As documented by Sportskeeda, Reigns took to Twitter and praised Gaspard’s heroism. Gaspard — who passed away after being caught in an ocean riptide in Venice Beach, California — told the lifeguards to save his son, right before he was pulled under the water. According to Reigns, he was an “incredible man and father.”
The comments section was full of support for Reigns’ sentiment. One follower claimed that Gaspard’s actions were “selfless,” while another noted how they proved that he truly loved his family. For the most part, Twitter users shared their condolences for Gaspard’s widow and son.
Following his tribute, Reigns also shared a story of how Gaspard helped him out while he was still a rookie. According to Reigns, Gaspard was a professional who also knew his family, and they built a rapport with each other during their brief time working together.
“My very first match on FCW TV. Shad was unhappy during these times, but he was still kind to me and took good care of me. We rode to a couple of towns together and he shared stories of his road experiences and his friendship with my cousin Umaga/Eki. Now they rest together.”
The match with Reigns was Gaspard’s final televised match with WWE. The former superstar parted ways with the company in 2010, but it’s clear that he had a positive effect on his colleagues during his time there. Gaspard spent time on all of WWE’s brands throughout his tenure, but his final days with WWE were spent as part of the company’s developmental system.
The beginning of last night’s episode of NXT featured a tribute segment for Gaspard, and the company also uploaded a compilation package of his most memorable moments to its official YouTube channel. The tributes continue to pour in for the superstar, and WWE giving him a prominent acknowledgment on its outlets suggests he was highly thought of by officials as well.
Gaspard experienced some success as a member of the Cryme Tyme tag team along with JTG. While the gimmick was criticized by some for promoting stereotypes, the duo made it memorable. Their storylines saw them featured in segments with the likes of Shawn Michaels and Triple H as well. The team didn’t experience long-term success, but their gimmick certainly made an impact on fans.