Rest In Peace Jay Briscoe
On January 17, 2023, the world of wrestling lost a large chunk of what made it great. That day, a family also lost a husband, father, brother and son. Jamin Pugh, better known to the world at large as Jay Briscoe was killed in a head on collision while taking his daughters to cheerleading practice. Thankfully, his daughters survived the accident but not without injury. Both were listed in critical condition with one of his daughters needing surgery on her spine. At the time, she was unable to move her legs.
Jay was one half of the tag team known as the Briscoe Brothers along with his brother Mark. The two were Ring of Honor staples but also wrestled for various other promotions such as NWA and other independent promotions. Jay was also an accomplished singles wrestler, capturing the ROH World Heavyweight title twice during his career. Most recently, he and Mark had won the ROH Tag Team Titles for what I believe was the 13th time in a double dog collar match against another great tag team; FTR.
Unless you were a tried and true wrestling fan, you may not have known who Jay Briscoe was, or Mark either. But don't let that fact fool you into thinking he was not a legit wrestling legend. With his brother as the Briscoe Brothers, they are easily regarded as THE top tag team of the last 15 years...if not longer. They were great in the ring and on the mic. Their promos were some of the most unique and best out there. What set Jay & Mark apart was their ability to connect with fans, to get you to suspend disbelief and allow you to fully immerse yourself into the world of wrestling. They were a throwback....a welcome throwback.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jay and Mark at Starrcast V last year. It was my first time meeting them after watching their work for years. They were so down to earth, joking with me and taking time to let me get a couple of pictures with them. The closing event of Starrcast V was Ric Flair's Last Match, a wrestling card put together to celebrate the career of Ric Flair. On that card, the Briscoes took on the Von Erichs. It was my first time seeing Jay and Mark live, what an experience. The last time I saw them compete was in the aforementioned double dog-collar match against FTR. That match will go down as an all-time classic. That was the last I saw/heard of Jay Briscoe, until I heard about is passing.
In closing, I'd just like to send my condolences, thoughts and prayers to his family. His daughters and son lost their dad. His wife lost her husband. His dad (known as Papa Brisco) and mom lost a son. ...and Mark, he lost his brother and tag team partner. My heart goes out to all of them during this time. I found myself getting emotional listening to a particular podcaster talking about Jay and thought...."well done, Jay. Well done." He was so good, we fans mourn his death like he was a member of our own family. Professionally (and I'm sure personally as well), he left a lasting legacy that despite no appearances on that "BIG" wrestling promotion, will last a lifetime. He was one of the greats and he will be sorely missed.
Rest Easy Jay.......Billy