As Ring of Honor put it best in a release they sent out on September 18, “not many champions have a comma in the total number of days they’ve held a title. Then again, there aren’t many champions like Jay and Mark Briscoe.”
Over the course of the last 18 years, the Briscoes have been the class of Ring of Honor’s tag team division and of tag team wrestling period. In March, they won their record-setting ninth tag team championship with ROH, a title the two still hold today. Now in the 199th day of that ninth reign, the Briscoes also set another incredibly impressive record, as they surpassed 1,000 days combined as having tag team championship gold around their waists.
To put that into historical context, only three other teams have accomplished combined reigns of 1,000+ days. Sitting at 1,010 and a record that the Briscoes will surpass within the next few days, is the team of Cho-Ten (Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono). Negro Casas and Shocker have just the one reign as Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre tag champs, but it lasted 1,335 days. Then there are the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), who have a seemingly untouchable mark of 2,053 days as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla tag team champions. Of that trio however, it is the Briscoes that not only have the most total reigns with nine, but also the most title defenses with 49.
To win their tag titles, the Briscoes have had to defeat nine different teams, which is a unique feat in-and-of itself. Among their 49 successful title defenses, Dem Boys have wins over a who’s who of wrestling talent including AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Matt Sydal, Jay Lethal, Hiroshi Tanahashi, the Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian), the Murder City/Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin), The Kings of Wrestling (Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero), the American Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards), the Young Bucks, the Second City Saints (Colt Cabana and CM Punk), El Generico and Kevin Steen, and more.
From day one to day 1,008 (and counting), here is a brief look back at the dominance that has been the Briscoes over the ROH tag team division for the past 18 years.
Day 1 – 175: The First Reign
In 2002, following successful stints in Combat Zone Wrestling and Jersey All Pro to begin their careers, the Briscoes joined the brand new Ring of Honor at its debut show, The Era of Honor Begins. Jay, who was 18 at the time, wrestled against Amazing Red but due to child labor laws in Pennsylvania, Mark, only 17, couldn’t wrestle. He did however accompany Jay to the ring until he was able to make his own in-ring debut for ROH at Honor Invades Boston, where he defeated Jay in singles competition.
The brothers feuded for several months with Mark even briefly joining The Prophecy (Christopher Daniels, Simply Luscious, Donovan Morgan, Xavier, BJ Whitmer, Allison Danger and Dan Maff). The two managed to bury the hatchet at the First Anniversary Show which was followed by Jay and Mark forming their tag team and beginning a feud with then-champions AJ Styles and Amazing Red in 2003. The Briscoes lost three straight matches, with the final having the stipulation that the two couldn’t challenge for the titles again for as long as Red and Styles held them.
In August, after 150+ days, that reign ended, and following Jay’s world title shot against Samoa Joe, the brothers re-entered the tag title picture. They took part in a gauntlet match which was won by Special K (Izzy and Dixie) due to outside interference from fellow faction member, Angeldust. This led to the Briscoes being granted a title match against Izzy and Dixie at Main Event Spectacles on November 1, 2003.
Prior to the match, Jim Cornette turned on his client, Samoa Joe, as Joe was already a champion. Instead, Cornette had a preference to manage someone or someones who he could turn into champions. And at the end of Main Event Spectacles, Cornette had his wish, as the Briscoes held gold in ROH for the first time.
In unrelated news, Briscoe Brothers remain greatest team/promo/gimmick in wrestling #CouldHaveGottenOverInThe80s
— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) September 5, 2014
The brothers’ first reign lasted 175 days, which tied for the then-longest reign of all-time. During that reign, the Briscoes successfully defended the title six times:
Day 1 (the win) – Main Event Spectacles, vs Special K
Day 28 – The Conclusion, vs AJ Styles and Samoa Joe
Day 29 – War of the Wire, vs The Prophecy (Christopher Daniels and Dan Maff)
Day 57 – Final Battle Convention, vs The SAT (Joel and Jose Maximo)
Day 71 – The Battle Lines are Drawn, vs Bryan Danielson and Samoa Joe
Day 90 – The Last Stand vs Jerry Lynn and Samoa Joe
Day 106 – Second Anniversary Show vs The Backseat Boyz (Johnny Kashmere and Trent Acid)
Day 175 (the loss) – Reborn: Stage Two vs The Second City Saints
Day 176 – Three Champs, One Day
On May 15, 2004, Ring of Honor held its annual Round Robin Challenge III, but this edition came with a twist. For the first time in the event’s brief history, the round robin matches were contested among ROH’s tag teams and more than that, each match of the challenge saw the tag titles on the line.
All three matches saw title changes as during the first match of the night, the Prophecy (Dan Maff and BJ Whitmer) defeated the Second City Saints, followed by the Briscoes defeating the Prophecy, and then at the end of the night, the Saints regaining their titles with a win over the Briscoes. The night ended how it began, with Punk and Cabana as tag team champions. However, in between, the Briscoes did pick up their second title reign, which would be their last for the next three years.
Day 177 – 183: Return to Ring of Honor
After taking about a year’s sabbatical from wrestling following Mark Briscoe’s motorcycle accident, the duo didn’t make their return to ROH until two years later, when they wrestled at the Fourth Anniversary Show in February 2006.
After winning in their debut, the Briscoes re-entered the tag team title picture, but much like their first attempts to win the championships, the duo failed in three chances against Generation Next (Austin Aries and Roderick Strong). And like it was against Styles and Red, this meant the two couldn’t challenge for the titles as long as Strong and Aries held them.
Generation Next were champions for an ROH record 273 days, but the Briscoes didn’t re-enter the tag title picture until 2007. Following an extended stint as enforcers to Cornette, the then-ROH commissioner, the Briscoes returned to the top of the tag team mountain a year after their ROH return. On February 24, 2007, the two defeated Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal at Fifth Year Festival: Chicago to become the first team to win the titles three times. The reign was short-lived however as the Briscoes dropped the belts in their first defense against the team of Naruki Doi and Shingo Takagi.
Day 184 – 459: Longest Tag Title Reign in ROH
After losing their titles in the first defense, the Briscoes entered into a storyline where they believed they needed to man up as a result of losing their titles in their first defense. For the first time since their earliest days in ROH, the two faced each other in singles competition. The match ended in a draw and afterwards, in their rematch against Takagi and Doi at All Star Extravaganza III, the Briscoes won the titles for the fourth time.
The Briscoes held the titles for 275 days, which was a ROH record that stood until four years later when the Kings of Wrestling held them for 363 days, a mark that still stands today as the longest single tag team reign in company history.
During this record reign, the Briscoes successfully defended the championship 19 times, including several huge feuds with Kings of Wrestling, No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards, Rocky Romero and Roderick Strong), the Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs, Necro Butcher and Tyler Black) and Kevin Steen and El Generico. This reign featured the first time the brothers defended the belts in a variety of match types including two-out-of-three falls, a street fight, ladder war (ROH’s first ladder match ever), steel cage match and an ultimate endurance match.
Day 184 (the win) – All Star Extravaganza III, vs Doi and Takagi
Day 211 – The Battle of St. Paul, vs Gran Akuma & Hallowicked, Jigsaw & Mike Quackenbush and Mitch Franklin & Pelle Primeau
Day 212 – Good Times, Great Memories, vs The Murder City Machine Guns
Day 225 – Reborn Again vs BJ Whitmer and Takeshi Morishima
Day 226 – Respect is Earned 2007, vs Claudio Castagnoli and Matt Sydal
Day 254 – Domination, vs The Kings of Wrestling
Day 267 – United We Stand vs Claudio Castagnoli and Matt Sydal
Day 271 – Driven 2007, vs El Generico and Kevin Steen
Day 295 – Live in Osaka, vs The Muscle Outlawz (Genki Horiguchi and Jimmy Rave) AND vs SHINGO and Susumu Yokosuka
Day 305 – Race to the Top Tournament – Tag 1, vs Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness
Day 331 – Caged Rage, vs El Generico and Kevin Steen
Day 332 – Manhatten Mayhem II, vs El Generico and Kevin Steen
Day 352 – Motor City Madness 2007 vs The Resilience (Austin Aries and Matt Cross)
Day 353 – Man Up, vs El Generico and Kevin Steen
Day 401 – Glory By Honor VI – Tag 1, vs No Remorse Corps (Rocky Romero and Roderick Strong)
Day 402 – Glory By Honor VI – Tag 2, vs The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher)
Day 429 – Reckless Abandon, vs No Remorse Corps (Rocky Romero and Davey Richards)
Day 458 – Rising Above, vs No Remorse Corps (Romero and Strong)
Day 459 (the loss) – Final Battle 2007, vs The Age of the Fall (Jacobs and Black)
Day 459 – 488: Jay, Mark and Austin Aries
The Briscoes continued to feud with Jacobs and Age of the Fall, the stable that hung Jay feet first from an apparatus following the Briscoes win over Steen and Generico. At Final Battle 2007, Age of the Fall won the titles from the Briscoes and it took just over 100 days for the duo to reclaim them. But their victory didn’t come against Age of the Fall, rather it was No Remorse Corps, who had defeated Jacobs and co. to win the titles at Without Remorse in January 2008. The Briscoes defeated NRC in their first attempt, beginning their record-fifth reign with the belts.
Shortly after this win however, Mark sustained a wrist injury due to an attack by Jacobs with his trademark rail spike. Expected to miss six months, Jay was allowed to name a partner of his choosing to continue the tag reign with. He chose Austin Aries and the two successfully defended the championship against Jacobs and Black. Following the victory however, ROH declared the titles vacant, putting an end to Aries’ and Jay Briscoe’s short-lived championship run.
Day 489 – 594: Feuds with Steenerico, the Wolves
On July 25, at Northern Navigation, Jay Briscoe returned to competition for the first-time in about three months after sustaining his wrist injury. Mark joined Jay and Aries in defeating Age of the Fall in a no disqualification match. They received their rematch for the titles against Jacobs and Black at Battle of the Best in September but came up short.
In their following defense, Age of the Fall lost the titles to Steen and Generico, which led to the Briscoes reigniting their feud with the two current WWE stars. Again however, the Briscoes efforts came up short. Steen and Generico held the titles for 203 days before dropping the belts to the American Wolves in April 2009 during a TV taping. In the midst of this, Mark was injured following 2008’s Final Battle, which led to the unlikely pairing of Jay Briscoe and Kevin Steen. Jay and Steen received a tag title shot at The Homecoming II. The team was short-lived as Mark returned in June and the Briscoes picked up where they left off. In September, they defeated the Wolves by DQ before beating them for the belts at Final Battle 2009.
During their sixth reign, the Briscoes successfully defended the titles three times, including for the first time against the Young Bucks.
Day 489 (the win) – Final Battle 2009, vs The American Wolves
Day 510 – ROH on HDNet #48, vs The Young Bucks
Day 545 – 8th Anniversary Show, vs The Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis and Kory Chavis)
Day 586 – From the Ashes, vs The American Wolves
Day 594 (the loss) – The Big Bang!, vs The Kings of Wrestling
Day 595 – 735: Wrestling’s Baddest Tag Team
Two months after losing the titles, the Briscoes received their rematch against Castagnoli and Hero. The brothers lost their next two matches against the champs and also fell short in the Tag Wars 2010 Ultimate Endurance match which also featured The Dark City Fight Club and the All-Night Express (Kenny King and Rhett Titus).
This led to a heated feud with King and Titus, which saw the Briscoes turn heel and face the All-Night Express in a street fight and first blood match among other stipulation bouts. The two teams fought on and off into October 2011, ending with the Briscoes winning a #1 contendership match for the tag titles, which were held by Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas), after the two ended the record-setting 363 day reign of Hero and Castagnoli.
Having won the #1 contendership, the Briscoes got the first crack at the new champions at Revolution: Canada in May. They failed to regain the titles and also fell short in their next attempt, a four way elimination bout which also featured the All-Night Express and the Kings of Wrestling. The Briscoes got their next shot at the titles at Final Battle 2011 and were victorious.
During their seventh reign, the Briscoes successfully defended the titles seven times:
Day 595 (the win) – Final Battle 2011, vs Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Day 610 – ROH on SBG #20, vs Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Day 624 – Underground, vs Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
Day 651 – Rise and Prove, vs Team Ambition (Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly)
Day 666 – 10th Anniversary Show, vs the Young Bucks
Day 693 – Showdown in the Sun – Tag 2, vs Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Day 721 – Unity, vs Hallowicked and Jigsaw
Day 722 – Rising Above 2012, vs Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Day 735 (the loss) – Border Wars, vs Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Day 736 – 812: Four Defenses, Four Different Teams
Following the loss of the belts back to Benjamin and Haas, the Briscoes took a backseat to the feud between Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and the All-Night Express. King and Titus’ reign was cut short and in 2012, the tag titles went vacant for 67 days before SCUM (Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino) won them in a tournament over the team of Haas and Titus.
The Briscoes received their first shot against SCUM at Glory By Honor XI in October before continuing their Final Battle title-winning ways, by defeating SCUM and Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander in a three-way for the belts at Final Battle 2012.
In their eighth reign, the Briscoes successfully defended the titles four times against four different teams:
Day 736 (the win) – Final Battle 2012, vs SCUM and Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
Day 756 – ROH on SBG #70, vs Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
Day 769 – The Hunt for Gold, vs The American Wolves
Day 784 – ROH on SBG #76, vs Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Day 784 – National Pro Wrestling Day 2013, vs SCUM
Day 812 (the loss) – 11th Anniversary, vs reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly)
Day 813 – 1,008+: “The Problem Is The People Forgot”
With Jay having won the ROH World Championship in April 2013 after defeating Kevin Steen, the Briscoes entered their rematch with reDRagon in May with the opportunity for Jay to be a double champion on the line. The Briscoes lost and largely dropped out of the tag title picture after that due to singles pursuits.
Jay held the world title for 76 days picking up wins over Adam Cole, BJ Whitmer, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Mark Briscoe and Matt Hardy. With there being some question of if the Briscoes’ contract with the promotion would be renewed, ROH shot injury angles with both brothers, resulting in Jay being stripped of the world title on July 3. Jay returned to action in September, where upon he entered into feud with Cole, the new champion. Jay finally got his one-on-one rematch in April 2014 at Supercard of Honor VIII, in a ladder war, which was won by Cole. In the midst of this, Mark became involved in the World Television title picture, losing a match against then-champion Matt Taven at Border Wars 2013. Mark continued to remain in the TV title picture on and off through 2016.
Jay regained the world title at All Star Extravaganza VI and held the belt for 286 days. With title wins over ACH, Tommaso Ciampa, Jimmy Jacobs, Samoa Joe, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, Michael Elgin and more, Jay’s reign finally came to an end in one of ROH’s most touted bouts of its history. At Best in the World 2015, Jay Briscoe took on television champ Jay Lethal, in a title-for-title match that received 4.25 stars from Dave Meltzer.
With both Jay and Mark pursuing their singles careers, the brothers went over a year, from 2013-14 without having a tag title match. In fact, from 2013-17, the Briscoes wrestled just seven one-on-one championship matches and just nine overall. Part of this was because of singles pursuits but part was also due to the Briscoes being used extensively in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2016. The Briscoes won the IWGP tag team titles and the NEVER Openweight 6 Man titles alongside Toru Yano twice. Upon returning to ROH full time in 2017, the brothers paired with Bully Ray to win the newly created ROH World 6 Man championship.
After losing the 6 man belts and turning on Ray, the Briscoes re-entered the tag title picture with a new attitude. It didn’t take long for the brothers to reclaim their gold for a ninth time as in their first opportunity against MCMG at the 16th Anniversary Show, the Briscoes won the championship.
Now, in their ninth reign, which is six more than any other team in ROH history, the Briscoes have successfully defended the titles nine times:
Day 813 – 16th Anniversary Show, vs Motor City Machine Guns
Day 842 – Supercard of Honor XII, vs Jay Lethal and Hiroshi Tanahashi
Day 849 – ROH on SBG #347, vs the Young Bucks
Day 850 – Masters of the Craft 2018, vs Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett
Day 862 – Bound by Honor – Tag 1, vs The Motor City Machine Guns
Day 877 – ROH/NJPW War of the Worlds 2018 – Tag 3, vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito)
Day 878 – ROH on SBG #351, vs Roppongi 3K (SHO and YOH)
Day 889 – Honor United – Tag 1, vs Bullet Club (Cody and Hangman Page)
Day 912 – State of the Art – Tag 2, vs The Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer)
Day 925 – Best in the World, vs the Young Bucks
Up next: Day 1,012 – Death Before Dishonor, vs The Addiction