Connor Michalek, a Pittsburgh native and passionate WWE fan who died last year at age 8 from cancer, will be the first recipient of The Warrior Award, which will be presented each year at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
The Warrior Award is 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.
The announcement was made during WWE Monday Night Raw on the USA Network on March 9 from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, where in 2013 Connor met many WWE superstars and divas including his hero, Daniel Bryan.
During the day on March 9, WWE superstars and divas, including Daniel Bryan and WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, visited the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
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With the love of his family and WWE superstars as well as the tremendous care by the 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 and an inspiration to WWE, the WWE Universe and the world.
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
On Saturday, March 28 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., the prestigious Warrior Award will be presented to Steve Michalek, Connor’s dad, by Bryan and The Ultimate Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior.
“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.”
Steve Michalek said: “My family is forever grateful for the gift that WWE, its superstars, divas and executives gave to Connor. 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.”
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said: “Connor Michalek had a profound impact on so many people. 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 8 p.m. EST Saturday, March 28 on WWE Network. USA Network will broadcast a one-hour special highlighting the ceremony on Monday, March 30, immediately following Monday Night Raw.
Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 28 are Macho Man Randy Savage, Alundra Blayze, The Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch), Rikishi and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The WWE Hall of Fame is part of WWE WrestleMania Week. The induction ceremony for the Class of 2015 is the night before WrestleMania 31, which is at Levi’s Stadium, home to the NFL San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif.
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