Daniel Bryan, his popularity featured in USA Today

Daniel Bryan’s popularity is moving closer and closer to a fever pitch on a weekly basis on WWE television, and it reached another level thanks to him being featured on USA Today’s website.

Daniel Uthman of USA Today Sports examined the popularity of Bryan and how it has bled over into mainstream sports, including the Michigan State football team leading a massive “Yes!” chant during a basketball game that aired on ESPN.

From the story:

At a time when negative fan behavior and fan-athlete interaction is drawing increased scrutiny and concern, the Yes! chant offers a positive counterbalance. And that is meaningful for the WWE, which in recent years has successfully navigated a shift from the TV-14 era of the 1990s and 2000s to its current PG format that hearkens to its initial rise to prominence in the mid-1980s.

In mainstream sports, the chant is one of exultation over an accomplishment — a long-sought-after goal reached. In the WWE, it is a declaration from fans that yes, this is the person they want to see get a “push”, which in wrestling is quantified by television airtime and placement on the card as much as wins and losses. It is a declaration from fans that this is the person — Daniel Bryan — whom they want to see reach his long-sought-after goal of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

It’s worth that mentioning the Seattle Seahawks hopped on the “Yes!” bandwagon after winning its first Super Bowl in franchise history earlier this month.

Bryan’s chant taking over mainstream sporting events will do wonders for him moving forward, as WWE relishes the chance to receive any attention from mainstream media outlets such as ESPN.

Whether or not it will lead him to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship some time soon remains to be seen. But the more this grows, the more likely WWE will have to be forced to finally hand Bryan the ball and allow him to run with it.