Mark Briscoe

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Mark Briscoe
Mark Briscoe February 2016.jpg
Briscoe in February 2016
Birth name Mark Pugh
Born (1985-01-18) January 18, 1985 (age 32)[1]
Laurel, Delaware[1]
Residence Sandy Fork, Delaware[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Mark Briscoe
Keno Murdoch [2]
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Billed weight 229 lb (104 kg)[1]
Billed from Sandy Fork, Delaware[1]
Trained by Eddie Valentine
Glen Osbourne
Jim Kettner[1]
Debut May 20, 2000[1]

Mark Pugh (born January 18, 1985) is an American professional wrestler best known as Mark Briscoe. He is currently signed with Ring of Honor and working for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is currently 1/3 of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship with his brother Jay Briscoe and Bully Ray, a record eight-time ROH World Tag Team Champion, and a one-time IWGP Tag Team Champion with his brother Jay. He has also held the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship twice.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Combat Zone Wrestling (2001–2003, 2010–2012)[edit]

Jay and Mark Briscoe made their debuts for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) at Delaware Invasion on January 20, 2001, being brought in to job as part of a three-on-one handicap match against Trent Acid.[3] At the inaugural Best of the Best event, a show somewhat atypical of CZW in that it is a tournament spotlighting athletic junior heavyweight wrestling as opposed to violent hardcore matches,[4] the two advanced past the first round in a three-way match with Nick Mondo where the stipulation was whoever took the fall would be eliminated.[5] They were then matched against each other in the second round, with Jay winning and advancing further.[5] This match was seen by fans as the best of the tournament, and seen in retrospect as having been responsible in large part for helping launch the brothers' careers, as they were new to the independent circuit and very young at the time.[6]

After losing in title opportunities at Breakaway Brawl and A New Beginning,[7][8] the brothers won the CZW Tag Team Championship on July 14, 2001, as they defeated the original H8 Club at H8 Club: Dead?[9][10] They lost it, however, in their first defense, to Johnny Kashmere and Justice Pain on July 28, 2001, at What About Lobo?[11] Mark wasn't used for several months after that, but Jay continued on as a singles wrestler in that time, even facing Justice Pain for the CZW Heavyweight Championship at September Slam on September 8, which he did not win.[12]

At the end of 2001 and into 2002, CZW's territory (that is, the area at which they held the majority of their events) was shifting from Sewell, New Jersey to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[13][14] in order to hold events regularly at the old ECW arena, beginning with December 15's Cage of Death 3.[15][16] At this event, they faced Nick Gage and Nate Hatred, but wore masks and were identified as The Midnight Outlaws.[15] This was likely to get around the fact that Jay was only 17 and Mark only 16 at the time; this meant, as they were under 18 years of age, that they could not legally work in a sport wrestling exhibition in the state of Pennsylvania.[17] As CZW regularly began holding shows in the Philadelphia area, the Midnight Outlaws made appearances at the next four CZW events. At A Higher Level of Pain on April 13, 2002, Jay appeared across the ring from the Midnight Outlaws, tagging with Ruckus against Mark and someone else. By this time, he had turned 18. Jay and Ruckus were won the match,[18] and this was the last time either Jay or Mark appeared for CZW until April 12, 2003, where Jay and Mark both returned for Best of the Best 3. Jay was a surprise entrant after being taunted by A.J. Styles, and Mark filling in for the injured Ruckus. Jay advanced to the semi finals, where he lost to B-Boy, and Mark lost his fill-in match to Sonjay Dutt.[19] The two faced off with the Backseat Boyz for the CZW World Tag Team Championship at Truth or Consequences on June 14, but failed to win the belts.[20]

On December 11, 2010, at Cage of Death XII The Briscoes Returned to CZW challenging newly crowned CZW World Tag Team Champions Philly's Most Wanted of Blk Jeez and Joker to a title match in January.[21] On January 7, 2011, at "From Small Beginnings Come Great Things" Philly's Most Wanted retained the CZW World Tag Team Championships against the Briscoe Brothers in a no contest. The Briscoes then challenged Philly's Most Wanted to a no disqualification rematch.[22] On February 12, 2011, at "Twelve: The Twelfth Anniversary Event" The Briscoe Brothers defeated Philly's Most Wanted to become the new CZW World Tag Team Champions.[23] They lost the title back to Philly's Most Wanted on May 14, 2011.[24] The Briscoes returned to CZW again on November 10, 2012, facing Dave and Jake Crist in a losing effort.[25]

Jersey All Pro Wrestling (2001–2002, 2005)[edit]

Mark Briscoe before a match

Mark Briscoe made his Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) debut on March 24, 2001, at March Madness Night 2, losing to Insane Dragon and Dixie teaming with his brother Jay Briscoe.[26] It is unclear how, if at all, JAPW's ownership and management worked around Pennsylvania's child labor law, as both brothers were underage at the time of this and two subsequent appearances in the old ECW arena. They made three other appearances in JAPW in 2001, and unsuccessful challenge for Dragon and Dixie's JAPW Tag Team Championship on June 15 at Here to Stay.[26]

The six men went on to meet in a rematch of sorts at the next event, Royal Consequences 2 on August 10, 2002, Jay Briscoe and Insane Dragon defended the titles against Da Hit Squad and the team of Mark Briscoe and Deranged in a tables, ladders, and chairs match, which Da Hit Squad won. Two shows later, on September 20 at Family Crisis 2, Da Hit Squad successfully retained the title over the Briscoes in a regular match.[27]

The Briscoes did not appear for JAPW again until late 2005, again in a tables, ladders, and chairs match for the tag team title, this time against the teams of Teddy Hart and Homicide, the Backseat Boyz, and The S.A.T.. The match, which took place at JAPW's 8th Year Anniversary Show, was won Hart and Homicide. At the next show, Fall Out, the S.A.T. defeated them and thus became number one contenders to the tag team championship.[28] More recent JAPW appearances came in early 2006, losing along with the Outcast Killers to the S.A.T. once again at Wild Card II in a tag team title match, and then at Brotherly Love to the team of Sabu and Sonjay Dutt, a match they also lost.[29] In October 2008, the Briscoes competed at JAPW's 11th Anniversary Show against LAX (Homicide and Hernandez). During a brawl outside the ring, Mark suffered a large gash on the side of his head.

Ring of Honor[edit]

Debut and Tag Team Champions (2002–2004)[edit]

Mark Briscoe was unable to wrestle on ROH's first-ever show The Era of Honor Begins in Philadelphia because of Pennsylvania's child labor laws; however, Mark did accompany his brother Jay to the ring at the event in a loss to Amazing Red.[30][31][32] Mark was subsequently able to perform at Honor Invades Boston, where he defeated his brother in the second-to-last match of the night.[33] The Brothers went on briefly to feud against each other, during which time Jay scored a non-title win over ROH Champion Xavier at Glory By Honor.[34] This earned him a title shot at All-Star Extravaganza, which he did not win.[35] At Scramble Madness, back in Boston, the brothers' storyline involved them picking their own partners for a tag team match. Jay picked past foe Amazing Red, whereas Mark's partner was Christopher Daniels, as he seemingly joined The Prophecy. Daniels pinned Red to win the match.[36] The Brothers' feud against one another concluded at the First Anniversary Show, when Jay defeated Mark in a match, and the two hugged afterward to signify their reunion.[37] Mark never explicitly left the Prophecy, but in forming a team with his brother, he stopped teaming with them.

Newly united as a team in ROH, the Briscoes began, in 2003, to feud with A.J. Styles and Amazing Red, then holders of the ROH Tag Team Championship, losing in title matches at Night of Champions,[38] The Epic Encounter,[39] and Death Before Dishonor, which by stipulation was their last match for the title for as long as Styles and Red held it.[40] Before the last match, a poll was held on ROH's website, asking the fans if they wanted to see a third match between the two teams. Over 80% of respondents voted 'yes'. At Beating the Odds, they returned from a brief absence to score a pair of wins which were depicted in the storyline as being improbable, Mark over ROH veteran B.J. Whitmer and Jay in a Four Corner Survival match with ROH World Champion Samoa Joe, NWA World Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles, and Chris Sabin, pinning Sabin to earn a future title shot at Joe.[41] At ROH's Maryland debut, Tradition Continues, Joe retained over Jay.[42]

The Brothers took part in the gauntlet match at Glory By Honor 2, which was held to fill the tag team championship left vacant by Red suffering a serious knee injury. They defeated and eliminated the Special K team of Hydro and Angeldust as well as The Ring Crew Express, before being eliminated by the other Special K team in the match, Izzy and Dixie, due to outside interference from Angeldust.[43] After Izzy and Dixie later won the tag team title, the Brothers were granted a shot at it, at Main Event Spectacles. The reason given in the storyline was they were given the shot since they only lost in the gauntlet match because Special K cheated. In the opening segment of that event, they were aligned with Jim Cornette, because, in the storyline, Cornette wanted to create new champions. They attacked his former client, Samoa Joe, who Cornette abandoned since he already was a champion. They went on to win the belts later in the show.[44][45] At The Conclusion, The Battle Lines Are Drawn, and The Last Stand, which was by stipulation Joe's last shot at the tag team title for as long as the Briscoe Brothers held it, they retained the belts over Joe and a different partner each time, A.J. Styles, Bryan Danielson, and Jerry Lynn respectively.[46][47][48] Since Joe took pinfalls at The Conclusion (to Mark) and The Last Stand (to Jay), both brothers subsequently earned shots at his world title. Both fell; Mark at Final Battle 2003 and Jay at At Our Best in a memorable and bloody steel cage match.[49][50]

They dropped the tag team title to the CM Punk and Colt Cabana at ROH's Chicago-area debut, ROH Reborn: Stage Two,[44][51] working in ROH for the first time as outward heels. At the next show, Round Robin Challenge III, the title switched three times among the teams in the round robin challenge, the Second City Saints (Punk and Cabana), the Briscoe Brothers, and the Prophecy team of Dan Maff and B.J. Whitmer. The Briscoes defeated Maff and Whitmer in the fourth match of the night to win the title for a second time, and then lost it back to Punk and Cabana in the main event.[44][52] The Brothers both participated in ROH's inaugural Survival of the Fittest tournament, with Mark going over Alex Shelley in his qualifier and Jay falling to Homicide. Mark did not, however, win the elimination final.[53] After losing a two out of three falls tag team title match to Punk and Cabana at Death Before Dishonor II Part 1, ending that feud,[54] they lost in separate singles matches to members of The Rottweilers the next night.[55] Between that and their victory in tag team action at Testing the Limit,[56] it is likely that a feud was planned between the Briscoes and the Rottweilers.

Return and various feuds (2006–2013)[edit]

Mark (left) and Jay (right) at a Ring of Honor show in 2006.

The Briscoe Brothers returned to ROH at the Fourth Anniversary Show in 2006, forcibly including themselves in a match that was at first between the teams of Tony Mamaluke and Sal Rinauro and Jason Blade and Kid Mikaze. They won in their re-debut.[57] They then feuded for the tag team championship again, but much as they had against Styles and Red three years earlier, they lost in three shots against the champions at the time, Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, at Ring of Homicide,[58] Destiny,[59] and Unified.[60] As before, the storyline was that this cost them any chance at the belts for as long as those champs held them. It was around this time that the Brothers became enforcers for Jim Cornette's heel character as ROH Commissioner,[61] fighting battles against his enemies, most notably Homicide and his partner Samoa Joe at Glory By Honor V: Night Two and in anything goes, falls count anywhere, elimination match at Dethroned.[62][63] During this time, they also feuded with Kenta and his partners Davey Richards and Naomichi Marufuji, facing Kenta and Richards at Time to Man Up and Kenta and Marufuji at Glory By Honor V: Night One.[64][65]

At Fifth Year Festival: Chicago, the Brothers finally reached the top of the mountain again, defeating Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal to win the tag team championship.[44][66] Their reign, however, proved to be brief, as they in turn to dropped the belts to Naruki Doi and Shingo Takagi in their first defense, at Fifth Year Festival: Liverpool.[67] After this match, the storyline was that the brothers felt they needed to "man up" due to losing the title in their first defense, just as they had the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship earlier in the year. Thus, the two faced off what was described as "one time only" at Fifth Year Festival: Finale. The match ended in a draw, with both of them unable to answer the referee's standing ten-count.[68] At the next event, All Star Extravaganza III, they won the title back from Doi and Shingo,[44] but in the course of the match Mark was seriously injured attempting a Shooting Star Press to the floor.[69] Mark was kept in the ICU of hospital for two nights, and suffered a seizure there before eventually being released.[70] Two weeks later, at Fighting Spirit, Mark made an unadvertised and unannounced return, entering through the crowd to come to his brother's side during his match with Erick Stevens against Kevin Steen and El Generico. The storyline was that with Mark out and injured, Jay was tagging with Stevens as a replacement. The No Remorse Corps then ran in and attacked Stevens, and Jay was momentarily left without a partner until Mark entered. Mark eventually suffered the fall in the match after several bumps to the head.[71] They then began to feud with Steen and Generico. After successfully retaining the tag title over Claudio Castagnoli and Matt Sydal at ROH's first pay-per-view Respect is Earned, Steen and Generico showed up and immediately demanded their title shot; the scene followed with a wild brawl all over the building.[72] The feud was followed on both ROH's standard canon, with Steen defeating Mark at A Fight at the Roxbury,[73] and the PPV series, with the Brothers successfully retaining the tag team title against Steen and Generico at Driven, after which Steen repeatedly attacked both brothers with a ladder.[74] The Briscoes then retained over Steen and Generico in a steel cage match at Caged Rage and in ROH's first-ever ladder match at Man Up.[75][76]

After the ladder match, Jimmy Jacobs and the other members of The Age of the Fall attacked the Brothers and hanged Jay upside-down from the apparatus which held up the belts. It was announced that this would not be included in the footage shown on PPV,[77] although it was soon after shown on ROH's video wire and was included with the DVD of the event. After Mark was again injured in a motorcycle accident, though considerably less serious, Jay was alone in a match held at the taping for ROH's fourth PPV, Undeniable. This was an anything goes match against Necro Butcher of the Age of the Fall, which he did not win.[78] On November 30, the Briscoes had a match which was taped to be included in Undeniable, a tag team title defense against Davey Richards and Rocky Romero, which they won. At Final Battle 2007, the Briscoes lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship to Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black of The Age of the Fall,[44] but won it back on April 12, 2008, at Injustice, defeating Richards and Romero, who had since won the championship from Jacobs and Black.[44] On April 20, ROH's official website reported that Mark had sustained a wrist injury due to Jacobs stabbing him with his trademark rail spike and stood to miss up to six months. The next day, the company announced that Jay and a partner of his choosing would continue to be recognized as the tag team champions.[79] This partner was later revealed to be Austin Aries.[80] After their successful defense against Jacobs & Black on May 10 at A New Level, the championship was declared vacant.[81] Mark returned to active competition at Northern Navigation on July 25, teaming with Jay and Aries to defeat The Age of the Fall in a no disqualification match. On December 19, 2009, at Final Battle 2009, the Briscoes won the ROH World Tag Team Championship for a record sixth time by defeating The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards).[44][82] They went on to lose the championship to The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) at the The Big Bang! pay-per-view on April 3.[83] On August 23, 2010, Ring of Honor announced that the company had signed the Briscoe Brothers to contract extensions.[84] The Briscoe Brothers ended their feud with the Kings of Wrestling on December 18 at Final Battle 2010, where they teamed with their father Mike "Papa" Briscoe in a six-man tag team match, where they defeated Hero, Castagnoli and their manager Shane Hagadorn.[85] On January 25, 2011, Ring of Honor announced that the Briscoe Brothers had signed new contract extensions with the promotion.[86] On March 19 at Manhattan Mayhem IV, the Briscoe Brothers turned heel after suffering an upset loss against the All Night Xpress (Kenny King and Rhett Titus).[87] On September 17 at Death Before Dishonor IX, the All Night Xpress defeated the Briscoe Brothers in a ladder match to become the number one contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championship.[88] At Final Battle 2011 on December 23, the Briscoes defeated Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship for the seventh time, turning back to faces in the process.[89] On May 12, 2012, at Border Wars, the Briscoe Brothers lost the title back to Haas and Benjamin.[90] On December 16 at Final Battle 2012: Doomsday, the Briscoe Brothers defeated S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino) and Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander in a three-way match to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship for the eighth time.[91] They lost the title to Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly on March 2, 2013, at the 11th Anniversary Show.[92]

Singles competition (2013–present)[edit]

On June 22 at Best in the World 2013, Mark unsuccessfully challenged his brother Jay Briscoe for the ROH World Championship.[93] On June 25, it was reported that both Jay's and Mark's contracts with ROH had expired and would not be renewed.[94][95] On July 16, ROH announced Mark as the sixteenth and final entrant in a tournament to determine the new ROH World Champion.[96] Mark was eliminated from the tournament in his first round match on July 27 by Adam Cole.[97] On September 28, Mark won the Honor Rumble to earn a shot at the ROH World Championship, but was later that same event defeated by Cole.[98] On May 17, 2014, the Briscoe Brothers took part in the ROH/New Japan Pro Wrestling co-produced War of the Worlds iPPV, where they unsuccessfully challenged Bullet Club (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) for the IWGP Tag Team Championship.[99]

At Death Before Dishonor XIV Mark was unsuccessfully of defeating Bobby Fish for the ROH World Television Championship. At Field of Honor The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) was in a Tag Team Gauntlet match was they were unsuccessfully of winning the ROH World Tag Team Championship which included The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian), War Machine (Hanson and Ray Rowe), The All Night Express (Rhett Titus and Kenny King), Chaos (Gedo and Toru Yano), Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara and Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali. At All Star Extravaganza VIII The Briscoe teamed with Toru Yano and was defeated by Kushida, ACH and Jay White in the first round of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship Tournament. At Final Battle The Briscoe unsuccessfully against The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.

On March 11, 2017, The Briscoes and Bully Ray defeated The Kingdom to win the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship.[100]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2016–present)[edit]

The Briscoe Brothers as the IWGP Tag Team Champions in June 2016

Through ROH's working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Briscoes made their NJPW debut on January 4, 2016, at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome, where they teamed with Toru Yano to defeat Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Yujiro Takahashi) to become the inaugural NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions.[101] Through their affiliation with Yano, the Briscoes also became part of the Chaos stable.[102] The three made their first successful title defense the following day against another Bullet Club trio of Fale, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson.[103] On February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka, the Briscoes and Yano lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Fale, Tonga and Takahashi in their second defense.[104] The Briscoes and Yano regained the title three days later at The New Beginning in Niigata.[105] On February 20 at Honor Rising: Japan 2016, the Briscoes and Yano lost the title to The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson).[106]

The Briscoes returned to NJPW on June 19 at Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall, where they defeated Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.[107] They made their first successful title defense on August 14 against the Bullet Club team of Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi.[108] On September 22 at Destruction in Hiroshima, The Briscoe Brothers defeated reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks for their second successful title defense.[109] On October 10 at King of Pro-Wrestling, they lost the title back to Tonga and Roa.[110]

In wrestling[edit]

Mark Briscoe performs a Froggy Bow on Colin Delaney.
Mark Briscoe performs a powerbomb on Colin Delaney.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

The Briscoes as two thirds of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions

1Mark and his brother Jay were the co-winners of the 2009 Honor Rumble due to it using a tag team-oriented format rather than a traditional singles format.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]