WWE sent out the following press release:
STAMFORD, Conn.–Connor Michalek, a Pittsburgh native and passionate WWE fan who passed away last year from cancer, will be the first-ever recipient of The Warrior Award, which will be presented each year at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The Warrior Award will be given to someone who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of WWE Hall of Famer, The Ultimate Warrior. This year, the award will be presented by The Ultimate Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior, and WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan™ to Steve Michalek, Connor’s father.
With the love of his family and WWE Superstars as well as the tremendous care by Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Connor battled cancer like a true warrior for as long as he could, and his charisma made him a local celebrity in Pittsburgh. Connor’s spirit inspired WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative, Paul “Triple H” Levesque to launch “Connor’s Cure,” a fund dedicated to furthering pediatric cancer research. Donations can be made by visiting www.givetochildrens.org/CONNORSCURE.
“On behalf of my family, we are truly humbled and honored that WWE will present an award in my husband’s name each year at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,” said Dana Warrior. “Connor displayed all of 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 this award is being given to a true warrior.”
“My family is forever grateful for the gift that WWE, its Superstars, Divas and executives gave to Connor,” said Steve Michalek. “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 had a profound impact on so many people,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “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.”
The WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air live on Saturday, March 28 on WWE Network at 8 p.m. ET. USA Network will broadcast a one-hour special highlighting the ceremony on Monday, March 30, immediately following Monday Night Raw®.
Click here to watch a video that shares Connor’s story.
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