This past Monday on Raw it was announced that a new wing to the WWE Hall of Fame would be created, for recipients of The Warrior Award. The first inductee into this new wing will be Connor “The Crusher” Michalek, a young fan who is very well-known throughout the wrestling world. Unfortunately, Connor passed away last April due to brain and spinal cancer, but because of the effect his enthusiasm had on the business, WWE are honouring him with The Warrior Award. I think that it’s a truly heartwarming gesture coming from the WWE and to present it directly to Connor’s father, Steve, just says that much more about the company.
I have to say that ever since I saw the video of Connor getting backstage to meet Daniel Bryan, I had so much respect for the boy. From four years old he’d been diagnosed with a rare case of cancer which affected his brain and spine. There was a video released a while later which showed Connor’s trip to the WWE before WrestleMania XXX. He met all the wrestlers, performed his entrance with Daniel Bryan and even pinned Triple H, clean. Then, during the close of WrestleMania him and Daniel Bryan had a moment between them in front of thousands of people. Daniel whispered some motivational words to Connor and they shared a hug. Sadly, it would be a few weeks after this experience when Connor passed away.
Hopefully this doesn’t get mistaken for me disapproving to the idea of Connor Michalek being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. I think it’s great and regardless of the creation of this new wing, I would have still wanted him to go in. However, there have of course been some naysayers, mostly due to the fact that people think WWE interpreted The Ultimate Warrior’s speech wrong. A quote given by the WWE can be seen below, I personally think it fits perfectly; yet some think it originates from a miscommunication between The Ultimate Warrior and WWE, arguably taking the essence of what he said out of context.
Someone who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance, and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of the late WWE Hall of Famer, The Ultimate Warrior.
It really is a shame to think that people are actually upset with the result of the induction. The death of a young Connor Michalek is being celebrated and people are still complaining. Fair enough, during his hall of fame speech Warrior may have been talking about people such as production crew, stage setup, merchandising and workers who suffer the same conditions as the wrestlers. But just because Connor is the first recipient of The Warrior Award, doesn’t mean there isn’t time for the unsung heroes of the production team to get their praise. Connor is a great start and although I wouldn’t put it past WWE to use this as a publicity stunt, it doesn’t mean I’m going to question who they plan on inducting in the future.
On Saturday March 28th, at the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame, Both Daniel Bryan, Connor’s favourite wrestler and Dana Warrior, the widow of The Ultimate Warrior will present Steve Michalek with The Warrior Award. I think it’s a great start to this new wing of the WWE Hall of Fame and hope that the main impact of the first induction will be to raise awareness for Connor’s Cure. WWEShop.com are even selling Connor’s Cure bracelets with all of the proceeds going directly to the charity.
The question is, who will the next inductee be? Will it be a member of the backstage crew? Or will it be a close relation to the company? Some suggestions I’ve seen floating around have included Mick Foley for all his charitable endeavors, or even Diamond Dallas Page for his incredible work with Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Scott Hall. It’s also interesting to look into what the next homage event could be. Last year we saw the creation of The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, this year we see the first recipient of The Warrior Award. What could next year hold?
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