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NewsNick Jackson, Ian Riccaboni, Others Share Stories Of Jay Briscoe

Nick Jackson, Ian Riccaboni, Others Share Stories Of Jay Briscoe

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In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, several people from the wrestling world shared stories of Jay Briscoe, including Nick Jackson, Ian Riccaboni, Tony Khan, and more.

You can check out some highlights of their comments below:

Nick Jackson: “We always say they’re the best tag team in the world that wasn’t showcased to a national audience. We wanted to change that. We tried recruiting them from day one to AEW. Literally would beg on a weekly basis. Tony tried his hardest and when he bought ROH, that was one of the first things he did was sign them to long-term contracts. Jay took sensitivity training before signing and everyone I’ve talked to said how genuine he seemed and how different his opinions were during the training and just how much of a sweetheart he was. I had many conversations with them about it all too and he was definitely a changed man. I just wish he was given a better opportunity for forgiveness while he was still here with us. He was such a good human being. The best of hearts. This has hurt me more than my own family dying. Because in a way, he was family. We went to war with him more than any opponents I think we ever have had in our careers. We trusted him with our lives. Every time we saw him we hugged him and told him we loved him. I just wish we could hug him one last time. My heart goes out to his wife, kids, parents, and Mark.”

Delirious on the decision to make him ROH World Champion: “I remember the decision to make Jay the ROH World champion. At the time ROH Champion Kevin Steen was incredibly over. Arguably the most over talent in ROH at the time. With the story we were telling with Kevin at the time, it was very difficult figuring out who would dethrone him. I always tried to have an idea of the next champion months and months before changing it. Our fan base would not accept many people at the time as someone to beat Kevin for the belt. The decision was made on Jay with the idea that nobody expects it but once it happens it will be universally accepted. Fans see it and a lightbulb goes off with the thought of Yes!!! Jay is the perfect champion I never thought of. The Kevin vs. Jay match was not built up super strong like most main event world title matches and this was on purpose. Jay seemed to be a guy that always got a world title shot on a lower profile show as just a filler defense for whoever the champion was at the time. I wanted this match to seem like one of those filler defenses to enhance the overall surprise. It worked perfectly and was one of my all time favorite ROH moments. What a moment and what a scene!! Not one person could deny that Briscoe didn’t deserve it and it made all the sense in the world once it happened.”

Tony Khan on plans for the Briscoes in 2023: “It sucks, it’s really terrible. A major focus for Ring of Honor in 2023 was going to be the Briscoes and I still want to honor the life and career of Jay and the legacy of the Briscoes. He was a great guy, a really nice person and incredibly well-liked by his peers. I found Jay and Mark to be two of the nicest people backstage and most respected pro wrestlers by their peers, and by the fans at the live shows. It was a pleasure working with them in Ring of Honor. Many of the people in AEW had worked with Jay in different promotions, many in Ring of Honor, or in other promotions all over the world. Everyone had good things to say about him. Everyone loved working with the Briscoes and loved being around Jay and Mark.”

Ian Riccaboni: “Jay never had a bad word to say about anyone in private. We spoke of regret of his past comments and would ask me very specific questions around things or concepts that were different than what he was familiar with. Something in my heart told me and knew Jay was a good soul. Despite his previous comment, I knew I could trust coming out to him as someone that is on the sexuality spectrum or queer on the occasion that he asked what exactly that meant. Jay didn’t treat me better, worse, or any different from that moment forward. We remained great friends. I often wanted to tell this story but I wasn’t ready to tell others and I didn’t want to crack the illusion of the ultra-tough Jay Briscoe. But I was ready to tell him and I trusted him. He never betrayed that.”

Cary Silikin on Jay’s past comments and forgiving him: “I’m gay. I’ve spoken to them about it, a number of years later. He told me, ‘I don’t know what the hell I was saying.’ I’m not going to hold a grudge against them. I’ve said stupid things too. We’ve all said stupid things.”

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