WWE boss Triple H has led tributes to Jay Briscoe after his death aged 38.
The Ring of Honor (ROH) wrestler died in a car crash on Tuesday (January 17), as revealed in a tweet by ROH and All Elite Wrestling (AEW) chief Tony Khan.
Khan 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. Rest In Peace Jamin.’
Following the news Triple H, real name Paul Levesque, tweeted: ‘An incredible performer who created a deep connection with wrestling fans across the globe. My condolences to the family and friends of Jay Briscoe.’
Raw superstar Seth Rollins shared a lengthy tribute on his own Twitter account, recalling his time in ROH working with Jay, who was a 13-time ROH tag team champion with his real life brother Mark Briscoe.
Seth wrote: ‘Being in the ring with Jay Briscoe got me my first ROH contract. He and Mark being so selfless helped Jimmy and I find our footing as AOTF. Without him, I don’t know if Tyler Black could ever have been Seth Rollins.
‘After I signed with WWE, Jay would come to the Salisbury house shows to drink beer and to hoot and holler. He loved the business and he was a great human and friend. Bigger than that he was an absolutely adoring father and husband.
‘Jay was one of those people who was always legitimately happy to see ya. He had a twinkle in his eye and hug waiting for me no matter how long we went without seeing each other.
‘I’m crushed knowing that warmth is gone. My thoughts are with his family and friends. He was special.’
SmackDown’s Bray Wyatt referenced Briscoe’s death as he simply tweeted ‘#DemBoys’, while Sami Zayn shared his own heartfelt tribute.
He wrote: ‘I don’t have the words right now to properly convey my sorrow. I love Jay & Mark Briscoe. Always have. I wouldn’t be here without them.
‘I’m very lucky to have shared the ring & shared so many laughs with Jay Briscoe and I’m so sad to know neither will happen again. RIP my friend.’
Cash Wheeler – who, alongside FTR teammate Dax Hardwood, battled the Briscoes in a modern day classic trilogy which concluded at Final Battle last month – added: ‘I’ve been in tears since I heard the news. I just don’t have the words. Rest in Peace Jay.’
During WWE’s NXT broadcast on Tuesday night, commentator Vic Joseph informed viewers of the tragic news, and the show’s boss Shawn Michaels later took to Twitter to pay his respects.
‘On behalf of the @WWENXT community, I would like to express our condolences to the Briscoe family for their loss,’ he said.
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