’t recorded in the usual studio setting but rather backstage at events. It is really sometimes all the little touches which make something that bit more awesome, an example here is the fact that the on-screen titles look to be in Daniel Bryan’s own handwriting!
It’s hard to deny that Daniel Bryan is the everyman and his journey to WrestleMania (however accidental it ended up being) was a simply incredible story and one that we all believed in. As a result, it was and is really, really awesome to have this story captured for prosperity as a Home Video feature.
A number of clips in the Home Video version have been switched around from the original Network feature; in addition, as I mentioned earlier around 9 minutes have been added. Two of the more noteworthy new and extended scenes were:
• Bryan and Brie discussing Bryan’s unwillingness to accept that he is a ‘Superstar’ and managing to remain humble.
• The complete WrestleMania 28 match versus Sheamus (yes, all 18 seconds), as well as Bryan talking about his ring-gear for the match.
Another cool scene which was added was one with Bryan in a car discussing the impact that wrestling moments can have on the fans, as well as his earliest wrestling memory of seeing a live match between Rick Rude and the Ultimate Warrior, which comes complete with a story about how his family bonded over the sight of Rude’s ass!
Other scenes added included Bryan working his physical therapist prior to WrestleMania XXX, Bryan and Jack Swagger discussing the Seattle Seahawks, Bryan filling his water bottle (and having a chat with Brie) prior to leaving for the Hall of Fame ceremony, plus an extended interview with Bryan following his Championship victory. Of course, there are many other small scenes added to the documentary, but those were the more noteworthy ones found.
The documentary features discussion of not only Bryan’s WWE tenure, but also to a lesser degree his time in Ring of Honor as well. The documentary features interviews with not only Daniel Bryan, but also a number of other WWE personalities and superstars including: Brie Bella, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, William Regal and many more. All of those interviewed add their own unique perspective and at no point do you ask yourself “why is this person on here” – like you do with some of the other WWE docs.
If you’re thinking that the interviews are just your standard talking heads who manage to talk without really saying anything, well, on this particular occasion, you’re wrong! Daniel Bryan provides comments on aspects of his entire wrestling career, from his early days training with Shawn Michaels, right through his developmental stint, comments on the independent wrestling scene and of course his WWE exploits. The main interview with Daniel Bryan was recorded in late January this year atop the Frank Erwin Centre in Austin, Texas. Also, different from other interview segments, there is comments from other WWE Superstars inserted along with B-roll footage and still photographs.
In many respects the interview segments found in the extras are more like documentary chapters than standard interviews, in fact after the ‘First Look’ on the WWE Network last week some wrestling websites even claimed that this DVD/Blu-ray would in fact feature a whole new documentary feature. While this isn’t the case, they are incredibly honest and open, I think even the ‘smart’ fans will learn a thing or two with these.
In total the near 30 interview features (including the Blu-ray exclusives) have a runtime of just under 1 hour and 15 minutes, some of the more interesting interviews include the backstory to how WrestleMania XXX became Daniel Bryan’s night (including discussion of the originally planned Sheamus match and CM Punk’s departure), a story regarding Daniel Bryan’s jacket from Over the Limit 2011, the true story regarding his injury – including when it happened and how it was (temporarily) fixed and of course discussion of his time on the awful original series of WWE NXT.
In total “Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes!” features fourteen matches on the DVD with an additional four matches on the Blu-ray. The matches span Bryan’s entire career from an early tryout match in 2000, right through to his #1 contenders match with Roman Reigns at FastLane earlier this year.
While I’m not going to go through every match on the set, I have picked out a handful of my favorites from all of those compiled…
This is a really unique match as it is one of a very few “tryout matches” to be featured on a WWE DVD. The match sees four of Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy (TWA) students get a shot at making it in WWE. The match itself is actually surprisingly long (of which there is a story behind in the preceding interview), and the match also led to Bryan being signed to a developmental deal.
Daniel Bryan’s very first official WWE match was on the premier edition of NXT. Unlike most debut matches Bryan’s was against then current World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Jericho, and at the time this was a complete dream match and a great main event for the very first episode of NXT. Unfortunately we all know how the original NXT went off the rails and it was great to see that Daniel Bryan managed to succeeded in spite of his time on NXT. Also keep your eyes peeled for the sick dive directly into the announcers table [owie].
Longtime fans will be aware of the connection between Daniel Bryan and William Regal and for this reason it is cool to have one of their one-on-one matches included here on this set. Before this match Bryan (and Regal) discuss their relationship and how William Regal helped with Bryan’s career, providing him with guidance and support. Granted this wasn’t their best match and really short, but still it is cool to see a William Regal vs. Daniel Bryan match on here. It is a shame they didn’t go with a match that they had on Superstars from the next year (also from the UK).
For reasons similar to the William Regal match, this one is a really cool little match to have featured. Daniel Bryan and Brie didn’t team together for very many matches, which makes this one a hidden gem of a match. Granted, from an in-ring point of view the match itself isn’t all too special and is really short, but knowing the relationship which would develop between Bryan and Brie it is cool to see this one make the final cut.
As the interview before this match is titled, this was Daniel Bryan and Sheamus’ redemption match. The Extreme Rules match of course came on the heels of their unforgettable (for all the wrong reasons) 18-second WrestleMania 28 debacle. This 2 out of 3 falls match afforded Bryan and Sheamus a chance to shine, and shine they absolutely did. This was a true ‘text book’ example of what a best two out of three falls classic should be; it has it all from technical wrestling to pure drama.
On this August night Daniel Bryan and John Cena put together one hell of a ‘balls to the wall’ wrestling match. The match gave us some great exchanges between Bryan and Cena and clocking in at nearly 30 minutes the match had it all. Sadly, SummerSlam 2013 wouldn’t be Daniel Bryan’s true ascension to the main event, but it all worked out pretty good, for the bearded “B+” goat. 😉
I was really pleased to see this match included as a Blu-ray Exclusive. For me this was the true birth of the “Yes Movement” (the Slammy’s moment was cool, but for me THIS was where it all really kicked off) when Daniel Bryan turned on the Wyatt Family and sitting atop the steel cage with the ENTIRE Dunkin’ Donuts Center chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” – this was the moment where the WWE Universe decided that Bryan was our guy and HE truly deserves the shot at WrestleMania. The match itself wasn’t too bad either.
How would you have a Daniel Bryan DVD and not have this match included? Of course this match had to make the final cut and even if Bryan hadn’t picked up the win, it would still possibly be in the running for inclusion here because it was a really, really fun wrestling match that absolutely drew everyone in with the near insurmountable odds which Bryan was up against and it was really, really cool to see that after all was said and done and all the confetti had fallen, Daniel Bryan stood atop the wrestling world as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at “Yes-tleMania”.
Personally, I loved the documentary feature, while the addition of the bonus matches and new interview make this a very good DVD set. I can understand why some people might feel a little aggrieved that the WWE Network special was included as the main feature, however I feel that given how good the other content is, it’s still really worth checking out.
In many respects what we have is a two disc match compilation set (which would have been a good DVD on its own), however it is improved by being packaged along with an extended version of the great WWE Network, “Journey to WrestleMania” special. So given that I loved both the documentary and the match compilation portions of this DVD/Blu-ray, it is very, very, very easy for me to answer this question… should you pick up Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! when it is released? — YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!!!!!!!!!
Get the “Daniel Bryan: Just Say YES!” WWE DVD/Blu-ray…
– USA: TOMORROW! Pre-order now here on Amazon.com.
– Australia: Wednesday. Pre-order soon via WWEDVD.com.au.
– UK/Europe: June 15th. Pre-order soon from WWEDVD.co.uk.