A look at the legacy of Connor “The Crusher” Michalek.
(Connor “The Crusher” Michalek)
WWE Superfan Connor Michalek was born in 2005 to parents Steve Michalek and Brittany Caligiuri. Michalek developed medulloblastoma when he was three years old. After his diagnosis, he underwent several surgeries and many rounds of chemotherapy. A superfan of WWE, he was also known by his wrestling “ring names”, “Stone Crusher”or simply “The Crusher”.
(Connor with hero Daniel Bryan.)
In October 2012, a video featuring Michalek asking to meet his hero, WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan, was posted to YouTube and received attention from media outlets. A social media campaign ensued, with hundreds of people joining a Facebook group entitled “Help Connor meet Daniel Bryan”. Within 48 hours WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon stated that Michalek would meet Bryan. Michalek met Bryan during a WWE Raw event at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on December 18, 2012. Bryan met Michalek again on October 7, 2013, when Raw was in Pittsburgh.
(Connor with Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania XXX)
Before Wrestlemania XXX Connor walked to the ring with Daniel Bryan, doing the “Yes!” chant and was cheered on by all of the company’s Sueprstars and Divas. Once in the ring WWE COO Triple H climbed in the ring and, in a playful moment, challenged Michalek to hit him. Michalek did, then covered Triple H for a 1-2-3 pin.
(Michalek with Triple H)
Michalek attended the WrestleMania XXX festivities and was in the front row to see Bryan win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan embraced Michalek immediately following his victory.
(Michalek with Daniel Bryan after Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.)
On April 25, 2014, Michalek died at eight years old. WWE subsequently released a video in his memory, which went viral, featuring him interacting with numerous WWE stars during WrestleMania XXX weekend.
In June 2014, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon founded Connor’s Cure in Michalek’s memory, a non-profit charitable organization, which they have personally funded through Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
On March 9, 2015, WWE announced that Michalek would be honored at the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He will posthumously receive the inaugural Warrior Award, named after The Ultimate Warrior, and will be inducted by Daniel Bryan and Dana Warrior. The Warrior Award will be given to those who have “exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance, and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior.”
To donate to Connor’s Cure please click here.
Full Throwback Thursday 2015 Hall of Fame Preview:
Tags: Connor "The Crusher"Mchalek, Connor Michalek, Connor's Cure, Dana Warrior, Daniel Bryan, Stephanie McMahon, The Ultimate Warrior, Throwback Thursday, Triple H, VInce McMahon, Warrior Award, WWE Hall of Fame 2015, WWE Hall of Fame Inductee