WWE honored former WWE star Shad Gaspard with the Warrior Award at this year’s Hall Of Fame ceremony.
Shad passed away in 2020 after being taken away by a riptide. He insisted the lifeguards take his son first and gave his own life to save his son Shad’s son, Aryeh, wife Siliana and his longtime tag partner JTG were on stage for his honor.
However, JTG wasn’t originally supposed to be on stage for it. The former WWE star talked about this during an interview with The Black Announce Table. He credited John Laurinaitis for making the switch happen.
“That was a great moment that almost never happened [doing the Cryme Tyme handshake with Shad Gaspard’s son]. It was a great moment. Yeah, it was definitely a great moment. I didn’t — I knew it would get a good reaction but I didn’t know it would be that powerful. So I wasn’t planning to do anything. Shoutout to Johnny Ace. You know, I saw him, he was happy to see me and he said, ‘So are you doing anything tonight?’ I was just like, ‘Nah, I’m just on the stage with the talent’ and he was like, ‘Let me go talk. I’ll get right back with you’ and I kind of just left it alone, but then I spoke to Aryeh, that’s Shad’s son. I was like, ‘Look, by any chance we, you know, I have the opportunity to do this, I gotta teach you this.’ We got it down backstage, we were just chilling and then the show started and then I sat — I didn’t hear anything back from anybody, you know? Usually, they like to rehearse stuff, the WWE. They don’t like to do anything [unrehearsed]. It must be rehearsed and we didn’t rehearse it so I’m like, you’re not gonna do it because this is live TV. They don’t want any mistakes or accidents and I understand that. But while we were — right before Shad’s vignette came on, video came on, I got the tap on the shoulder and they gave me the [head nod] and I’m like, ‘All right, we’re gonna do this.’ So it was kind of a last minute decision, it was the right decision and I’m thankful that they had me, gave me the opportunity to do that.”
This year’s Hall Of Fame class was headlined by The Undertaker. It also featured Sharmell, Vader and The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner).