Could JTG Return At The Royal Rumble To Honour Shad Gaspard?

Former WWE Superstar JTG would be a great surprise appearance at the 2023 Royal Rumble if the former Cryme Tyme member showed up in San Antonio. The former Tag Team star has not been seen in the WWE since 2014 when he was released from the company. Before that, he hadn’t wrestled since 2013, when he lost to Santino Marella on WWE Superstars.

Since then, he has remained fairly active on the independent scene. He has wrestled as recently as 2022 but has achieved very little fame since leaving the WWE. His biggest thing of note in this time has been the release of two autobiographies detailing his time in WWE and various backstage stories about the company.

During his time in WWE, he was most famous for being one half of the tag team Cryme Tyme. Alongside Shad Gaspard, the duo were one of the most popular acts on the roster with their “Gangster” characters resonating with the WWE Universe. Despite their popularity, the duo never won tag team gold and never teamed together again after their split in 2010.

After Shad’s release in 2010, JTG went solo. The pair would never tag again on the indies and JTG would not return to WWE before Shad passed away in 2020 when he saved his son from drowning in the sea but ultimately perished himself. Shad was posthumously awarded the Warrior Award at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in 2022.

Having been gone from the WWE for nearly a decade, a one-time surprise Royal Rumble appearance for JTG would be a feel-good moment for the star. His appearance would not just pop the crowd who grew up with Cryme Tyme as big stars on Smackdown, but could also pay tribute to the late star by honouring their tag team by wrestling in the match he last appeared in in the 2010 Royal Rumble.

JTG Teased Royal Rumble Appearance

JTG has always been up for appearing in a surprise role in the Royal Rumble. In 2022, he teased an appearance in the 2020 Royal Rumble match when he took to Twitter to have fun with the eagle-eyed WWE fans who were trying to figure out that years surprise entrants.

Taking to Twitter, JTG posted a picture of the skyline of St. Louis, adding the caption’ “Beautiful shot from my room”. St Louis was the city the Rumble was taking place and the photo was clearly implying that the former WWE star was in the city for one reason – to appear in the Royal Rumble.

Sadly, he did not make an appearance in the match. The Surprise Entrants in the 2022 Royal Rumble were limited to just five men, who were;

  • Ridge Holland
  • Drew McIntyre
  • Bad Bunny
  • Shane McMahon
  • Brock Lesnar

There is a chance JTG was left on standby, just like Rob Van Dam was in 2022 (he even had new gear made just for the event), although it is likely he was simply trolling the fans as he his prone to do on his social media account.

Now would be the perfect time for a one-time Royal Rumble return for JTG. 2023 marks three years since the passing of Shad and hearing the Cryme Tyme music one more time at a big WWE event would be a fantastic tribute to the heroic Shad Gaspard, who gave his life to save his own sons.

Following his death, JTG posted the following heartfelt tribute to his late friend, in an emotional Twitter post which was accompanied by the hashtag #CRYMETYME4LIFE, the perfect phrase to use for a potential Royal Rumble appearance.

“I want to say thank you to all the friends, fans and family who reached out to me and Shad’s family during this difficult time. The outpour of love and support has definitely helped me get through this. I have my moments where I’m in disbelief and feeling a tremendous amount of hurt, but as soon as I start to reminisce about Shad and our relationship I begin to smile. I have tons of memories of Shad and I just us chilling for no reason and having a great time, enjoying each other’s energy, working out together, traveling the world together.

Laughing about inside jokes that nobody around knew about, doing edibles after a show, then binge eating at Red Lobster, and our favorite roasting each other relentlessly. The relationship that I and Shad had comes along once in a lifetime. If you have a friend or a loved one that you’re close to, always try to make an effort to let them know how much you appreciate them. Tomorrow is never promised.

Shad and I always expressed how much we appreciated each other in each other’s lives and then follow it up with a good ole fashion roast……just to balance things out. Shad, thank you for always being there for me. You were more than my tag team partner, more than a friend; you were the big brother I always wanted growing up. The world will remember you for what you are. A HERO.”

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