Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson on Shad Gaspard's Death: 'Tough One to Process'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 21, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 03:  Professional wrestler/actor Shad Gaspard attends the 11th annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards at Palms Casino Resort on July 3, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson paid tribute on Instagram on Wednesday to former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard, whose body was found on a Venice Beach, California, shore three days after he disappeared while swimming with his 10-year-old son, Aryeh:

"This one hurts. Great guy. My deepest condolences and love to Shad Gaspard's wife, son and family. Shad drowned in the ocean, but not before instructing lifeguards to save his 10yr old son first. That's the love of a father. This is a tough one to process. Love and light to Shad's family. And your warrior spirit lives on through your son."

He also added the following on Twitter:

Dwayne Johnson @TheRock

My prayers and hope for Shad Gaspard’s wife, son and family during this unthinkable time. Man, this is a tough one. A really tough one. Great guy.

Per the Associated Press, the 39-year-old Gaspard and his son were caught in a rip current Sunday. Jonathan Loyd of NBC Los Angeles reported that a law enforcement source said Gaspard instructed the responders to save his son first.

Aryeh survived, but the AP reported that Gaspard was last seen about 50 yards from shore by a lifeguard, who said a wave crashed over the ex-WWE Superstar and swept him out to sea.

Gaspard wrestled as one-half of the Cryme Time tag team alongside JTG. Their apex was a match against Big Show and Chris Jericho for the Unified WWE Tag Team title belts at SummerSlam in 2009.

Cryme Time lost that match and broke up in 2010. Gaspard defeated JTG in a May 2010 match, effectively ending their feud. He was released from WWE in November 2010.

Tributes poured in after news of Gaspard's death, with WWE.com writing the following on some of his accomplishments:

"Admired by friends and colleagues for his warmth and humor, Gaspard was no stranger to heroic deeds. In 2016, he broke up an armed robbery in Coral Springs, Fla., pinning the suspect to the ground until police arrived.

"Gaspard was also a multitalented individual, creating his own graphic novel and acting in several TV shows and films, including 'Brothers' and 'Think Like a Man Too.'"

Lloyd also spoke with Gaspard's friend, Lance Keys.

"He was a big guy. He had a big muscles but he had a bigger heart," Keys said.

Others chimed in as well:

Titus O'Neil @TitusONeilWWE

My Love, Thoughts, Prayers and Support Go out to The Family of Shad Gaspard. Nothing will ever Fix the loss of a loved one. As a Universe We owe it to ourselves and to others to Be a Positive Light in this world as long as we can Because Nothing is Ever Guaranteed. #RIPSHAD β€οΈπŸ™πŸΏ

Triple H @TripleH

I join fans around the world as we remember Shad Gaspard as a beloved performer and a caring father. In absolutely tragic circumstances, please keep his loved ones in your thoughts. https://t.co/JibfmJJMcC

Frankie Kazarian @FrankieKazarian

I don’t know that this matters. But I feel compelled and very honored to do so. I’m dedicating my performance in this Saturdays Casino Ladder Match to Shad Gaspard and his family. A friend, gentleman and hero the likes we should all aspire to be. πŸ–€ https://t.co/wa0cQpd7PL

NattieByNature @NatbyNature

The world has lost a wonderful human being. Shad Gaspard was a true HERO in every sense of the word. I’m keeping his family and loved ones in my prayers right now. We love you, Shad. https://t.co/JaX6Ebk9LF

Gaspard is survived by his wife, Siliana, and Aryeh.