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bpickering
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TMZ.com is reporting that former WWE star Shad Gaspard went missing yesterday afternoon after an incident while he was swimming with his son in Venice Beach, CA.
The TMZ report states that Gaspard and his son were among a group of swimmers caught in a strong rip current around 4 PM local time yesterday.  TMZ is reporting that Gaspard asked that his ten year old son be rescued first.  His son was assisted by lifeguards but Gaspard was not seen again after being hit by another big wave.  Gaspard has not yet been found.  A search continued until being called off at 7:30 PM and resumed this morning.  Gaspard's wife went public this morning on social media, asking to be contacted if anyone has seen him.

 A native of Brooklyn, NY Gaspard, 39, was signed to a WWF developmental deal in 2002 after initially trying out for the second season of their MTV reality series Tough Enough.  He didn't make the cut for the series but was given guidance about where to train, including time with Tom Prichard and Sgt.  Buddy Lee Parker.  Gaspard moved to Louisville, Kentucky, bouncing with other future WWE stars as they trained as pro wrestler and worked towards their mutual goal of getting a WWE deal. 

Originally debuting as "Da Beast", a nickname that remained with him in pro wrestling forever, Gaspard worked as the bodyguard to perennial OVW heel manager Kenny Bolin and teamed with Carly Colon (Carlito).  He was signed officially to a WWE developmental deal within a year of debuting.  Gaspard was put together with The Neighborhoodie (more famously known now as JTG) as a team after Gaspard had a short feud with CM Punk in OVW.   

The roots of Cryme Tyme was born in OVW with the team being called up in late 2006 with a series of vignettes that presented them as a fun-loving, over the top team that tapped into urban culture.  They were an immediate hit as an act for live audiences, who loved their promos and energy as well as the team stealing items from heels to then give them away to fans in arena or "selling them off" in vignettes - stealing title belts, cars, clothing, etc.  They were pushed hard, even teaming with John Cena and the act was easily getting over.  Since they were from NYC, they would routinely get one of the biggest pops when they appeared in Madison Square Garden.  The team was extremely popular, especially as a live act, everywhere for the company during that run. 

The duo had two WWE runs as the team.  Despite their popularity and merchandise sales, they were released in 2007 after having issues with Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade, who they were rivals with inside and outside the ring.  They returned in 2008 and were drafted to the Smackdown brand, challenging Big Show and Chris Jericho at Summerslam 2008 for the Smackdown Tag belts.  In 2010, WWE opted to split the team with Gaspard turning heel, adopting a new look for a short feud with JTG before again departing.  Truth be told, Gaspard never really had a chance to develop his singles persona enough to truly gauge whether it could have worked long-term.

Since leaving WWE, Gaspard has worked regularly as an actor and stuntman in theater, film and television and had written several projects that were in different stages of development for Hollywood.  Gaspard had worked as a stuntman on the DC Comics Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey film released earlier this year. 

In 2016, Gaspard was credited with stopping a man intent on robbing a gas station when an armed man approached him as he was planning to rob the station.  Gaspard disarmed the man and held him until police arrived.  

Everyone at PWInsider.com sends our best wishes and hopes to the Gaspard family as well as Gaspard's many friends and fans.

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This is really, really bad. There’s almost no chance he’s alive. A few years ago my wife’s friend’s fiancé was drowned the same way, caught in a ripper that came suddenly when the waters had been very calm, literally ripped out of his fiancé’s hands. It took 2 days to find the body but she knew he was dead immediately.

Last edited on Mon May 18th, 2020 07:56 pm by srossi

tamalie
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Yeah, this is a recovery mission now, not a rescue. He was at a public beach with lifeguards too, which shows that even seemingly safe water can turn deadly.

Heenan Fan
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This really sucks. Not to sound morbid, but there's no way he's still alive.

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Yeah it's really awful.  I'm sure this will cause some very emotional memories for his kid as well.

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I liked him. I thought his size, athletic ability, and charisma were all game changers and he should have been pushed to the moon. But he’s black and Vince doesn’t see black athletes as anything but midcard.

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Reading up on him and what he did, this guy's a real hero, not the chick at Walgreen's working in a mask..

srossi

 

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The family is speaking through MVP, and MVP is tweeting using the past tense for Shad, so clearly he knows he's dead. It's just a matter of time before the family is ready to release an official statement.

srossi

 

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The large-scale search for Shad has been suspended, although one boat remains out looking for him.

Vince personally tweeted: "The thoughts of everyone at WWE are with Shad Gaspard’s family during this difficult time."

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Body found and confirmed to be Shad Gaspard. R.I.P

srossi

 

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WWE.com:

WWE is saddened to learn that former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39.

Gaspard had gone missing while swimming with his son at Venice Beach in California on May 17. In his final act, Gaspard instructed lifeguards to save his son’s life.

Gaspard was best known in WWE as one-half of Cryme Tyme with JTG. The fan-favorite duo memorably joined forces with John Cena during his 2008 rivalry with JBL, and competed for the WWE Tag Team Titles at SummerSlam 2009. Shad and JTG would later square off in heated fashion after a falling out in 2010.

Before entering the squared circle, Gaspard played basketball at Georgia Perimeter College. He was also a former bodyguard for P.Diddy, Britney Spears and Mike Tyson.

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.”

WWE extends its condolences to Gaspard’s family, friends and fans.

srossi

 

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Jim Ross said some nice words about Shad tonight on AEW and I assume had a role in recruiting him when he was in talent relations. Did they bother to say anything on NXT?

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srossi wrote: Jim Ross said some nice words about Shad tonight on AEW and I assume had a role in recruiting him when he was in talent relations. Did they bother to say anything on NXT?Yes. They offered a tribute. 

Heenan Fan
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I've never heard anyone say a negative word about Shad Gasbard. Yeah, I know that's a cliché, but everybody buries everybody in the wrestling business at some point. I never heard anyone bury Shad.

RIP 
Shad Gasbard


Attachment: wwe_8F5F19276C934EB5B2485E2C1B47E167.jpg (Downloaded 44 times)

Last edited on Fri May 22nd, 2020 09:02 am by Heenan Fan

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There's no deeper expression of parental love than what Shad did for his son. God bless him and his family.

srossi

 

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Arnold Schwarzenegger remembers Shad:

"On my bike ride today I stopped to pay respects to Shad Gaspard. He was such a positive force in the gym and the world. He was a hero in bodybuilding, a hero in wrestling, and the moment he told lifeguards to save his son first, the ultimate hero. My thoughts are with his family."

Last edited on Tue May 26th, 2020 10:23 pm by srossi

srossi

 

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The GoFundMe set up for Shad's family easily surpassed its goal of $100,000 with AEW stepping up big with some significant contributions from Tony Khan, Chris Jericho, and Cody Rhodes.

There was also a mystery contribution of $40,000 donated by a "CTC". The rumor is that is from John Cena. When Cena and Cryme Tyme briefly united, they were known as CTC (Cryme Tyme Cenation).

That's cool if Cena helped out like that, because God knows WWE's response to this has been completely lackluster compared to that of a company he never worked for. AEW has spent tons of time the past week talking about Shad on air, and WWE has done the bare minimum and may have actually been shamed into doing (barely) more because of AEW.

Last edited on Tue May 26th, 2020 10:27 pm by srossi



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