WWE viewership in Singapore stays strong; superstar Daniel Bryan says entertaining fans is priority

Leader of the Yes movement, WWE superstar Daniel Bryan poses with fans at a meet and greet at Bugis Junction on Dec 9, 2015 PHOTO: STARHUB
WWE's Daniel Bryan helping children from Central Singapore CDC’s Nurture 2.0 programme create their own terrariums on Dec 9, 2015. PHOTO: STARHUB
WWE's Daniel Bryan signing autographs for children from Central Singapore CDC’s Nurture 2.0 programme on Dec 9, 2015. PHOTO: STARHUB
WWE fan Shaharuddie Abdullah poses with WWE superstar Daniel Bryan at a meet and greet at Bugis Junction on Dec 9, 2015. PHOTO: STARHUB
WWE's Daniel Bryan was his usual affable self at an interview on Dec 9, 2015 PHOTO: SHARON LEE

WWE's Daniel Bryan is an unlikely superstar as the 1.78m-tall wrestler is virtually a David in a field where he is surrounded by Goliaths.

A rare breed too, he is just one of six wrestlers ever to win all four championships that make up the WWE Grand Slam.

Bryan, 34, captured the ultimate prize - the WWE championship - at Wrestlemania 30 in New Orleans last year.

Seen as the ultimate underdog, Bryan (real name: Bryan Lloyd Danielson) was in Singapore on Wednesday to promote WWE programming on StarHub.

During his brief visit to Singapore, the environmentally-conscious wrestler helped children from the Central Singapore CDC's Nurture 2.0 programme make their own terrariums. He also engaged fans at a meet-and-greet at Bugis Junction.

Ms Lee Soo Hui, head of StarHub's media business unit, said: "Over the years, WWE has amassed a passionate following in Singapore with fans from various demographics, from young males to women, to the older generation.

"This passion can also be seen in the viewership figures for WWE pay-per-views, which have consistently done well regardless of the card."

Singapore fans show their passion by constantly visiting the official WWE website, WWE.com.

The site receives 1.5 to 2 million page views from Singapore monthly, a figure that translates into 20 million hits a year.

With the Internet and social media playing a huge part these days, fans' expectations of the WWE product have naturally, increased.

Bryan told The Straits Times: "You have to evolve with the way the sport is evolving. So if the fans are voicing more of their displeasure with certain things, then you need to take that into account to make it entertaining because you have to please your fan base.

"At the end of the day, when they've spent their money, they need to know they've gotten what they wanted."

Now on hiatus due to injury, Bryan reflected on his roller-coaster ride so far.

"I've worked harder than a lot of people but a lot of people who've worked harder than me haven't had the success that I've had. At the end of the day, I'll just boil it down to luck and being at the right place at the right time," he mused.

Just five days after his win in New Orleans last year, he married WWE diva Brie Bella, one-half of the popular Bella Twins.

His father passed away a few weeks later and Bryan had to relinquish his championship two months later due to a neck and arm injury.

It was a similar situation this year, when Bryan won the Intercontinental championship at Wrestlemania 31 in April and had to give it up due to a concussion.

"Because of my history with concussions, the WWE medical doctor wouldn't clear me. We're in the process of trying to figure out some compromise.

"They keep sending me to do more tests, brain MRIs, brain EGs and all my tests have come back great to the point where my brain is better than someone my age with no concussion," he explained.

To keep his fitness up, he has resumed jujitsu, which he first took up in 2002, besides weightlifting, running and yoga.

The leader of the Yes movement also keeps himself busy gardening, filming reality show Total Divas and playing with his dog, Josie.

Recognisable among fans for his trademark long, shaggy beard, Bryan still hopes to face former WWE and UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in the ring.

"I think it'll be a really interesting match-up in terms of styles. It's the ultimate David and Goliath match. That'll be really fun."

Catch the latest WWE action on SuperSports 2 (StarHub TV Channel 202) at 10pm every day, all within the same week of its US telecast.

WWE fans can also catch WWE TLC on StarHub video on demand on Dec 14, from 10.30pm .

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