Amidst the social media scandals, brass ring comments, abusive trainer allegations and rants from Chyna, it seems the WWE is doing something right when they made a special announcement regarding the WWE Hall of Fame during the March 9th episode of Monday Night RAW. A newly established award honouring the late and great WWE Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior has been created and for the first time in WWE history, it will be given to a real-life hero that exemplifies courage, strength, compassion and perseverance. The name of this award is simply the Warrior Award and it will be given to Connor “The Crusher” Michalek, a WWE super fan who passed away last year from cancer. The inaugural award will be presented by Dana Warrior (The Ultimate Warrior’s widow), WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan and Connor’s father Steve Michalek, will accept the award on his son’s behalf.
“My family is forever grateful for the gift that WWE, its Superstars, Divas and executives gave to Connor,” said Steve Michalek to WWE.com. “They made him smile and encouraged 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 this award and Connor’s Cure, Connor’s legacy will live on.”
Connor Michalek was an eight-year old who had an undeniable passion for sports entertainment and the WWE. His charisma, spark, humor and tremendous personality touched the hearts of WWE Superstars and Divas, and really anyone the child came in contact with. A native of Pittsburgh, Connor’s incredible spirit, and charm inspired WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative, Paul “Triple H” Levesque to created “Connor’s Cure,” a fund dedicated to furthering Pediatric cancer research.
“Connor Michalek had a profound impact on so many people,” Stephanie McMahon stated to WWE.com. “His spirit and love of life were so strong, you would have never known he was sick. I can think of no better way to honor Connor, than by recognizing him with our highest honor, the first fan to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, as a Warrior.”
You can say a lot of things about the WWE and cynics can go on to say that all this is, is a ‘feel good’ publicity stunt; but at the end of the day this award honors two heroes, which deserve the acknowledgement. One is a wrestling legend; the other is a warrior that faced insurmountable odds with courage, spirit and a smile. Both took on the battles of life in their own right, living it on their own terms and both persevered, refused to give up, back away or back down.
Dana Warrior posted the following on her Facebook account, after the news broke:
WARRIORS LOVE CRUSHERS!!!
“The girls and I are truly overwhelmed and honored by WWE’s creation of THE WARRIOR AWARD. My heart bursts with technicolor joy that a warrior such as Connor will be the inaugural inductee. His passion and vibrancy in the way he tackled life is a testament to his warrior spirit. It is not how big the body nor how long the life is lived…it is all about the living of the days you are given and how those days touch others around you.
Connor was a glorious example of the impact a little warrior can have in this world. I have no doubt when Connor reached heaven my husband shook the ropes to welcome him home. I could not be more honored to help induct Connor the Crusher into the Class of 2015 Hall of Fame.
This is a moment I will treasure forever…these are the things that make me glad to be alive….This is why I believe…ALWAYS!!!!!
And whether you believe in Heaven or not, the idea that Connor and Warrior will be celebrating somewhere in the sky, shaking those ring ropes together, is a pleasing one. I’m sure they both will smile down that faithful night on March 28th, when Connor “The Crusher” rightfully takes his spot next to the many WWE Legends and other celebrities, for the valuable contribution he has have made to this industry; and the powerful impact he created during the eight years he blessed this Earth. Gone, but never forgotten; congratulations to Connor “The Crusher” Michalek—recipient of the first-ever Warrior Award.
If you would like to learn more about Connor’s Cure, or donate to the cause, visit www.givetochildrens.org/CONNORSCURE.