WWE's Top 10 of 2012, No. 9: Daniel Bryan and the WWE Universe Just Say Yes!
Another wrestling year is nearing completion as 2012 goes the way of Abraham Washington. 2012 gave us Ryback, another Chris Jericho return and 1,000 episodes of Monday Night RAW. 'Tis the season to rank them in order of importance. Stories will be evaluated based on longevity, mainstream coverage and social-media influence.
Top 10 of 2012, No. 9: Just Say Yes!
Daniel Bryan cut his teeth on the independent circuit. The former ROH champion built a cult following while wrestling instant classics around the world. Just look at him slap on that bridging double chicken wing with minimal effort.
Prior to his long-awaited WWE debut as a legitimate singles star, Daniel Byran went by his real name of Bryan Danielson. No gimmicks. No promos. No problem.
But in 2009, Bryan Danielson became Daniel Bryan after signing with the WWE. And while his world-renowned in-ring abilities didn't change, Bryan's character would slowly begin to see an overhaul.
Gone were the days of the straight-up wrestler who shook hands with his opponent before and after most of his matches. Gone were the maroon trunks, as sports-entertainment flair was infused in Bryan's wardrobe. Bryan grew a beard that remains epic to this day.
But it was the use of one word and three letters that would catapult Daniel Bryan into the rarefied stratosphere of pro-wrestling immortality.
Bryan became World champion in 2011 with an opportunistic victory over the Big Show at WWE TLC. From there, Daniel Bryan would celebrate his ongoing reign by shouting "yes!" from the top of his lungs before, during and after his matches. Who needs a handshake?
It was the battle cry for a heel character looking to agitate the WWE universe. Yet years of hard work and a built-in fanbase turned it into an entertaining catch phrase.
Ironically, it was the night Bryan lost his World championship that "yes" became an overnight phenomenon.
A very vocal pocket of fans were unhappy with Bryan's 18-second loss to Sheamus in what could have been a strong wrestling contest.
Miami fans chanted the term throughout the post-WrestleMania RAW in a show of support for the fallen champion. It wasn't long before "yes" t-shirts made their way onto WWEshop.com .
It appears "yes" is here to stay. Like Stone Cold Steve Austin's "what" craze that has survived to this day, "yes" is simple, catchy, easy to chant and will eventually become mind-numbingly annoying.
2012 was the year of a lot of things. Among people and moments that impacted the year was the WWE's unofficial campaign to just say yes.
Top Ten of 2012: 10. One Night in Brazil | 9. Just Say Yes!
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