With the tag team career of The Briscoes unfortunately over, fans have begun to look back at the tag team’s career, including their final three matches in Ring of Honor against FTR that were booked by Tony Khan.
Initially working a match as champions following a tag team win at the final Pay-Per-View of the pre-TK ROH era against Matt Taven and Mike Bennett of OGK, Mark and Jay lost the straps at Supercard of Honor, then couldn’t get them back in a Best Two out of Three Falls match at Death Before Dishonor before securing the ultimate victory in 2022’s Match of the Year – at least in this writer’s opinion – at Final Battle 2022. The feud, though inactive for months at a time, had a regular old-school fight sort of feel, with each match having top-of-the-card hype more akin to a boxing and/or MMA fight than your typical wrestling main event that’s built up for months on weekly television.
Ultimately, the three-match trilogy will stand on its own merits in the annals of professional wrestling history, as few look back at the build-ups to feuds when looking back on history – consequential moments excluded – the lack of TV build is the one black eye on the program that Tony Khan looks back on with regret, as he detailed on Busted Open Radio.
“They had great matches and it’s hard to pick,” Khan said via Fightful. “It’s one of my favorite trilogies of all time. What they did last year in Ring of Honor, to have the amazing Tag Team Title match at Super Card of Honor, the great two-out-of-three falls match at Death Before Dishonor, and then at Final battle, to have the incredible dog collar match, I think the trilogy will stand the test of time. I wanted to be able to do more to build these matches up on television, I really did. Within the best of my abilities, I tried to build the matches up and at least give them the platform to be able to have these matches even if we couldn’t do all the promos and stories on television that we wanted to.”
Had Warner Bros Discovery allowed The Briscoes on television, maybe things could have been different, but alas, at least fans will be treated to Mark Briscoe working a match against Jay Lethal on Dynamite – a bout that felt impossible a few days ago.
"I know this is what Mark wants."@TonyKhan discusses what will be an emotional match on #AEWDynamite tonight between Mark Briscoe & @TheLethalJay 🔊@davidlagreca1@THETOMMYDREAMER@MickieJames@AEW#RIPJayBriscoe
— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) January 25, 2023
Dax Harwood shares a special moment he shared with The Briscoes.
Even if the television build-up was almost non-existent, with a lone Gunn Club promo setting up the Double-Dog Collar match at Final Battle, Dax Harwood of FTR looks back on the feud fondly, with the two teams spending plenty of time trying to elevate their collective game with each passing match in order to give fans the best show possible.
Speaking on his FTR podcast, Harwood described a special memory he holds close of Mark, Jay, Cash Wheeler, and himself working through their Death Before Dishonor match over a bottle of Clase.
“Before the match, we were all scrambling our brains because we were worried, ‘what if we don’t deliver this time? What if we don’t match up what we did before? What if we don’t come close to matching up? That could be the end of our careers,'” Harwood said via Fightful. “We were all so worried. This was a couple of hours before the show. I said, ‘Hey, do you want to take a shot before the match? Maybe it’ll loosen us up and get our creative juices flowing.’ Mark and Jay are like, ‘F*ck yeah.’ They were like waiting for me to say it. As wrestlers, besides that one time, I’ve never ever had a drink before a match. You don’t want to go in there and hurt your opponent or mess up, but the four of us were under the impression that we needed it, and we all had it, and we started talking and started feeling good. Jay says, ‘What if we take one more?’ They had never had Clase. ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ We take another drink, we’re sipping on it, we’re putting together what we think is a great match. We’re laughing and having fun. Someone speaks up and says, ‘Let’s do one more.’ We have 45 minutes to go. We gotta do one more. We did another one and by the time I realized it, we had drank half the bottle of Clase before the match. We were putting the match together, having fun, talking about our families, telling stories. Then we’d go back to the match, get out of it, laughing and having fun.”
For all of the excitement The Briscoes brought to fans in the ring, it’s stories like that that really humanize the duo and showcase why everyone who knew Jay Briscoe loved him.