Jay Briscoe, a legend in independent professional wrestling and one-half of one of the best tag teams of the last 20 years, died Tuesday at age 38, according to Ring of Honor (ROH) and AEW president Tony Khan on Twitter.
It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the tragic passing of Jamin Pugh, known to wrestling fans around the world as Jay Briscoe. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends, and his fans. pic.twitter.com/5wB6HpVY0x— ROH - Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 18, 2023
Briscoe, whose real name was Jamin Pugh, was born in Maryland and a longtime resident of Sussex County, Delaware.
The Laurel School District is closed Wednesday due to Pugh’s death.
The district posted the following announcement to its Facebook page on Tuesday:
“Due to an unthinkable tragedy in our community this evening, the Laurel School District will be closed for tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Schools will reopen Thursday. Please keep the Pugh family in your thoughts and prayers.”
According to Sports Illustrated, Briscoe and another adult were killed in a crash in Laurel.
Two others in the car were also injured, including at least one juvenile. State police are expected to release the identities later today.
Briscoe was ROH tag team champions with his brother Mark. It was their 13th reign as champions in the promotion with which they were synonymous. The Briscoe Brothers’ first reign happened back in 2003, and Jay was on the first-ever ROH card in 2002.
“Sadly, Jamin Pugh has passed away,” Khan tweeted. “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. Rest In Peace Jamin.”
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.— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) January 18, 2023
Jay and his brother Mark dominated ROH, reigning as champions to this day. We'll do whatever we can to support his family.
Rest In Peace Jamin
Pugh was inducted into the ROH Hall of Fame last year and was a two-time former ROH world champion. He also held titles in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Impact Wrestling. The Briscoe Brothers are considered one of the best tag teams of all time to never perform for WWE.
Last year, the Briscoe Brothers had some of the best matches anywhere in the world, with AEW tag team FTR over the ROH tag team titles. The trilogy featured a regular match, a two-of-three-falls match and then a dog collar match. The Briscoes won the third contest to win back the belts.
Over the years, the team had memorable storylines with tag teams like the Young Bucks, Kevin Steen & El Generico (now Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, respectively), the Motor City Machine Guns and the Second City Saints (CM Punk and Colt Cabana).
Pugh’s 286-day ROH world title reign, his second run as champ, included defenses against Samoa Joe, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Tommaso Ciampa.