Friday, 6 April 2012


How often does a wrestler come along who can say they originated a crowd chant? Not very often. The only two that would have sprung to my mind a month ago would have been Ric Flair and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Flair for the “Wooooo” shout when a knife-edge chop is performed in a match and Austin for the cry of “What?” Those are two pretty big names.

They have recently been joined by a third man: Daniel Bryan. When he officially turned heel Bryan began chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” during his ring entrances. This was adopted very quickly by fans in Ring of Honor. That was to be expected: ROH fans are rightly proud of having supported Daniel Bryan (as ‘The American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson) during the early years of his career and as such he has become an icon in that promotion. Anything he does now, years after leaving the promotion, will still be picked up on by the fans of Ring of Honor.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
A little more surprising was WWE fans warming to the chant. National promotions don’t tend to generate these quirky chants too often due to the fact that their fan base is so widespread and varied. One week they’ll be in New York, the next LA. Such extensive touring schedules make it difficult for trends in crowd interaction to develop because each televised show is attended by different fans who are unlikely to recall something as minor as a crowd reaction the previous week.

It happens occasionally though, as evidenced by Daniel Bryan and the “Yes!” phenomena. Not only was it chanted at WrestleMania but also during promos by both John Cena and The Rock the following evening. If ‘The Great One’s’ hometown crowd are using a chant originated by another wrestler while Rocky’s in the ring you know it’s something special. The chant was even heard during a Miami Heat basketball game on Tuesday night, that’s how over it is.

WWE are said to be very pleased with this development. I don’t blame them. It speaks to the talent and popularity of Daniel Bryan and shows why he’s in the position he’s in right now. I would encourage the promotion to continue embracing the trend and consider turning the vegan back to the good guy side of the fence so as to capitalise on his burgeoning popularity. Having him remain a heel isn’t going to be a problem or cease the chants (they could still be encouraged by having Bryan claim that he hates the audience copying him or began a counter-chant of “No! No! No!”) but why not get behind him and embrace the audience’s reaction to the man?

The potential for a top line babyface is clearly there, isn’t it? The answer you’re looking for is… Yes! Yes! Yes!

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