Shad Gaspard’s longtime tag team partner JTG has opened up about the wrestler’s passing.
Speaking with Lilian Garcia on the Chasing Glory podcast, the Cryme Tyme member recalled getting a phone call from Shad’s phone the night he went missing. On the other side of the phone was Gaspard’s wife Siliana, however, who informed him as to what was going on.
Hoping it was a prank, JTG says he got ready anyway and headed over to aid in the search.
“Then we were on the beach with flashlights looking for Shad,” he continued. “I was there til a little past midnight and I think that day, I think, I accepted it. I had to accept it. I was waiting for a big bear hug from behind, like “Ahhh, I gotcha.” Apart of me is still waiting for that big bear hug from behind.”
JTG and Lilian then discussed how people such as the two of them, Chris Masters, John Morrison and others were searching the beach in shifts for the next few days. They also explained that Shad was an avid swimmer who went to the beach often.
“I’ve been on this planet for thirty-five 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,” he said. “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.”
The former WWE star also says he’s thankful for the $40,000 donation left on the GoFundMe page for Shad’s family and addresses the speculation that it was possibly done by John Cena.
Watch the full conversation below.