Well this certainly wasn’t the article I thought I’d be writing today or even WANT to be writing. News has just broken that pro wrestler and Ring of Honor stand out Jay Briscoe has past away in a car accident at the age of 38. Many of the details are still unknown at this stage, and I am not going to speculate on what exactly happened. I am also not going to comment or cover any controversies that have followed Jay throughout his career, now is not the time or place. Instead I am going to write a short piece, remembering the performer he was, briefly recapping some of his best moments.
Although debuting in the year 2000, Jay Briscoe got his first real exposer along side Brother Mark at the start of 2001 for the promotion Combat Zone Wrestling, simply known as CZW. While the company tends to focus on the death match side of wrestling, they also promoted young up and comers like Jay and Mark in their junior Heavyweight show “Best of the Best.” The Brothers had a stand out match against each other that helped jump-start their wrestling careers on the independent scene.
First taste of Ring of Honor.
Jay Briscoe was on the very first ROH show “The era of honor begins” competing against Amazing Red. He was accompanied to the ring by his Brother Mark, as by law Mark was not old enough to legally compete due to his age. Once Mark was old enough, the Brothers were placed into a feud against each other which spanned most of 2002. At the first anniversary show Jay defeated Mark via pinfall, and after the match the two embraced one and other signifying their reunion and formed a tag team. They continued to team together all the way up to 2004 before leaving ROH to continue to make names for themselves on the independent scene.
Making ROH their home.
The Brothers returned to Ring of Honor in 2006 and quickly asserted their dominance in the tag team division. With unique “Hillbilly” characters and an innovative and wild style of wrestling, the Briscoe’s rose up the tag ranks to earn their first tag team championships defeating Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal. A number of injuries to brother Mark meant that Jay would have to go it alone from time to time, in turn making him one of the biggest and most dependable wrestlers on the Ring of Honor roster. Between 2006 and 2013, The Briscoe Brothers won the Ring of Honor tag team titles an impressive 8 times. However it was on April 5th 2013 at “Supercard of Honor 7” that Jay would achieve his biggest success as a pro wrestler.
Jay does the unthinkable.
It isn’t often that a wrestler that is mainly known for being in a tag team captures singles gold, let alone the World title. At “Supercard of Honor 7” that is exactly what Jay did, defeating Kevin Steen (now known as Kevin Owens in WWE.) Up to this point, this was the crowning achievement in Jay’s career, it wouldn’t last long however. After defending his World title on a few occasion Jay’s contract had expired and it was not renewed, he was then promptly stripped of the title. Upon his return, Jay started a memorable feud with newly crowned champion Adam Cole (BAY BAY) claiming that he was the rightful champion as he was never beaten for the title. At “Supercard of Honor 8” Cole defeated Jay to become the undisputed ROH World Champion, thus ending their feud, after, Jay went back to the tag team division.
Working relationship with ROH and NJPW
During the years if 2016-2019, the Briscoe floated between Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. The brothers made their debut for NJPW at their biggest show of the year “Wrestle Kingdom 10.” This was the biggest show the Briscoe’s had ever been on. With 25,000 people in attendance at the Tokyo Dome, they Captured the NEVER Open Weight 6-Man Tag Titles with Japanese wrestler Toru Yano. During this time, The Briscoe Brothers also won the IWGP World Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. In doing so, the brothers cemented their legacy as one of the best tag teams in the world.
The best tag team trilogy in the world!
After it was announced in 2022 that AEW owner Tony Kahn had brought Ring of Honor, The Briscoe Brothers had the opportunity to test their skills against a team many consider the best tag team in the world, FTR. The Briscoe’s actually worked 2 PPVs in the same night, “Multiverse of Matches” for IMPACT Wrestling and “Supercard of Honor 15” for ROH. It was at this event the two teams stole the whole show, putting on an absolute clinic in tag team wrestling. The Brothers came up short on this night but had the wrestling world talking about what could be next for the Redneck duo. The next time these two teams would face off would be July 23rd 2022 at “Death before Dishonor, upping the ante and making it a 2 out of 3 falls match. The Tag contest would Main Event the show and went 43 minutes, outdoing their previous efforts. The Brothers once again though came up short, losing 2 falls to 1. Jay and Mark were granted one more shot at FTR and this came in December at “Final Battle,” an aptly named PPV if there ever was one. This time the teams would compete in a Double Dog Collar match, which The Briscoe won via referee stoppage in the bloodiest and most brutal of the 3 matches. This ended their year long storyline with FTR and making them 13 time world tag team champs. With this, they wrote themselves forever into pro wrestling tag team lore.
RIP JAY BRISCOE!
So how should Jay be remembered? I feel that he should be remembered as a hard working, sometimes outspoken family man that gave his life to pro wrestling. His modern twist of the wild Redneck character was brilliant, in the ring he could do it all. He could brawl, he could fly, and he could have a technical match. His promo’s were entertaining, and while Mark could be the more comical of the two, Jay always brought things full circle with his serious and scary demeanour. Jay gave of his body and asked for nothing in return, just that we enjoyed the story’s he was telling inside the ring. My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family and friends during this difficult time.
“REACH FOR THE SKY BOY!”