The world of professional wrestling has been rocked overnight after confirmation Jamin Pugh, known to wrestling fans as Jay Briscoe, had died after a car accident in Delaware. The news was confirmed by Tony Khan, current owner of All Elite Wrestling and the son of Fulham FC owner, Shahid Khan.
Addressing the internet wrestling community on his Twitter account, the owner of Ring of Honor (the company Briscoe and his brother, Mark, made their careers) wrote “Sadly, Jamin Pugh has passed away. Known to fans as Jay Briscoe, he was a star in ROH for over 20 years, from the first show until today. Jay and his brother Mark dominated ROH, reigning as champions to this day. We’ll do whatever we can to support his family.”
According to wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, two children were reportedly in the car with Briscoe when the incident happened at 5.30pm on Tuesday, and one is in critical condition. Ringside News has since reported that a woman in another vehicle also died at the scene.
The outpouring of grief from many wrestlers who have worked with the former Ring of Honor World Champion, and considered alongside his brother Mark Briscoe as one of the greatest tag teams of recent times, has been widespread. World Wrestling Entertainment, who normally shy away from acknowledging other companies, announced the news to their fanbase during Tuesday evening’s NXT television show.
Many who have shared the ring with Briscoe talk about how as a wrestling character he had an incredible, intense energy that was the complete opposite of his persona away from the squared circle. AEW wrestler Cash Wheeler, who recently competed in a widely-regarded tag team match against the Briscoes in December, wrote on Twitter “I’ve been in tears since I heard the news. I just don’t have the words. Rest in Peace Jay.”
His sentiments were also echoed by former WWE wrestler and current head of creative Paul Levesque (aka Triple H), who also acknowledged the death of a wrestler who at one time was told he was now “aesthetically pleasing” with his brother to join the biggest wrestling company in the world.
“An incredible performer who created a deep connection with wrestling fans across the globe. My condolences to the family and friends of Jay Briscoe.”