ROH Countdown to Final Battle: Interview with the Briscoes
As Ring of Honor heads to their biggest show of the year, Final Battle, it's no surprise that one of the top matches features ROH originals, Jay and Mark Briscoe.
The Briscoes have been with the company since the first show in 2002. Although the brothers took a break between August 2004 and late 2005, their time with the company is unmatched by anyone still there.
The six-time ROH Tag Team Champions will be going for a seventh reign at Final Battle as they battle the current champs, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team.
"It's no different (than any other match)," Jay Briscoe said. "People look at Haas and Benjamin as Kurt Angle's boys from the WWE. We know they're under contract to ROH, but we been here since day one and we see them as new guys, as WWE guys."
Jay Briscoe said he and his brother have all the confidence in the world going into their biggest match of the year at the biggest show of the year.
"We're going to be the seven-time tag team champs," he said. "Not saying the WWE guys are a step above or anything, but we know it's a David vs. Goliath matchup. It's ROH vs. WWE."
For Ring of Honor, this year has been a huge one due to the purchase of the company by Sinclair Broadcasting Group in May, which has led to a weekly television show on various Sinclair channels.
After a bumpy start with the first television tapings in Chicago, Jay Briscoe said the relationship has really hit its stride.
"They (Sinclair) told us a couple weeks ago that over a million people are watching the show across the country," he said. "It seems like a bigger deal (than the TV deal ROH had previously with cable network HDNet). They fly us in the day before the show and we do a lot of pre-tapes for the different markets, and it seems like we're reaching a lot more people."
The deal has also opened up new markets, where Sinclair stations are located, for Ring of Honor to have shows at including South Carolina, where the company debuted earlier this month.
"We were a little skeptical about South Carolina, but it ended up being a good show and we're looking forward to going back," Jay Briscoe said. "A lot of the guys live on the East Coast and we're used to driving to the shows and now we're flying to some of them."
Another thing that the Sinclair Broadcasting Group deal has done is create a re-focused Briscoes tag team. Jay Briscoe admits that, while the Briscoes have been with the company since day one, they had slacked off a bit at times and the fans made it clear to them.
That's not happening any more.
"There was definitely a time then when we were feuding with the Kings (of Wrestling, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) that the fans were booing us," Jay Briscoe said. "Maybe we did get a little lazy there for a minute, but with the Sinclair deal the fire has been lit. We got the ball now and we're going to run with it."
Jay Briscoe said that, with former ROH talents like Brian Danielson (currently Daniel Bryan in WWE), Hero and Castagnoli moving on, the Briscoes plan to help keep the company strong, as they've done for years.
ROH recently released a DVD of some of the Briscoes' greatest matches called Briscoe Brothers: The Baddest Tag Team on the Planet. Jay Briscoe said it was a good reminder of everything the brothers have done in ROH.
"Those matches go back awhile, some I didn't even remember," he said. "Like the (Austin) Aries/(Roderick) Strong match in England where we tore the house down or the (El) Generico/(Kevin) Steen match in Boston where we had the street fight. I know we had the Ladder War with them but that Boston match was my favorite."
That's about all the reminiscing the Briscoes want to do. They're focused on the future.
"We're getting ready for this match at Final Battle," Mark Briscoe said. "We ain't never had this many eyes on us so we going out there and showing them what the Briscoes are all about."
The self professed "next President of the United States," (to understand that, watch the 10 questions with the Briscoes video attached to this story), Mark Briscoe did say that there is one team he'd like to take on with his brother before their careers are through.
"I want the Bushwackers," he said. "I'm talking the Bushwachers that went into the Royal Rumble and got thrown right back out."
Final Battle is live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Friday, Dec. 23. You can watch the show live on Internet pay-per-view.
Darryn Simmons is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and were obtained first-hand.
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