Sami Zayn speaks of ‘instant denial’ at news of Jay Briscoe’s death

WWE star confirms he will be attending funeral in interview with Ariel Helwani.

Photo Courtesy: WWE & BT Sport

Sami Zayn has spoken at length about processing the news of Jay Briscoe’s tragic passing.

He made the comments during the second part of his interview with Ariel Helwani in the latter’s capacity as a WWE correspondent for BT Sport.

Zayn said:

Sometimes, I almost wonder if like something’s wrong with me because I hear this horrible news and, like, it doesn’t do anything to me.

Initially, I’m just like, “What? No” — denial, like, instant denial. “No, there’s a mistake. What are you talking about?” Then I’m just like, “Oh my God.” But it just takes a little minute for it to process.

I’ve recently had some other horrible loss in my life and when I heard the news, I was just like, “Wait what, what, what?”

And then when my wife heard the news, she burst into tears and fell on the ground so it’s like she processed that information instantaneously whereas with me there’s — I don’t even know what it is — defense mechanisms, coping mechanisms, denial, whatever’s going on, I don’t have this thing figured out.

The same thing with Dusty. I remember when I heard Dusty passed away, I was just like, “What? Oh my God. Dusty passed away.” And then it took like two hours before I was like, “Oh my God. He passed away.” It’s just a weird delayed effect or whatever.

He added:

When I first heard the news, I didn’t really know what to feel — kind of nothing at the time to be honest — and then, I don’t know, when you start looking on Twitter and saying, “If this was true it would be on Twitter by now.”

I’m seeing a couple of mentions of it but nothing, and then all of a sudden, the news floods. I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s real.” Then I’m seeing pictures and videos and then it’s transporting me in time to like 2006, 2007.

So, it really hurts. Obviously, I’m devastated for his family and his friends and everything, his whole community, but obviously people internalize these things and also relate it to themselves so I can’t help but be transported back to 2006, 2007 and that time in my life, which is a great time in my life too, and they were a big part of that time.

It’s just so sad, I don’t know. It’s so sad and it’s one of those things where I realized I won’t get to see him again and I won’t get to wrestle him again because there’s always that that thing of like, “I’ll see you when I see you,” and eventually we all end up back together.

I’ll never wrestle him again. That really sucks. That hurts when I think about it because that’s the closest thing to understanding the reality of the situation. It’s not when I say, “I’ll never see him again”. It’s when I really say, “I’ll never get in the ring with him again.” That’s when I really feel the real implication of what it is to be with him.

I don’t know, I’ve been wrestling a long time so there’s a lot of people I might not wrestle again. I don’t know, man, life’s just kind of sad. I love it but it is inherently sad.

When asked by Helwani whether Zayn had had the chance to speak to Mark Briscoe, Sami replied:

No, I’m actually attending the funeral in a couple of days and I was going to text him but I figured he was getting a million texts and then I was like, text is so impersonal, I want to call, and then I didn’t because he was also going to be wrestling on AEW and whatever. I’m just gonna go to the funeral and see him in person.

About Neal Flanagan 243 Articles
Based in Northern Ireland, former newspaper journalist and copy editor Neal Flanagan is a lifelong pro wrestling fan, Trekkie, and somewhat of a self-confessed nerd.