One of the saddest events in the recent history of wrestling was the passing of Shad Gaspard last weekend. As has been well documented, the former WWE star drown off the coast of Los Angeles after getting into difficulties in tides with his 10 year-old son. His last action on earth was to ensure his son was safely with rescuers before succumbing to the ocean.
Gaspard, 39, was clearly incredibly well thought of within the wrestling community. It is hard to remember a previous death of a member of the wrestling world that has been met with such a plethora of genuinely personal tributes. Sure, when a big star passes away, tributes are paid by a wide range of wrestlers and other individuals around the business. Usually though, they are more professional in nature. They acknowledge the passing of one of the greats in the industry. With Gaspard it was different. While he did not reach the heights that some of his peers did, the tributes that appeared online were clearly and overwhelmingly from the heart, paid to a man who touched the lives of many of his peers and former colleagues. It was genuinely touching to see how well regarded Gaspard, who died a hero, was.
The latest, and possibly most poignant tribute has been posted on Instagram by his former Cryme Tyme partner, JTG. Here is what he had to say about his former partner:
“I want to say thank you to all the friends, fans and family who reached out to me and Shads family during this difficult time. The outpour of love and support has definitely helped me get through this. I have my moments where I’m in disbelief and feeling a tremendous amount of hurt but as soon as I start to reminisce about Shad and our relationship I begin to smile. I have tons of memories of Shad and I just us chilling for no reason and having a great time, enjoying each other’s energy, working out together, traveling the world together.
Laughing about inside jokes that nobody around knew about, doing edibles after a show then binge eating at Red Lobster, and our favorite roasting each other relentlessly. The Relationship that I and Shad had comes along once in a lifetime. If you have a friend or a loved one that you’re close to, always try to make an effort to let them know how much you appreciate them. Tomorrow is never promised.
Shad and I always expressed how much we appreciated each other in each other’s lives and then follow it up with a good ole fashion roast……just to balance things out.
Shad, Thank you for always being there for me. You were more than my tag team partner, more than a friend you were the big brother I always wanted growing up. The world will remember you for what you are. A HERO
Without question, the wrestling world has lost once of it’s true good guys and the community will be the worse for it. RIP Shad Gaspard