In a poignant and emotionally charged moment, AEW star Mark Briscoe was honored with the Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 2023 Most Inspirational Wrestler Award this Thursday, marking a significant milestone just one day after the first anniversary of his brother and tag team partner, Jay Briscoe's, tragic passing.
The award ceremony, infused with both a sense of mourning and celebration, highlighted the resilience and spirit of the wrestling community. Briscoe, visibly moved by the honor, took the stage with a mix of humility and pride.
"Well as you can see, you're looking at the 2023 inspirational wrestler of the year," Briscoe began. His speech was not just an acceptance of the award but a heartfelt tribute to his late brother. "This year has been very special," he said, acknowledging the profound loss and his journey of perseverance.
"My brother moved on up to the next league," Briscoe reflected, metaphorically placing Jay in a celestial wrestling ring. Emphasizing his dedication, he added, "My career, my life, is dedicated to Jay Briscoe, the Jimi Hendrix of this pro wrestling thing." Briscoe's words not only honored his brother's memory but also resonated with anyone who has experienced loss and found the strength to continue.
AEW's Emotional Tribute
The week's AEW Dynamite episode featured a touching tribute to Jay, providing a platform for Mark to share the heart-wrenching details of the car accident that claimed his brother's life and impacted his nieces.
This segment underscored the personal and professional challenges Mark has faced over the past year. Moreover, at last month's Ring of Honor Final Battle pay-per-view, a special tribute match was organized in Jay's memory.
Mark teamed up with FTR – the same opponents the Briscoes faced at Final Battle 2022 – and emerged victorious against Blackpool Combat Club members Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and Claudio Castagnoli. This match served as a fitting homage to Jay, celebrating his legacy in the ring.
Mark Briscoe's receipt of the PWI 2023 Most Inspirational Wrestler Award is a testament to his unwavering spirit and dedication to his craft, even in the face of immense personal tragedy. His journey over the past year, marked by both sorrow and triumph, has not only inspired his peers in the wrestling world but also countless fans worldwide.