A2Z Analysiz – Raised in Sandy Fork: The Life & Times of the Briscoes

Raised in Sandy Fork

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Intro

This is a rather unique release for Ring of Honor, as they have never before released a documentary type feature, and I’m very curious to see the results. A version of this was shown on ROH TV on June 22, 2013.

A Day at the Farm

This shows the Briscoes on their chicken farm. It’s good to know they’ll have something to do while they’re not wrestling.

Hitting the Road

Jay and Mark argue about whether or not they’re going to drive a truck to the show. The truck doesn’t start anyway, so they decide to take the RV. On the road they talk about whether or not Mark could jump off the bridge and “be alright.” He says there’s a difference between “be alright” and “not die.”

Growing Up

The Briscoes grew up in Sandy Fork, Delaware, where they still live today. Papa Mike talks about how unpredictable they were. He says he was a wrestling fan so he got the boys into it on Saturday mornings. Jay talks about how he wasn’t as much into WWF, but when he went to his first ECW show and John Kronus bled on him he knew he wanted to be a wrestler. That’s unique. They used to backyard wrestle and do all kinds of crazy stuff to each other.

Reflections on Their First Fight

The first time the Briscoes wrestled each other they were both in high school still. Mark couldn’t wrestle on the ROH shows in Philadelphia because he was 17, but he could work in Boston so that’s where the match happened.

MATCH #1: Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe, Honor Invades Boston, 8.24.02

They immediately start by slapping each other in the face. Mark is only 17 at this point, which is why he couldn’t wrestle on the Philadelphia ROH shows but he’s able to now that they’re in Boston. They take it down to the mat and Mark has the advantage, since he’s the one with the most to prove. Jay goes after the arm but Mark fights back with a Northern Lights Suplex for two. The elder Briscoe responds with a big boot to the face that sends his little brother regrouping to the floor. Jay joins Mark out there and pays for it, as Mark takes control, whipping Jay into the barricade and the ring apron. Mark trash talks his brother as he punches his now bloody forehead. Back in the ring Jay fires up and hits a dropkick and a hard clothesline. Mark responds with a belly-to-belly suplex. He continues to attack the head, wearing down his older brother. Mark hits a nasty DDT for two. Jay recovers way too fast and hits a low dropkick and stomps the hand. He follows with a gourdbuster and then goes up top, but Mark knocks him down. Mark hits a springboard Ace Crusher for a two-count. He follows with a Tombstone Piledriver, which the commentators don’t even call! This is ridiculous. Mark goes up top but misses a knee drop. Jay focuses on the knee now, and also hits a torture rack backbreaker. Mark fights back with an exploder suplex. Jay rolls to the floor and Mark tries to follow him out with a dive but misses, further injuring his knee. Mark hits a low blow and follows Jay back in the ring with a springboard dropkick. At least Mark sells the knee but there’s no way he should be able to do that move. Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Mark slips out so Jay hits a hard sideswipe powerbomb instead. Back on their feet they trade reversals and Mark hits a bridging German Suplex for two. Mark follows with a Dragon Suplex for another two-count. He hits a fisherman buster and goes up top but misses a moonsault. Jay takes Mark’s head off with a lariat. He follows with a Death Valley Driver but it only gets two. They trade more reversals and Jay hits the Steiner Screwdriver but then misses a senton. Mark hits a flying knee (the injured one) and then hits the Cutthroat Driver for the win at 16:46. That was completely absurd, with an ungodly amount of head drops and no selling whatsoever. It was still fun to watch the Briscoes kill each other for our amusement and I can see why that match was a big deal at the time, but man it has not aged well.
Rating: **¾

Mark’s Missing Teeth

Of course it was Jay who knocked out his brother’s teeth. Mark likes it when people ask him what happened. “What do you think happened to them? They got knocked out, stupid!” It happened in 2006 at an Indy show at the ECW Arena when Mark was behind Jay as he threw the chair back ready to hit someone in front of him.

MATCH #2: ROH Tag Team Championship Match – Izzy & Dixie vs. The Briscoes, Main Event Spectacles, 11.1.03

Izzy & Dixie have been the Champions since 10.16.03, and this is their second defense. The Briscoes are managed by Jim Cornette. They attack right away, eager for their shot at the belts. Izzy and Dixie fight back with their high-flying antics. They can’t stay focused though and Jay makes Izzy pay for it. Izzy returns fire with an enziguiri and makes the tag. Dixie doesn’t fare too much better, as the Briscoes go right to work on him and keep him in their half of the ring. Some miscommunication allows Dixie to finally make the tag. Izzy is a house afire and Dixie dives to the floor to wipe out Jay. Mark wants to get in on the dive action but Izzy kicks him off the top rope. Izzy then hits a dive over the top rope. Mark goes back up top and this time hits the Shooting Star Press – on his own brother! Dixie throws Mark into the guardrail. Back in the ring Mark hits Dixie with the springboard Super Ace Crusher. They try the springboard Doomsday Device on Izzy but Izzy ducks. Izzy hits a reverse hurricanrana on Jay and an Asai DDT on Mark for two. The Briscoes are quickly all like “eff that” and grab Izzy for the Death Sentence but it only gets two. They follow that with the Doomsday Device. Mark dives to the floor to take out Dixie while Jay hits Izzy with the Jay Driller to get the pin and win the titles at 9:56. The Briscoes winning the belts finally brought stability and relevance to the ROH Tag Team Division. As for the match, it was the usual Special K fare with little selling or story, but Jay and Mark played that game too.
Rating: **¼

Pit Stop

This is about as exciting as it sounds, as they stop on the road to get some snacks from a gas station. Seriously, that’s the whole thing.

Ladder War Reflections

The Briscoes reflect on the entire feud these two teams had, talking about all the crazy stuff they did to each other and agreeing that it took years off their careers. They agree that Ladder WAR was an apt name.

MATCH #3: Ladder War for the ROH World Tag Team Championship – The Briscoes vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico, Man Up!, 9.15.07

The Briscoes have been the Champions since 3.30.07, and this is their fourteenth defense. It doesn’t take long for this brawl to begin out on the arena floor. Steen launches Mark into the crowd while Jay blasts Generico with a chair elsewhere in the crowd. The fight continues to go throughout the crowd, with all four men beating each other unmerciful. It’s funny to see Rhett Titus just trying to hold the crowd back during this Ladder War, knowing that four years later he would be facing the Briscoes in this exact match. They make it back to the ring and Generico makes the first attempt at climbing the ladder but he doesn’t get very far. Generico and Mark take their fight to the outside, so Steen and Jay get in the ring. Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Steen blocks it and hits the pumphandle neckbreaker. Steen climbs up the ladder and Mark knocks him down. Mark climbs up now but Steen is able to stop him. Generico rejoins the fray and the Briscoes hit him with a double biel right into a ladder! That was sick. The Briscoes set up a taller ladder to climb, but Steen throws Mark to the floor and pushes Jay over onto the broken ladder. Steen then hits Jay with a belly-to-back suplex right on the ladder. Mark gets back in the ring and Steen kicks him right in the nuts. The challengers are firmly in control now as they replay a couple of highlights from the match for some reason. Generico sets a ladder in front of Jay in the corner and hits the running yakuza Kick. Steen then launches Mark over the top rope with an Awesome Bomb right on top of a ladder. Generico tries to hold Jay at bay while Steen climbs the ladder but Jay pushes through and knocks the ladder over. These guys are taking absurdly sick bumps in this match. Mark hits Generico with a sick exploder on a ladder. Jay hits Steen with a Death Valley Driver onto a different ladder, and on the jagged edge of it. Mark sets a ladder on Generico and hits him with a beautiful Shooting Star Press. Jay goes up top and dives onto Steen on a table on the floor. Mark tries to climb a ladder but it’s very wobbly and Generico is able to knock him down. Jay calls for one of the maintenance ladders, which is significantly taller than the regulation ladders. This new ladder is so tall that the Briscoes are able to hit a Doomsday Device with Mark diving THROUGH the ladder. That’s incredible. Steen gets back in the ring and takes out both Briscoes with a ladder, and then setting it between the super tall ladder and the corner. Mark hits Steen with a couple of superkicks and climbs up the ladder. Steen climbs up with him and hits the Package Piledriver! This is insane. Generico flails around as he climbs the ladder and Jay throws another ladder at him to thwart his progress. Jay sets up the ladder between the tall ladder and the corner just like Steen did and hits Generico with a Jay Driller! If Jimmy Bower was on commentary that’d be worthy of a DANGEROUS! Steen and Jay climb to the top of the ladder now and slug it out. Jay knocks Steen down onto a ladder. He tries to pull the belts down but has great difficulty and Steen climbs back up but Jay is finally able to get a belt down at 26:19 to retain the titles. The first in a series is always hard to top, and this Ladder War set the bar awfully high. The bumps were sick, the crowd was hot, and the hatred was there. This is one of the best matches of 2007 and one of the best tag team matches in company history.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #4: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Briscoes, Final Battle 2011, 12.23.11

Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin have been the Champions since 4.1.11, and this is their seventh defense. The Champions hit their challengers with the belts before the referee can ring the bell. They spill to the floor and WGTT are in complete control. Haas and Benjamin even use steel chairs to wear the Briscoes out. The bell hasn’t even rung yet but this might be a short match with the beating #DemBoys have taken. Seriously, the amount of chair shots the Briscoes have taken rival Mick Foley at Royal Rumble ’99. Jay is busted open. The bell kind of rings out of nowhere even though there is still no order to the match.

The Champions are still dominant and referee Paul Turner is not enforcing the one man in the ring rule at all. A bloody Jay stands face-to-face with Haas and they slug it out. Haas knocks Jay to the floor with a boot. He goes to his corner now and the match has settled with Mark and Benjamin in the ring. Benjamin hits a Blinger Splash but his ribs are injured so that didn’t work out so well for him. Mark is able to make a tag but Jay is looking worse for wear. The Briscoes focus on Benjamin’s injured ribs. Benjamin cuts Jay off with a back body drop and Haas tags in. Haas goes to work and handles both Briscoes with ease. Mark fights back with a flurry of offense and Jay covers for two. The referee is not enforcing tags of any kind here. Haas delivers rolling German Suplexes to Jay. He locks on the Haas of Pain and Mark breaks it up with the Froggy ‘Bow. Benjamin actually covered Haas up with his body and took the full force of the blow. Turner calls for help and referees bring the injured Benjamin to the back. That leaves Haas alone with both Briscoes. The challengers dominate until Haas grabs Mark in an Angle Slam but Turner was in the way and he goes down. Benjamin makes his way back out and has a board from under the ring. He breaks it over Mark’s head. The Champs use the broken pieces on Jay and then try the Doomsday Device. Mark breaks that up and Jay drills Haas with a superkick. The Briscoes then hit the Doomsday Device and Jay scores the pin at 13:25. The brawling before the match kind of hurt the overall presentation, as it was just too much for anyone to realistically come back from. Also, Benjamin getting injured but coming back out was strange, because that’s a babyface spot and they were quite obviously heels. This just didn’t click for me.
Rating: **¼

Papa Goes to War

This is a summation of the Briscoes’ feud with the Kings of Wrestling that involved their dad Mike and Shane Hagadorn. Papa Mike was awesome out there and the fans went nuts for him. He seems very grateful for havnig the opportunity to share the ring with his sons.

Three Generations

Both brothers put over their mother and apologize to her for all they’ve done over the years. Jay talks about having kids and how that changes you,a nd how everything he does is for his family.

Brother Against Brother

This is a video package about Jay Briscoe winning the ROH World Title from Kevin Steen at Supercard of Honor VII, and then the announcement that he would defend it against his younger brother Mark at Best in the World. They show comments about the match from Roderick Strong, Nigel McGuinness, Jay Lethal, and Michael Elgin about who they think will win. They close with comments from Jay and Mark.

~BONUS~

BONUS MATCH: The Briscoes & Papa Briscoe vs. The Kings of Wrestling & Shane Hagadorn, Final Battle 2010, 12.18.10

Jay and Hero start the match. Hero immediately knocks Papa Mike off the apron, earning Jay’s ire. The Briscoe family isolate Hero in their half of the ring and make him pay for his transgressions. Hagadorn tries to get involved but he blows it and the Briscoes stay in control. Castagnoli is able to tag in and after a brief period on defense he’s able to catch Jay with a gutwrench suplex. The Kings take control but foolishly tag Hagadorn. Papa Mike tags in and puts the boots to him but Hagadorn quickly crawls to the corner and tags Castagnoli. Impressively, Papa Mike shows no fear and takes Castagnoli down with a headscissors! Del Rey pulls Mike to the floor and receives a kiss for her troubles. The referee then pours salt in the wound by ejecting Del Rey from ringside! The crowd chants “Papa Briscoe” but the Kings take advantage on Mark. Some miscommunication allows Jay to get the hot tag and he unleashes the fury. Hero slips out of a Death Valley Driver and hits a knee to the face and a huge rolling boot. Castagnoli comes in and hits a pop-up European Uppercut for two. Jay comes back with a Death Valley Driver and makes the tag. Mark hits the Froggy Bow for a two-count. He and Castagnoli then clothesline each other and both men are down. Hagadorn and Papa Mike get the tags but the real wrestlers intercede before anything can happen. In all the confusion Hagadorn kicks Jay right in the balls. Papa Mike comes in with a spear. Jay and Mark take out the Kings with simultaneous dives. Papa Mike teases one but Hagadorn pulls him to the floor. Back in the ring Hero hits Papa Mike with the Rolling Elbow! The Kings set Papa Mike up for the KRS-One but Jay breaks it up and Papa Mike hits Castagnoli with a Stunner! The Briscoes then hit Hagadorn with the Doomsday Device, but Papa Mike hits the clothesline! That was awesome, and enough to get the pin at 15:49. That was tons of fun and the finish was great.
Rating: ***½

Mark’s Teeth (extra)

This is a longer version of Mark’s story about losing his teeth. He goes into a lot more detail about the aftermath at the dentist’s office and it sounds absolutely horrifying.

Mark’s Favorite Tree

Mark has a random tree that he calls his favorite and his “old buddy.” He talks about falling out as a kid and landing straight on his head. This went nowhere.

We Don’t Need No Gym – Jay gets a work out cutting Jethro’s lawn

Uncle Jethro wants Jay to mow his lawn, but they have to get to West Virginia for a show! Oh the horror! Jay demonstrates how he can work out while cutting grass, which is good because he’s going to need to stay in shape when he’s not wrestling.

“Shoot” Interview – Mark shows off his gun collection

This is exactly what the title stays. Mark talks about each of his guns and fires a few rounds. If you’re into guns you might enjoy this.

Morning Show – Jay & Mark visit WCHS on zero sleep

The Briscoes drove nine hours to get here and had an hour to rest before going on the air. Jim Cornette meets them there, Sprite in hand. They show a little bit of the guys getting ready and a little bit of what made air.

Mark’s P.S.A.

This is Mark talking about how people shouldn’t feel sorry for their chickens. He’s more worried about the starving kids in Africa than the happiness of chickens.

THE PULSE

This is a a very unique release and something I wish ROH would do more of. It came out at an interesting time, as Jay and Mark are done with the company amidst some controversy, but this DVD is not without its charms. Some of it is cheesy and overacted, but some of it is genuine and that is the stuff that works the best. The match selection is sparse but everything chosen makes sense (though the Final Battle 2011 match is given no context whatsoever). If this is just a one-off experiment that will be a bummer, because ROH should really do more DVDs like this one. You can purchase it at the ROH Shop.

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