The world of professional wrestling was shocked on January 17th to learn that Jay Briscoe, real name Jamin Pugh, had tragically passed away at the age of 38 after being involved in a horrific car accident in Laurel, DE.
AEW President Tony Khan first broke the news on social media, and further details about the accident were revealed via a Delaware police statement. Jay Briscoe’s wife Ashley posted an update asking for prayers as their daughter was set to undergo surgery on her back as as result of the accident.
As fans and wrestlers alike mourn the loss of Jay Briscoe, tributes have begun pouring in from all across the wrestling community. Though he never worked for the sports entertainment giant, WWE made mention of his passing during their January 17th broadcast of WWE NXT, and both ROH and NJPW posted wonderful messages in memory of the star.
“Jay Was Special” – Kevin Owens On His Friendship With Jay Briscoe
One man who paid special tribute to Jay Briscoe was Kevin Owens, who had a long history with Briscoe during their time together in Ring of Honor. In fact, Jay Briscoe defeated Kevin Owens for the ROH World Championship at Supercard of Honor in 2013, and Mark and Jay Briscoe had many tag team encounters with Owens and his best friend El Generico, who would go on to become Sami Zayn in WWE.
Writing on Twitter, Kevin Owens shared memories of his friendship with Jay Briscoe, calling the ROH World Tag Team Champion “special” and thanking him for helping put him on the map in the world of wrestling.
“I spent hours reading what people had to say about Jamin last night. I watched some of our matches together. I went back and read our last texts to each other
I am so heartbroken for his family. Every single one of them that I met over the years, and I met a lot of them because they all stuck together like glue, all special human beings that would give you the shirt off their back in a heartbeat if you needed it.
That’s who Jamin was, too.
There are a few people in this industry that I consider pillars of my own career. People I truly feel I would not be where I am today had I not encountered them. Jay and Mark Briscoe are two of those pillars.
In 2007, they had the opportunity to make or break two Canadian guys that were trying to put themselves on the map on the US indie scene. I remember walking up to Jay that afternoon before our match and asking what he wanted to do…never met him before…first interaction we ever had…he heard my question, looked at me and with a huge smile across his face, said “Well shit, man…let’s go out there and f*cking kill it!”
So we did. We did that night and we did many times after that. Each match I had with them stands out in my memory among the thousands of matches I’ve had in my career because working with the Briscoes was special, every single time.
Having the honor of being in the ring with Jay and his entire family as they celebrated after he beat me for the ROH title is my favorite moment of my independent career, bar none. It was special for all of them, for the crowd there that night, for everyone in the locker room and for me because Jay was special.
I didn’t get to see Jamin much after I went to WWE in 2014. In fact, I think we only saw each other once but it was like no time had passed at all. He came to see a WWE show and of course, he had his whole family with him. He was so excited and proud to tell me about everything his kids and his wife were up to and how great they were doing. He loved his family with everything he had…It was amazing to see them all.
We didn’t keep in touch very often but every time we did, it absolutely made my day. Getting a text message from him was always like a giant ray of sunshine.
I’m so thankful that I got to have him in my life. I’m so thankful for the laughs and the memories. Just so thankful to have known him. I’m a better person for having had the chance to.
My heart goes out to Ashley and the kids, to Mark and his parents, and to everyone else that knew and loved him. And that’s a lot of f*cking people.
Because Jay was special.”
Jamin ❤️ pic.twitter.com/yGQOuRVptT
— Kevinn (@FightOwensFight) January 18, 2023