Following reports that former WWE superstar Shad Gaspard went missing while out swimming at a California beach, his Cryme Tyme partner, JTG, took to social media to share a screenshot of a text message Gaspard sent him four months ago, one in which the 39-year-old wrestler spoke of valuing his friendship with his tag teammate, even in the afterlife.
As seen on the tweet, which was posted on Monday night, Gaspard sent the text on the afternoon of Sunday, January 26, telling JTG that if he ever dies “tomorrow,” he will still love him as a “brother and a friend for ever [sic], even past this life.” This was followed by a reply from JTG a little more than five hours later, in which he said that he feels the same way about his former WWE tag team partner.
In the 11 hours since the tweet was posted, it has gotten close to 18,000 likes and 3,000 retweets, with Cultaholic‘s Adam Pacitti and Pro Wrestling Sheet‘s Ryan Satin reaching out to JTG in their replies. One follower pointed out that Gaspard’s text was sent on the same day that NBA legend Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people, were killed in a helicopter crash.
“Good thing shad told u he loves you this was 4 months ago u never know what could happen,” their tweet continued.
Despite the overwhelming show of support for JTG during this trying time, at least one user seemed to call him out for using the “no homo” hashtag in his reply to Gaspard.
Along with Gaspard, JTG, aka Jayson Paul in real life, made his WWE main roster debut in 2006 as one-half of Cryme Tyme. While the duo was fairly popular among audiences, their gimmick was seen by many as being evocative of negative African American stereotypes, as they portrayed petty criminals who had a penchant for stealing items from their fellow superstars. After the pair broke up in 2010, shortly before WWE parted ways with Gaspard, JTG remained in the company until June 2014, when he was released following several months of inactivity.
As of this writing, Gaspard is still missing following the events of Sunday afternoon, where a strong rip current caught several swimmers at Venice Beach, California, including the wrestler and his 10-year-old son. While lifeguards were able to rescue the young boy, they were not able to get to Gaspard, with a Los Angeles Fire Department official also suggesting that the ex-WWE star “did submerge” in the current.