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The Ridiculous Request The WWE Reportedly Asked Of Daniel Bryan Ahead Of AEW Debut

Former WWE superstar Daniel Bryan left the brand at the end of his contract and has since reverted to his original name of Bryan Danielson over in AEW. Some fans assumed when Danielson first left that there could be bad blood between the wrestler and his formal home, though he has said as of late it was an amicable departure, and he still has lots of love and respect. He also revealed the WWE reportedly had one request related to his AEW transition, and while Danielson didn’t describe it as ridiculous, I think many would agree it's exactly that.

When Bryan Danielson spoke to Barstool Wrasslin’ about his departure from the WWE and his new career in AEW, he was asked about why his promos have seen him switch from his signature “Yes chant” gesture to something else. Somewhat surprisingly, Danielson revealed the change was at the behest of the WWE's eagerness to keep the "Yes" chant to itself. According to Danielson:

They [WWE] asked me politely to respect their intellectual property, even some of the things that couldn’t be legally enforced, and I’m trying my best to do that. There’s also certain expectations fans have of me that they want to be able to do, and I’m happy that they still get to do that. I’m gonna do my best to avoid swinging my arms in the air.

The gist is that the WWE may not be able to legally prevent Daniel Bryan from making his iconic “Yes” gesture, but the athlete is apparently wiling to sidestep his signature move out of respect for his former bosses. Instead, he’ll continue to open up prompts for the fans themselves to chant the extremely simple “Yes” to their hearts' delight, which seems to work just as well, even if that's a pretty thin line of distinction.

Regardless, it’s a bit silly that Bryan Danielson was even asked not to use the gesture, considering it’s something fans do on their own, regardless of whether or not he’s encouraging them. Much like Stone Cold Steve Austin’s “What” chant, it’s become a staple of pro wrestling chants even outside the WWE, and Danielson noted that the WWE seems to be fine with it in general.

It’s never going to go away. Also, for WWE, their fans still do it for other people.

Still, there is something slightly bittersweet in knowing Bryan Danielson won’t continue to lead a chorus of fans specifically by pointing his arms up and yelling “yes” in unison. (Even more so knowing that WWE deemed it their "intellectual property.") That gesture created some iconic moments for then-Daniel Bryan, which may be why Vince McMahon’s company would rather he not bring that move with him when wrestling for AEW. At the same time, Danielson will have matches against the likes of CM Punk, Kenny Omega, and many other major stars that have joined AEW in the past year, so it’s safe to say he’ll create some iconic moments there as well regardless of what he's supposedly allowed to do.

Check out Bryan Danielson's debut and future matches on AEW: Dynamite, which airs on TNT every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. For more on AEW, read up on the recent deal the organization made with The Owen Hart Foundation, and the new tourney that will come out of it.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.