It was previously reported that Titus O’Neil was set to get the Warrior Award this year at the WWE Hall of Fame, which was later confirmed when photos of O’Neil at the ceremony taping were posted online. Fightful Select reports that the reason O’Neil is the inductee and not Shad Gaspard is because the plans were in place long before Gaspard’s death. It was going to be announced last year before COVID-19 derailed everything.
The decision was not intended as a slight in Gaspard, WWE had just already put the wheels in motion for O’Neil. O’Neil’s connection to Tampa played a big role in the timing of the last two years.
Fans had been advocating for Gaspard to get the Warrior Award after he lost his life last year, with his final act being to save the life of his son.