In a sad but inevitable end to the story that began on Sunday, the body of former WWE star Shad Gaspard was found and identified by LAPD early Wednesday morning, according to a report from local news station KTLA5. Gaspard, 39 years old, was caught in a riptide while swimming in the ocean with his 10-year-old son. When lifeguards attempted to save Gaspard, along with other swimmers caught in the ocean during the event, Gaspard told them to save his son first. Gaspard was last seen submerging and then not again until his body was found Wednesday morning.
Making his wrestling debut in WWE developmental territory OVW in 2003, Gaspard debuted in WWE in 2006 as part of Cryme Tyme. The team wrestled for WWE until 2010 and continued in the independent scene afterward. Though Cryme Tyme never won the tag team titles, they were easily the most over tag team in the company during their first run. Gaspard went on to have a career in film, television, and video games as an actor, stuntman, and screenwriter. Gaspard's film script about a wrestling promotion, Pinfall, was featured by The Black List in December of 2018. Gaspard's wife, Siliana, said of the screenplay on Twitter Tuesday, "I have every intention of fulfilling his dream of turning his treasured work into reality and it will be made." Gaspard also created the 2012 comic book Assassin & Son along with co-writer Marc Copani and artist Elder Messiah.
In 2016, Gaspard and JTG were traveling together in Florida when they happened upon a gas station robbery. Gaspard intervened and foiled the robbery. Gaspard was beloved by his colleagues in the wrestling business, many of whom posted tributes to their friend on social media. While WWE did not air a tribute to Gaspard on Monday Night Raw, that's because Gaspard was not yet confirmed dead, and we can expect such a tribute to air, if not on tonight's episode of NXT, on Friday Night Smackdown. Given the widespread love for Gaspard in the wrestling business and sadness over his passing, it would not be surprising if AEW also aired a tribute to Gaspard on tonight's episode of Dynamite, though he never wrestled for the company. Gaspard is survived by his wife Siliana and his son Michael.