Cryme Tyme are considered one of the greatest teams to never win the WWE Tag Team Championships, and WWE almost remedied that fact by bringing them back for one more run in the company in 2019.
The duo of Shad and JTG had a fantastic run in the company in the 2000s (although it was split into two runs, with them being fired for a time between 2007 and 2008), with the duo becoming a super popular face tag team in the division on Raw. Despite their controversial role in Lita’s retirement from the WWE, they remain beloved to this day, with fans lamenting their lack of return since leaving.
However, WWE nearly brought the team back together in 2019, although the sad death of Shad put an end to a Cryme Tyme reunion.
WWE Split Up Cryme Tyme In 2010
Despite being one of the most popular teams in WWE and not yet winning the tag team titles, Vince McMahon made the decision to split up Cryme Tyme in 2010. The WWE Chairman has a known dislike of tag teams (he once queried “why would I pay four wrestlers in one match when I can just pay two?”), and had an obsession with splitting up teams to try and find a singles star within them.
As it turns out, both of the wrestlers in Cryme Tyme were “The Jannetty” on the group. Shad turned on JTG on the Smackdown following WrestleMania 26, citing JTG costing him the match as the reason for the break-up. The pair traded wins before Shad was sent back down to developmental, ending his run in the WWE with a whimper.
Shad and JTG left WWE in 2010 and 2014, respectively, but they did not make the decision themselves. Shad was released by the WWE in November 2010, over six months following his last match in the company. He had just begun a singles push as a monster at that time, but WWE clearly lost interest in him shortly following his split with JTG.
Meanwhile, JTG lasted another four years in the company, but achieved very little of note. Outside of being the pro for Jacob Novak in one of the NXT Gameshow series, he had no meaningful matches to speak of in this time, and it was a shock to all (including JTG!) that he lasted for four years after Shad was fired from the WWE.
His most notable moment was a hilarious sell of Santino Marella’s Cobra move on WWE Superstars, which shows just how little WWE used JTG during his time as a singles star in the WWE.
A Cryme Tyme Return Was Planned In 2019, But Cancelled By The WWE
Six-years after JTG was released by the WWE, a chance encounter backstage at a WWE event saw Cryme Tyme offered a chance to return to the company. The pair hadn’t wrestled together in the company for the last decade, but it looked like a return for the pair was on the cards after Survivor Series 2019.
A backstage meeting with then-head of talent relations Mark Carrano got the ball rolling for a Cryme Tyme return. Despite it being a decade since the pair last teamed, Carranno was impressed by how the pair kept themselves in shape, and showed a keen interest in re-signing the pair to a WWE deal.
In an interview with Sportskeeda, JTG spoke about the potential Cryme Tyme return in WWE.
“Last year after Survivor Series they were in Los Angeles, I went to RAW and then the day after they did SmackDown. I watched RAW in the audience. On Tuesday, Shad and I were backstage. I don’t think they had seen us in a few years. The head of talent saw us and they said ‘You guys are amazing. You guys stayed in shape. You guys stayed active’.”
So we talked and he said ‘The door is always open here in WWE and we’d love to have you guys back. Send us a reel of all you’ve been doing on the independent scene and what you guys have been doing and what you guys have got going on’.
Shad and I sent a reel and we didn’t hear back from them. We saw them again at WrestleMania and they gave us the whole ‘We’ll get back to you guys, we’ve just been busy. Like we said, the door is always open. The fans would love a Cryme Tyme comeback’. It’s just been up in the air from there
During a 2019 interview with Whatculture, Shad named a list of tag teams that the pair would like to wrestle against in their return together. As well as name-dropping The Young Bucks as somebody he doesn’t want to wrestle, he named one legendary WWE team that Shad claims to have trained.
“The Usos – We came in with The Usos, like we trained the Usos when they were coming in, so you know the boys are our family. You know I’m saying, knowing we’re all family. You don’t see who shows, but, uh, do do shows. I’d like to wrestle Bullet Club, yeah, Gorilla’s of Destiny also, all family. You know I’m saying, so all those guys stop running. You see how out there.”
Sadly, WWE never brought Cryme Tyme back into the company. With the untimely death of Shad in 2020, that door is now closed forever.
Shad Passed Away In 2020, Trying To Save His Son
Shad Gaspard, the former WWE wrestler, tragically passed away on May 17, 2020, in a heartbreaking incident at Venice Beach, California. Gaspard was enjoying a day at the beach with his son when they found themselves caught in a strong rip current.
As a devoted father, Shad Gaspard’s instinct to protect his son was unwavering. He heroically instructed rescuers to save his son first, an act of selflessness that exemplified his character both inside and outside the wrestling ring. Tragically, as rescuers reached his son, Gaspard was submerged by a massive wave and subsequently went missing.
After an exhaustive search operation, his lifeless body was discovered several days later. Shad Gaspard’s untimely death was a heartbreaking loss to the wrestling community and his loved ones, and it served as a somber reminder of the dangers posed by the unpredictable forces of nature.
Gaspard’s passing deeply affected his friends, family, and fans around the world, who remembered him not only as a talented and charismatic wrestler but also as a loving father, husband, and a beacon of positivity. His heroic final moments at the beach were widely celebrated as a testament to his selflessness and courage.
Shad Gaspard’s legacy continues to live on through the fond memories and the inspirational values he embodied, making his untimely passing a poignant chapter in the world of professional wrestling and a reminder of the importance of family and sacrifice.
WWE honored Shad by awarded him the Warrior Award at the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.