A little back I did a writeup on the WWE inducting Connor Michalek into the Hall of Fame because of a petition I saw floating around the internet. Some people said it was a bad idea, others loved the idea, either way I felt it was something truly deserving for such an amazing young man and his memory. Yes they have the charity in his honor, but this young man was a part of the company, he weaved his way into the hearts of the men and women in the ring and behind the scenes. While a straight up induction was never really going to happen, I always hoped we would see something come from it, at least in the form of an honorary induction. A few weeks back it was announced that Connor would be the inaugural recipient of the Warrior Award, named for the Ultimate Warrior who we lost last year just after he was welcomed back into the WWE family where he has always belonged. Hearing this news was amazing and made my night when I saw the promo run on Raw, say what you want about the occasion but Connor deserves a spot and this honor, and it made my heart feel so warm seeing that he was being given this award.
Until you've had a child and you've been even slightly connected to a situation similar to that of Connor, it's a bit difficult to understand how much something like this means to a person. I tend to be a fairly private person but one thing I've said in writing before is that I have a daughter who is everything to me, and who I am proud to have turned into a pro wrestling fan at just five years old. One of the biggest things my daughter talks about to this day is a little girl who she met maybe once or twice in very brief instances. She met this little girl named McKenzie who was battling an illness and who had won over an entire community through her smile and heart through the fight that she was thrown into undeservedly. To this day my daughter sees a butterfly and talks about her friend McKenzie and how she loved her, and how she misses her, even though she had only really seen her once or twice around while she was about 2-3 years old. Until you know of a situation like this, and until you see how these children can impact a life you have no idea just how special every moment they have on this planet truly is, how someone so small in such a terrible situation can fight such a battle and STILL smile.
Connor is to WWE what McKenzie was to my daughter and to every person who heard her story anywhere around the world, but most of all in this little corner of the world known as Polk County, Florida. It's so amazing to see these little people with so much life, facing so much adversity, and how they refuse to give up and refuse to let their situation define or beat them. Connor was such an amazing young man from all the stories we've heard, and as much as some people may like the man you can't HONESTLY say a Drew Carey or even a Koko B. Ware deserves a Hall of Fame nod and this little man doesn't. I can't imagine going through the pain that McKenzie's parents went through during her illness and ultimately her passing, nor can I imagine getting up in the morning and keeping going like nothing was wrong if I were Connor's father. These little people, these children who have so much fighting against them every single day of their life, yet somehow get up, fight the battles and STILL smile, there's not an honor on this planet that's great enough for them. The WWE did the right thing by giving this Warrior Award to Connor's father in his honor tonight, and it made me proud to see this amazing moment.
Life is such a fragile thing, there is only so much one person can really handle, we can only hope that we leave an impact half as large as Connor Michalek and McKenzie Clayton when our time finally comes to leave the land of the living. At the end of the day the WWE Hall of Fame is a great honor that should be bestowed upon those who were connected with the business and made some type of impact beyond just having cut a single promo or worked a single match. Was Connor ever WWE Champion, no, was Connor ever one of the greatest promo guys the business has ever seen, no, but did Connor leave an impact on this world far beyond that of most anyone else alive, absolutely. I never met this young man, but in just the brief videos we've seen you almost feel like he was one of the closest friends you had in this world. That's an impact greater than the likes of Steve McMichael, or even one of my favorite NFL players of all time Kevin Greene, hell it's even a greater impact than anything associated with David Flair, and while none of those guys will ever be mistaken for a WWE Hall of Famer, Connor is incredibly deserving of his honor.
If you watched any part of the Warrior Award dedicated to Connor tonight and you didn't tear up a single time, you're a cold person and you may need to seek mental help. As a father, it's so easy to have your heart weigh heavy when you hear about his defying odds just to be ringside at WrestleMania 30, or when Connor's father brought his little brother out to speak on behalf of Connor, but as a human there is no way you can tell me you didn't feel something in that moment. Congratulations to WWE for doing the right thing and honoring this young man Connor Michalek with the Warrior Award and his place among the immortals in the WWE Hall of Fame. I couldn't be more proud as a father, as a man, and as a wrestling fan than I was tonight to see this moment finally come to fruition. Thank you Vince, Stephanie, Triple H, Daniel Bryan, and anyone else associated with making this moment happen. Not a dry eye was to be found among the viewing audience, and not a single heart went without melting just a bit during this honor being given to such a wonderful young man. Such a wonderful moment, and next to the induction of Jake Roberts, my single favorite moment in Hall of Fame history.