Tony Khan has revealed that he “fought hard” so that Mark Briscoe could wrestle on AEW Dynamite.
Mark along with his brother Jay had previously been banned from appearing on AEW television at the behest of Warner Bros. Discovery. The ban stemmed from homophobic comments Jay made on social media back in 2013. It is important to note that Jay apologised numerous times for these comments and worked tirelessly to educate himself on LBGTQ issues and became known as an ally to the LGBTQ community in the years before his death.
On January 17th, Jay Briscoe sadly passed away as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident. His two young daughters were also in the car at the time, suffering a number of serious injuries.
Tony Khan Discusses Mark Briscoe’s AEW Debut
After it was reported that AEW had originally been banned from hosting a tribute show to the star, it has been announced that Mark Briscoe will now be allowed to wrestle on Dynamite. On January 25th, Mark will take on Jay Lethal.
During an appearance on the Battleground Podcast, AEW boss Tony Khan discussed how the match came together.
“It’s going to be a great match to honor a great man. These two men requested this match, Wednesday would be the 39th birthday of the late, great Jay Briscoe. His longtime friend and rival, Jay Lethal, and his brother, Mark Briscoe, wanted to have this match to honor the legacy of Jay Briscoe and I fought hard to make it happen and I’m really excited about the match.
I believe it’s going to be a great one and it’s great that they’re going to be able to honor the legacy of somebody that everybody in pro wrestling has so much respect for, the great Jay Briscoe, on his 39th birthday. With everything happening, this is going to be something really great for everybody in the locker room who is rallying around the Briscoe family,”
Continuing on, Khan discussed the atmosphere at the January 18th episode of Dynamite which came just 24 hours after Jay’s passing.
“Last week, to be honest, a lot of us were still in shock. We were not 24 hours off finding out that Jamin had passed away. Jay Briscoe is somebody that is beloved in the wrestling business and everybody here really liked him and we’ve gotten to know him, many of us at AEW, a lot better in the last year since I acquired Ring of Honor with the Briscoes being the top tag team in the history of Ring of Honor and now the Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions.
The whole thing was a shock to everybody and I think everybody in the locker room immediately tried to rally around Jay’s family, around Mark, and everybody trying to bring good energy together to try and support Jay’s two daughters in their recovery from what was a tragic accident. Thankfully, there has been some positive news about the recovery that Jay’s two daughters are making from the accident. The whole thing has been a shock. Going into this show, we’ll see how everyone has been coping this past week, but I know it’s not going to be easy.”
Khan added that the match between Mark Briscoe and Jay Lethal, as well as Dynamite as a whole, will be a celebration of the life and legacy of Jay Briscoe.
“I’ll never forget where I was and it’s one of those things, you’ll never forget where you were when you hear some of these terrible things. Absolutely, I think we were all in shock. It’s at least beautiful that everybody can come together on Wednesday Night Dynamite and honor the life and legacy of Jay Briscoe this week because it’s not only been a week since he was tragically taken away, but it’s also his 39th birthday. It’s a beautiful thing that his brother Mark and his long time friend and rival Jay Lethal can go out there and go one-on-one to celebrate Jay Briscoe on AEW Dynamite.”
AEW recently released a new Jay Briscoe t-shirt with 100% of the proceeds going to the Briscoe family.
Elsewhere on the show, Bryan Danielson takes on Bryan Cage, Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara team up to take on Action Andretti and Ricky Stars, and Darby Allin will defend his TNT Championship against Buddy Murphy.
H/t to Fightful