AEW stars share memories and stories about Jay Briscoe

Photo Courtesy: Ring of Honor

Members of the All Elite Wrestling and Ring of Honor rosters have shared thoughts and stories about the late Jay Briscoe.

Matt and Nick Jackson, Adam Page, Samoa Joe, Sonjay Dutt, Adam Cole, Christopher Daniels and Jay Lethal opened up on an edition of Talk Is Jericho earlier this week.

A common theme was how intimidating Jay Briscoe was in the ring, despite being described as kind and thoughtful behind the curtain.

Some excerpts are below.

The Young Bucks

Matt Jackson: They [The Briscoes] were terrifying, like even to the last time we wrestled them. From the first time in Dayton in ’09 to the last time in Final Battle 2018, it was like any time that music would hit and they would walk down and crowd’s chanting, “Man up!” We would look at each other like, “Are we about to get into a real fight?”

Hours prior, we were with him in the back laughing and calling the match, having a great time. but as soon as the red light was on, especially Jay, Jay would have this look in his eye, like he’s gonna kill us. And so Nick and I would be in the ring like going, “They know this is a work, right?” And then we would wrestle and obviously they would take care of us, but man, they brought it.

I have a funny story that Mark likes to share about about how loyal Jay was, to the point where it would actually affect their business. So every contract season Mark would go up to Jay to have a pep talk and say, “Let me handle the talking. Okay Jay, okay? Yeah, cuz last year you screwed up. Okay, fine.”

So they would get into these meetings or these phone calls or whatever and before the conversation even starts Jay says, “Okay before we even start this conversation, I just want to let you guys know we ain’t going anywhere.”

And Mark would go, “No, Jay, you just blew the whole thing. No, not again.” It’s like every year, every time it would be Mark, it’d be like, “Jay, this year, do not say it.” And then Jay, he couldn’t help himself. He just wanted the bosses to know, “Hey, I’m loyal, I’m here, I’m a day one guy.” To the point where it affected his money. And it would frustrate Mark to no end.

Nick Jackson: A day after TV, for whatever reason, I tried to work out and I was in my sauna and I was sobbing. And I’ve never sobbed like this before in my life. And it was like a half hour just me just bawling my eyes out. I was like, “Matt, I’m a wreck right now.”

We’ve talked to people we haven’t talked to much in a while and just told them we love them. You just never know when you’re gonna — it’s your last day. I’ve been telling everyone I love that I love them.

Adam Page

I remember I first started showing up around Ring of Honor, I wanna say like right after high school or whatever, and they were kings there, you know, they were gods. I was terrified of them. They were just the roughest, toughest looking dudes you would ever meet or ever see.

And then, you know, as I kind of started to work my way through Ring of Honor and signed there and stuff like that, and finally getting to work with them, I kind of learned pretty quickly, oh yeah, they’re nice, they’re cool. They’re actually way nicer than you might think. But yeah, I spent a lot of time, God knows how many tags or six-mans or whatever I did with the two of them. And quite a few singles with Jay and Mark.

I feel like there’s only a handful of guys I’ve wrestled who I feel like will beat the absolute dog shit out of you in such a good way, you know what I mean? It brings something else out of you and makes it in the moment feel a little bit like a fight, like a real one, you’re getting just beat the hell around.

And those guys were that way, Jay especially. And I really liked that a lot, you know, and it’s before you went out for the match, again, sweetest guys in the room and after the match, sweetest guys in the room, but in the ring, you know, you would be terrified when their music hit, no matter what you thought of them in real life.

But I loved working with them. I loved working with Jay. Like we probably did two or three just regular singles. We did a couple of different hardcore matches and stuff like that. And I loved it. Yeah. They were perfectly rough. That’s how I describe it.

This is like a reflection on me as a person more than anything. I wish I had stayed in touch with him and everyone else. You know, we saw Mark and Jay every week for years, you know, and then AEW started and they stayed with the Ring of Honor, and we were here. You kind of drift apart and you just don’t, unless you make the effort, keep that bond as much.

You’d go two years without seeing them and they come in the room and it’s just like the last time you saw them. And I think that speaks a lot to how they are too. But yeah, I really wish I would have stayed in touch more. I think it’s something I should work on, I guess.

I just wish that wrestling fans — you know, you’re hearing about it now — but I wish that wrestling fans had gotten to see and gotten to know the Jamin that we did. He was an incredible, incredible guy. I can’t say enough good things about him.

Adam Cole

I definitely would not be where I am in my career without Jay, and I can’t reiterate enough the type of guy that he was. Jay was one of those guys where, if you met him one time, he was the best, you’ve known him for 10 years, he was the best. I miss him dearly.

He was one of those guys where he really could have, I don’t wanna say taken advantage, but he was that veteran who everyone respected, and I would have done anything that he wanted. And he was so adamant about making sure I was presented like a star and treated like a star in those matches. He made me look like a million dollars. Yeah, Jay Briscoe, he’s the best. He really is.

He’s one of those guys where if he’s in the locker room, if he’s around the boys, the locker room is automatically better. He always had a smile on his face. In all the crazy road situations we’ve been in, or rooms not being ready, or having to drive 16 hours to a town, he never complained. He was just always so pumped to be there, and talked to everybody, and had just such a good, optimistic view on life, and it was contagious.

I hope that people always remember not just how excellent a pro wrestler that he was but again, any fan, any wrestler who got the chance to meet him, he was so incredibly special. And I think people should aspire to be the type of husband that he was, the type of father that he was, and certainly the type of friend that he was. And I love him to death. I really do.

Samoa Joe

Obviously, there are issues that some of the major companies had and stuff like that, which is unfortunate because I know he made tremendous strides to correct that. You get fresh air with it, but you also understand the world that we live in and the stakes that we play with now.

And it’s a shame, because they’re quite possibly one of the greatest tag teams — I’ll say it — in history. I mean, just consistently one of the best matches, if not the best match on the card. And that never let up.

I love that whole family. It’s hard for a lot of us who are in our age group because we watched them from 17, 18-year-old kids grow up, become men and become good people and amazing entertainers. It’s just like, you’re always rooting for them. Everybody always rooted for the Briscoes. If you worked with them, if you shared a locker room with them, you were rooting for them to do better and have more. I mean, yeah, I just miss him, man. I’m gonna miss him like crazy.

Sonjay Dutt

He was born to do this. He was born to be a professional wrestler, but more than anything, more than all the wrestling accolades, what defines Jay Briscoe is the word family. That’s what defines who he really was to the core of it.

An incredible father, an incredible son, an incredible brother, an incredible uncle. That is what was first and foremost to Jay Briscoe. That took precedence above everything that we do in the ring and behind the cameras. But being that family man is what defined who Jay Briscoe was and that is something that really is important to me when I think of Jay Briscoe.

There’s a lot of stuff that AEW had done to get the Briscoes on television. And there were a lot of appearances that the Briscoes had made at television tapings that they weren’t in front of the people, but they were backstage.

And I kind of feel fortunate that I got those last few moments with Jay, especially getting to witness some of those classics that they had with FTR last year and witnessing those live and in person.

It’s obviously a tragedy, but like I said, I guess a man’s character is kind of judged by how his peers view him and how his family views him and how he views his family. And that is kind of what I think of when I think of Jay. A world-class athlete, a world-class professional wrestler, and, at the end of the day, a family man who loved those daughters more than anything in the world.

Christopher Daniels

They were always safe, but they were at 100 miles an hour, in a good way, like they looked so real. And part of it was, it was 90% real, you know? So yeah, they were just such a great team, such a great team. It’s amazing the stuff that they did over the course of 13 title reigns and more than 20 years as a team and all the great teams that they got a chance to work with. I had forgotten that they had gone over to both NOAH and New Japan and won titles in both companies.

This one really hurts, man — just understanding the type of guy he was and the type of family man that he was, above and beyond the wrestler.

Like, wrestlers come, go, you know, we retire, we get out of this business, but put that all aside and just the fact that like his family, his brother, his wife, his kids, like that just breaks my heart.

And I said this a couple of times and I’ll say it again to Ashley, thank you for sharing him with us as much as you did. Because every night that he was on the road with us was a night he was away from them. And now you look at the number of days that they were away from each other that they could have had if he wasn’t in this business. But if that was the case, we wouldn’t have been blessed with Jay Briscoe and the team that they were.

It weighs on me to know that we took them from their family so often, but it’s such a gift to all of us that we got a chance to share it with him. It’s rough, dude. It’s rough. And I love you, Jay. I miss you already. I miss you so much. It’s just heartbreaking.

Jay Lethal

[Speaking before his match with Mark Briscoe on Dynamite]. I heard that Mark Briscoe asked if he could do something with me, which is insane that we both asked. I’m so nervous going into this match. This is unlike any match I’ve ever had before in my life. And I just want to honor my good friend as best I can.

I just want this to be something that is memorable or something that Jay Briscoe would be proud of. And then there’s another part of me that just wants to be a body or a vessel in there with Mark because this is just as much his moment as it is to honor Jay.

You know, the guy made one tiny mistake and said something that he wished he didn’t say. And he tried for so long to atone for that. But they just wouldn’t let him. They just wouldn’t. They wouldn’t let him get past that. I just f***ing hate the internet. These are people’s lives. And I hate that.

About Neal Flanagan 889 Articles
Based in Northern Ireland, Neal Flanagan is a former newspaper journalist and copy editor. In addition to reporting for POST Wrestling, he co-hosts The Wellness Policy podcast with Wai Ting and Jordan Goodman.