Despite never winning tag team gold in WWE, Cryme Tyme established themselves as one of the most popular acts during their tenure. The duo of JTG and Shad Gaspard got over with fans with their antagonistic antics, as they regularly joked around and stole things from the WWE locker room.
While many found the pair to be likable, there are some who called out Cryme Tyme for seemingly perpetuating a stereotype. Speaking with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on the Wrestling Inc. Daily, JTG addressed the criticisms Cryme Tyme received, but noted the intentions of the gimmick had always come from a good place.
“I definitely understand,” JTG said. “It definitely wouldn’t have flied in 2021, but during that time, the way Vince explained the gimmick to me, it made a lot of sense. I thought we were going to do something positive, because what he wanted to do when he first explained to me in our first meeting, he was like, ‘I want to take this thug image, the image that you guys got, and I want to flip it. When people see the stereotype, you know, they grab their purses or they check for their wallet. They feel intimidated. What I want you guys to do is when you guys come out be always smiling, be always having a good time. We’re going to flip that thug image so that when they do see you guys, you’re still going to do heel-ish things but you guys are babyface. When your music hits, little kids and people are dancing and having a good time in the audience.’ And that’s what we did. We over exaggerated the stereotype. We had fun, and when we did steal, we’d offer it back to the crowd. It was so engaging with the crowd. We had the look, we had the charisma, but Vince pretty much structured it properly so it made sense for the platform.”
One infamous angle Cryme Tyme was a part of came during 2006’s Survivor Series, where the duo stole WWE Hall of Famer Lita’s bag and sold her belongings to the crowd.
“The Lita thing, that was fun. It wasn’t our idea,” JTG said. “We just came to the building in Philadelphia, and he was like, ‘Lita’s retiring tonight. You guys are going to steal her stuff and sell it off to the fans.’ We were like, ‘Wait what? Alright. Is Lita okay with that?’”
While Vince McMahon was the mastermind behind the gimmick, JTG mentioned that himself and Shad played a big part in the creative direction for themselves, specifically when it came to promos.
“It was hard for the writers to write Cryme Tyme because of our slang, and how we like to have fun with words, so we pretty much did our own thing out there,” JTG said.
JTG also noted that the lack of black writers at the time made it difficult for creative to script their promos.
“[The writers] would go to the Urban Dictionary or like, Slang.com or something like that,” JTG said. “Like, ‘Is it cool to say this?’ ‘No, we can’t say molly wop. The kids are not saying that today.’”
You can follow JTG on Twitter @JTG1284. The full audio and video from JTG’s interview can be found below: