In an emotional week for the entire wrestling business, several stars of WWE paid their own tribute to the late Jay Briscoe on SmackDown.
The wrestling world has been in mourning following the news that Tony Khan broke on the 17th of January that ROH star Jay Briscoe (Jamin Pugh) had been killed in a car accident. Police reports confirmed that the driver of the other car involved had also been killed while Briscoe’s two daughters were badly injured.
AEW paid tribute to Briscoe on Wednesday night with a graphic show in memory of the star shown before Dynamite and many stars wearing black armbands to honour Briscoe. While it has been reported that AEW was not allowed to do a full tribute show for Briscoe, Tony Khan produced a memorial show that was filmed after Dynamite under the Ring of Honor banner that will air for free on Honor Club at some point in the near future.
On Friday night in Detroit, many SmackDown stars paid their own tribute to Jay Briscoe. Fittingly, it was a night where tag team wrestling was at the forefront of the show with the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Number One Contenders Tournament getting underway.
The Viking Raiders along with Valhalla all wore black armbands adorned with the words “Dem Boys” for their match against Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. The Viking Raiders shared the ring many times with The Briscoes when they were both a part of Ring of Honor.
Kevin Owens also paid his own tribute with a black armband featuring Jay’s name. Owens and Jay Briscoe have a storied history with each other with Briscoe defeating Owens – then known as Kevin Steen – to become ROH World Champion for the first time in his career back in April 2013.
— Kevinn (@FightOwensFight) January 21, 2023
Top Dolla referenced Dem Boys and the opening line of The Briscoes’ theme song “Reach for the sky” when he was interviewed in a WWE digital exclusive while SmackDown announcer Michael Cole also sent his condolences to the family of Jay Briscoe.