REVIEW: Tales from the Road – Cryme Tyme (2020)

A comic by Shad Gaspard, JTG and Mike Kingston

The late Shad Gaspard died a hero in May of 2020, saving his own son from drowning in a freak riptide before succumbing to the water himself. Apparently, one of the last things he did before his death was collaborate with Mike Kingston on this comic, an entry in the Tales from the Road series, which is usually packed in each Pro Wrestling Crate subscription box. Most of these are either very loosely based on real events or outright fantasy tales, but this particular issue seems to largely be the origin story of Cryme Time, the team Gaspard had with JTG in WWE. Both men participated in the creation of the comic.

“”Brotherhood” co-written by Shad Gaspard & JTG! Two men from different backgrounds are given an opportunity of a lifetime to tryout as a tag team for the WFW. Can they find common ground in time? Art by Doug Hills and Jenny Gorman with letters by Jacob Bascle.” 

This story tells the tale of two men that seemingly had no chance of being picked up by a major wrestling promoter. He was looking for a tag team and two wrestlers were thrown together named JT Gangstarr and Brooklyn Beast. They had a horrible match, and showed no chemistry at all together, jeopardizing their chances. After the show, they are given a bottle of vodka and basically ordered to finish it off, resulting in the sort of bonging through chatting and later bar fighting that makes two men brothers. NOW they were a team! Impressing the big time promoter, the duo were well on their way to their dream of wrestling in Madison Square Garden.

I’m going to be honest, I largely missed Cryme Tyme, as I was not watching WWE very much at all when they were both there. I was a big TNA Wrestling fan, and largely concentrated on that. I have, however, read a couple of books by JTG and have enjoyed him in some of his work in the National Wrestling Alliance. It’s a shame the duo never got to try their hand with this modern wrestling boom we are in the midst of, there are so many opportunities out there, I feel like they would have eventually ended up somewhere together.

This was a solid edition of this book, and somewhat sad at the same time. Kingston talks about talking to Gaspard right before the accident, with him being excited to see the release of the comic. If anything, stuff like this makes me want to find some of their old matches and see what I missed, as they seem like alright guys. I’m sure WWE made their gimmick questionable, it it always seemed like they made it work. The art is, as always, crisp and well done, and the script is well-written. Now that I have had a chance to read through a bunch of these, they are fun additions to that subscription box. I really need to try to get some of the actual Headlocked graphic novels that this is a spinoff of, as I’m sure I will enjoy the hell out of it. Stay tuned for me, as I’m still not done with these!

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