Is Honor Real?
Essential Deep Dive. Jay Brisco v. III #roh19
I admitted it after my return to Ring of Honor from my Covid induced sabbatical that cost me my fight with Jay at Final Battle.
I envied Jay Brisco.
Before I stepped in a ring with this man, I viewed him as one of the premier talents in all of professional wrestling. From what he does in a ring, his ability to cut engaging/believable promos, his authentic presentation and his accomplishments Jay Brisco was the perfect foil to my transcendence into this “essential character.” The purpose in “becoming who I am supposed to be.”
My envy wasn’t his ability and resume, my envy came from his happiness in him knowing who he is. Jay is content in his home, Ring of Honor and his position as a gate keeper of the promotion. Jay is content in his life outside of wrestling, running his landscaping business, raising his family, and checking in to kick ass when the time comes. Jay lives outside the wrestling bubble, free from the gossip, innuendo, and speculation. Jay is a grown man of principle and pride. Jay was the only one who could answer my question.
Is Honor Real?
I didn’t believe it to be. I have watched the honor of this industry deteriorate much like our current cultural climate. Nothing is authentic, we have lost meaning, there is no purpose, media is psychological warfare while social media is toxic, the ability to think different is shunned and freedom to speak isn’t far behind. If life has become about news cycles designed to divide, tik-tok dances and influencers peddling bullshit we have reached the apex of MEMEdom and officially “We live in a society….”
Wrestling is a microcosm of culture.
Wrestlers have become copies of copies of copies. Moves, strikes, impressive feats of strength and unparalleled athleticism have lost all meaning. The purpose of two individuals fighting for both pride and pay has been lost, as there are seemingly no consequences, win or lose. Social media and internet sleuths report opinion and speculation as fact. If you believe different or independently than the group think, it isn’t “agree to disagree,” it is mudslinging and WHATABOUTISM. The fact I’m speaking like this is probably getting me cancelled in some online sects.
It has been a very long time since I’ve seen “Honor” in what we do.
I had to find the answer by fighting the best. I had to do more than just physically threaten and attack him, but mentally assault him. Burrow myself in his head like a parasite. Infiltrate his thoughts, his mind, and his spirit. I had to make him go beyond anger and rage, but reinvigorate his purpose and his pride. If I didn’t look any other man in the eyes, they would have nonchalantly shook my hand, because it’s easy, because it has no meaning. Not Jay. Jay has too much pride. Jay would not shake my hand. That is why it had to be him.
And it had to be DIFFERENT.
There is this idea of what a “good match” is in today’s climate. Flashy wrestling, loads of cool moves, strike exchanges, sound effects, 1…2…. KICKOUT. It’s formulaic. It’s been done, often it’s been done well, and will continue to be done. If you enjoy it, enjoy it. There is no reason not to. But I’ve seen it.
What is missing, what I honor about this industry is:
I believe it is what makes good, great and great, excellent.
I’ve seen 5 Star Matches.
I want 5 Star Stories.
I wanted the moves to have meaning, intent. I wanted the strikes to change the tempo of the fight. I wanted the facials of those fighting to coincide with the commentators verbalizing the story.
I want my ‘holds’ hurt more than someone else’s three punches to the face.
I want you to know it is a struggle to suplex to another human off the top rope.
Understand that a well place chop block is more devastating than a canadian destroyer on the floor.
I didn’t want my neck to be destroyed on the “hardest part of the ring” but once it was, I wanted people to know and feel it became an insurmountable obstacle to overcome.
Violence escalates. Through that, Respect is earned.
A “Jay-Driller” ends a fight. A finish is sacred.
I wanted to portray two men simultaneously engaging in the sacred act of “trial by combat.”
Two unique individuals both with the same goal. The conquering of a worthy foe.
And I had a willing partner.
Brisco vs III was billed as a “Grudge Match” but I held no grudge against that man, that man had the answer to a question that plagued me for a very long time.
Honor is a sign of respect.
Respect is shown through shaking hands.
The story was a handshake.
And Honor is real.