Shelton Benjamin talks Shad Gaspard’s legacy, paying tribute to Gaspard with championship win
As noted before, new RAW Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin took to Instagram after the WWE TLC pay-per-view and dedicated his win to his friend and former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard, who passed away earlier this year after a swimming accident in Venice Beach. Benjamin also revealed how he wore wrist tape to pay tribute to Gaspard during the TLC match, which saw he and Cedric Alexander capture the RAW Tag Team Titles from The New Day.
Below is new video of Benjamin talking to WWE about dedicating the title win to Gaspard. Benjamin revealed that he promised himself at Gaspard’s funeral that he would dedicate his next title win to the former Cryme Tyme member.
“Knowing that I had gone in there and dedicated this moment to Shad, when I attended his funeral I made a promise to myself that if I won a title, especially a tag team championship, because I know Shad and JTG worked hard even though they never actually got a chance to wear a title, I made a point then that no matter what title it was going to be, it was going to be dedicated to Shad,” Benjamin said.
“So, I wear this title, I won this title and there’s no question, which I had never dedicated a title win to anybody, and I think this was so significant, so important, just for him and for his son. Part of the reason I wanted his son to know, just how great a guy that his dad was, just what a big influence and what a big impact he had on myself, and the world.”
Benjamin was also asked what he thinks Gaspard would say to him if he was here and saw him with the title.
“He’d probably be cracking jokes,” Shelton said. “He’d probably be like, ‘You don’t need that, you don’t need that, this is a young man’s game, you need to give me that title.’ Just something funny like that, something to crack me up.
“If Shad was here, I mean first of all he would’ve been the first person to congratulate me. He would’ve been at the bar trying to keep me up all night, just to have fun. I’d probably be a lot sleepier than I am right now, but he would’ve been there to uplift me, there’s no doubt in that.”
Gaspard passed away back in May after a swimming incident in Venice Beach while in the water with his son. Gaspard instructed first responders to save his son when they hit the water, and they did, which saved his son’s life. Benjamin was asked about Shad’s legacy.
“Shad’s legacy as a person, first and foremost, a hero,” Benjamin said. “He left this world doing something that I think every man, every parent, every, pretty much decent human being would do for a child, much less their own child. So, his legacy, I think he’s a hero dad, first and foremost. I like to think of him as a hero.”