Shad Gaspard Honored by Former WWE Stars JTG, Lilian Garcia on 'Chasing Glory'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 15: Shad Gaspard attends the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 15, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Lilian Garcia and JTG reflected on their former colleague Shad Gaspard, who died after drowning at Venice Beach, California, during the most recent episode of Garcia's podcast, Chasing Glory (h/t Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin)

JTG and Gaspard teamed up in Ohio Valley Wrestling before debuting on WWE television as Cryme Tyme in 2006. They remained a tag team until shortly after WrestleMania XXVI in 2010.

JTG, whose real name is Jayson Paul, explained that Gaspard's death has been particularly hard for him:

"I've been on this planet for 35 years. I've never lost somebody this close to me where you engage with them every day. Where you shared the most intimate stories with them. I've lost family. I've lost distant uncles and grandparents. But they're older and you don't want them to be here and suffer. So when they transition, you're like, 'OK, they're at peace.' I've lost coworkers, a lot of coworkers, but it never really hit home like this."

Gaspard had been swimming with his 10-year-old son when the two were caught in a rip current. As lifeguards arrived, Gaspard told them to rescue his son first. Before emergency responders returned to Gaspard, the 39-year-old was swept out to sea.

Garcia and JTG said they worked in shifts to help search for him after he went missing.

His body washed ashore on May 20 and authorities subsequently confirmed his identity.

Friends of Gaspard sent up a GoFundMe to support his family. An anonymous donor chipped in $40,000 to the cause, with JTG telling Garcia he's "99.9 percent sure" WWE star John Cena was responsible for the sizable donation.