You can criticize WWE for a lot of things, but when they do things right, there are very few entities in sports or entertainment (or sports entertainment) that are better.
When it comes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, WWE is one of the most active organizations in sports, granting numerous wishes to terminally ill children each year. Back in 2012, then six-year-old Connor Michalek of Hampton Township, Pennsylvania, was one of those children.
Michalek (who went by the self-proclaimed moniker "Stone Crusher") was suffering from pediatric brain cancer at the time, and through the power of social media, word made its way to WWE that Michalek's dream was to meet his favorite wrestler, Daniel Bryan.
That's when this ensued...
You don't even have to be a WWE fan to completely admire Daniel Bryan and the humility that he shows in making Michalek's dream a reality, and if you're not moved by Connor Michalek, then I have no solution for the emotion-ectomy that was apparently conducted upon you in your sleep at some point.
That video is just awesome.
Fast-forward to 2014, and about a month before Wrestlemania XXX this year in New Orleans. Michalek's father, Steven, received word from the doctors that Connor did not have long to live. So WWE invited Connor and his father to attend Monday Night RAW in Washington, D.C., and gave him front-row tickets to Wrestlemania XXX, where Connor's hero, Bryan, finally won the WWE World Heavyweight title.
In a crowd of over 75,000, the first person Bryan sought out after celebrating in the ring at Wrestlemania was Connor. He wanted to tell Connor that it was Connor's strength that helped Bryan fight his way to the top of his industry. Just a very cool, touching moment between two great friends.
Unfortunately, Connor Michalek succumbed to his battle with cancer on April 25. He was eight years old. Here is the tribute video documenting Connor's trip to RAW and then to Wrestlemania XXX.
Good luck getting through this one with dry eyes....
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