Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe (HCW, 7/26/05)

Weird match, this, and one that can be watched for free on YouTube. This match marked the Briscoes’ return to pro wrestling after vanished the year before, as Mark had hurt himself in a motorcycle accident and, unwilling to pursue a wrestling career without his brother, Jay took a break. Knowing what we know now, that the Briscoes are in control of some sort of farmyard dynasty and probably don’t need to wrestle, this makes a lot more sense than it did at the time (although neither were the established singles wrestlers they are today). I have no idea what HCW was, and I thank the uploader of this match for giving their name in the description because otherwise this would’ve been a match worthy of the ??? listing.


This was an extraordinary match. It took place outdoors in a setting previously reserved only for CZW Tournaments of Death, with a wonderful forest in the background and presumably DJ Hyde’s entire family surrounding the ring. Both Briscoes wrestled in street gear, suggesting they’d just rocked up and fancied a wrestle, and the match that followed also added some credence to this theory. I’m going to put it bluntly: I’ve never seen a match starring trained professional wrestlers that more closely resembled a backyard match, and not just because it was taking place in a backyard. After beginning with a vague attempt at pro wrestling they went outside and started bashing each other with unprotected chairshots. Mark did a shooting star press to the outside so Jay destroyed the chair over his head and bust him open. A man got on the microphone and demanded we all give big ups to the Briscoes for this. They both just casually strolled to another side of the ring, grabbed new weapons and had a chair duel. Then they just started punching each other in the face. There was nothing transitioning between any of these spots, they’d just walk off in separate directions before reconvening for some good old fashioned family domestic violence. They met back in the ring and Mark allowed Jay to brain him with a chair before Jay hit the Jay Driller for the win.


There was some perverse enjoyment to take from this but its mere existence is peculiar, because it was a weird little oddity took place between early ROH/CZW Briscoes and the Briscoes that returned to ROH in 2006. Perhaps this was what “man up” meant all along. To become the best wrestler you can possibly be you must have a match that throws all accepted standards out of the window and resembles a family barbecue that’s got out of hand. I’m also not one of those guys who really goes off on “those wrestlers should protect their brains!” because I’m watching the wrong industry if that’s something I’m going to get precious about, but the disregard for each others’ safety here was really something. In a post-apocalyptic timeline where we didn’t realise that getting hit in the head is bad, this is what also wrestling matches, and society as a whole, would resemble. Men, women and children fighting in the rubble of their former civilisation, doing shooting star presses onto folding chairs to earn the bottle caps that have been declared as the new currency. This match was a frightening glimpse at that world.


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