By Graham "GSM" Matthews
I was searching through the sale section on WWE.com earlier this month and came across the "Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes!" DVD for the small price of five bucks, so I decided to jump at the opportunity. It isn't often you get a deal quite like that on documentary DVDs. After watching it last night, however, I remember why I wasn't in a rush to get it when it was initially released last summer.
Don't get me wrong, it was a pleasant documentary, but at only one hour in length, it isn't must-see by any means. Furthermore, I quickly realized that it was essentially the same special that aired on WWE Network shortly after WrestleMania 30. They did something similar with the Ultimate Warrior special that was made after he passed away by releasing it on DVD the following spring, but at least that seemed to have some extra elements to it and wasn't a total repeat. I was hoping for more from this documentary, something I hadn't already seen, but no such luck.
The title of the three-disc DVD set is slightly different from that of the special. The title of the special, "Daniel Bryan's Journey to WrestleMania XXX" was more accurate in my opinion. The title of the DVD doesn't much give insight on what it's about other than a potential retrospective look at his career. Some of that is done in this documentary, but only so much can be featured in the matter of one hour. They briefly touched upon the biggest highlights of his career, including training at Shawn Michaels' wrestling school and debuting on NXT, but didn't go in-depth with anything. It didn't help that the doc discussed things most viewers already knew.
You could tell the special/doc was made on short notice because the variety of people they interviewed for it was fairly limited. Bryan came across great in his various interviews, as did Brie Bella, but I saw far too much of John Cena than I needed to. And no, I don't say that as a "John Cena hater," but what association has he had with Bryan other than being his brother-in-law and facing him once in 2013? There were hardly enough quotes from Shawn Michaels, who would know Bryan better than anyone considering he played a hand in training him.
I was glad they discussed his disappointment in being booted from the WrestleMania 27 card, as it certainly was a factor in his eventual ascent, along with the birth of the "Yes!" chants in early 2012 and especially after WrestleMania 28. Speaking of his ascent, I was shocked his WWE Championship win from SummerSlam 2013 wasn't even mentioned, nor was anything he did that year. That was arguably when he was most popular, so to leave that out was mind-boggling to me.
As always, however, the exclusive footage that is shown in these very well-shot documentaries is super cool. By that I mean him chatting backstage with William Regal, hugging his longtime coworkers after winning the title at WrestleMania 30, etc. You can obviously tell he is a very humble guy (which Brie talks about), and that certainly shows throughout this documentary.
I mentioned this in my review of Jeff Hardy's DVD, but it's weird how the latter half of this documentary was conducted in kayfabe. I kind of understood why it was done in Hardy's, which was released in 2009 and that was before WWE went all out with their in-depth documentaries, but this special was filmed five years later in 2014. CM Punk, Triple H and Batista had no problem breaking kayfabe and discussing the inner workings of the business in their respective DVDs, so why not Bryan's? It wasn't bothersome, but just odd.
As noted, I was hoping more would be added to the documentary than what we saw on the WWE Network special, but nope. I was surprised by how there weren't even extras on the first disc. He does talk briefly before each match about their significance on the second and third discs, but it isn't enough to justify purchasing the full set. The matches themselves are great, and his biggest wins and best bouts (WrestleMania 30, Night of Champions 2010, Extreme Rules 2012) are included, but all of which can be seen on the Network. If nothing else, his tryout matches from the early 2000s are rare, so those are worth watching.
For anyone who hasn't seen the aforementioned special and is a die-hand fan of Bryan, then this DVD might be for you. Otherwise, I'd recommend watching it for $9.99 on the WWE Network, along with most of the matches on the subsequent two discs that can be found on the Network as well. The documentary portion is an easy hour to digest, but save yourself the money (unless you find it on sale like I did) and check it out on the Network.
Should you watch this movie? No! No! No! (unless it's on the WWE Network)