WWE to Induct Fan to Hall of Fame
When the first bell rings the gladiators in the ring will commence in battle, as heroes and villains clash at WWE’s most celebrated event, WrestleMania. The day before the event, the company will honor its past with its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Among those honored will be the late Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the Bushwackers, Rikishi, Alundra Blaze and, in its celebrity wing, action star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For the first time, the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) will honor a fan by inducting the late Connor Michalek as the first recipient of the Warrior Award. The WWE will present the award to people who exemplify strength, courage and the spirit of a Warrior. The award was named after the late superstar, The Ultimate Warrior, who wished that an award would be made to honor fans like Connor prior to Warrior’s passing.
“On behalf of my family, we are truly humbled and honored that the WWE will present an award in my husband’s name” Dana Warrior, the widow of the late superstar told WWE.com. Warrior added, “Connor displayed all the positive traits that Warrior stood for, and he is the perfect recipient for this inaugural award. I am sure that Warrior is smiling today, knowing that the award is given to a true warrior.”
Connor was granted a wish in 2012 to see his favorite WWE Superstar, Daniel Bryan, a passionate 7-year-old fan who dubbed himself “The Crusher,” the two would form a bond that included Bryan tapping out to Connor that year, and Connor celebrated with Bryan at last year’s WrestleMania when Bryan captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the Main Event. Connor would go on to capture the hearts of the WWE locker room. Surrounded by superstars who embraced the fan, Connor was also able to knock out and pin the COO of the WWE, Paul Levesque, who is known as the villainous Triple H, the leader of a group called “the Authority” in an empty arena.
Before his untimely passing at the age of 8 to pediatric brain cancer, Connor would make a profound mark on WWE superstars and staff. In addition to the Warrior Award, Levesque, whose the WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative, and his wife Stephanie McMahon, who is the WWE Chief Brand Officer, have formed “Connor’s Cure” a fund to dedicate the further research to pediatric cancer. For more donations and for further information about Connor’s cure, please go to www.givetochildren.org/CONNORSCURE.
“Connor Michalek had an impact on so many people” McMahon told WWE.com. “His spirit and love of life was so strong, you would never have known that he was sick. I can think of no better honor than by recognizing him with our highest honor, the first fan to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Warrior.”
“My family is grateful for the gift that the WWE, its superstars, divas, and executives gave to Connor,” Connor’s father Steve Michalek told wwe.com. “They made him smile and encourage him to continue fighting. His visits backstage, and his time in the ring with Daniel Bryan, brought Connor true joy and undoubtedly extended his life, giving us more time with him. Now, with his award and Connor’s cure, Connor’s legacy will live on.
The award will be presented to Michalek at the Hall of Fame Ceremony by Dana Warrior and Daniel Bryan on March 28th, the day before WWE will put on its 31st WrestleMania. The Event will feature matches such as Triple H facing off against Sting, and a WCW legend returns to the ring when the Bulgarian Brute Rusev with Lana will take on John Cena for the US Title. In addition, the Undertaker will battle Bray Wyatt, the Bella Twins will wrestle against AJ Lee and Paige, and the Main Event will feature Roman Reigns as he challenges the WWE Heavyweight Championship Brock Lesnar for the title. While the night will belong to these gladiators in the ring, it will be an 8-year-old’s warrior spirit that will shine on the bay and the event.
The Hall of Fame induction Ceremony; where the award will be presented, will be broadcasted on the WWE Network, as will WrestleMania the following day.
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