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[UPDATED WITH WWE STATEMENT] FORMER WWE RING ANNOUNCER JUSTIN ROBERTS BLOGS ON CONNOR INDUCTION TO WWE HALL OF FAME, WWE'S USAGE OF CONNER

By Mike Johnson on 2015-04-03 09:39:49

Former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts penned a long blog yesterday at this link regarding WWE's relationship with the late Conner Michalek and his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Based on the tone of the piece, Roberts loves that the company inducted Michalek into their Hall of Fame, but also points out that a Tweet from Stephanie McMahon over Wrestlemania weekend that read, "philanthropy is the future of marketing, it's the way brands r going 2 win" -@biz Stone co-founder @twitter #WWEBPS" raises questions about the company's reasoning for their community outreach.

It's a long, interesting piece that sees Roberts recount his own personal involvement in WWE's relationship with Michalek, what appears to be his own sadness in how his involvment has been retroactively removed from the story and how what Ultimate Warrior requested WWE institute with the Hall of Fame (an award for behind the scenes employees, named after Jimmy Miranda) isn't exactly what was created, although portions of his speech were used to build to the Warrior Award being given to Conner.

Roberts also talks about how the company doesn't reward those who are long term employees, noting that Mark Yeaton was let go on the eve of his 30th anniversary and that while the company has been pushing the Conner's Cure charity, Roberts' own boss would be pushing him to rush through the announcement as quickly as possible under threat of cutting his live mic at TV tapings.

It's an interesting piece and certainly gives one reason to ponder. I'd be curious to see if WWE has any sort of official response to it.

Update 5:25 PM:

WWE issued the following statement to PWInsider:

“It is offensive to suggest that WWE and its executives had anything but altruistic intentions in honoring Connor and his legacy with The Warrior Award.  In conjunction with Connor’s father, Connor’s Cure was established by Stephanie McMahon and Paul Levesque to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer, and to honor a boy that so many people within the WWE family came to love.  The fund is managed by the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation and has already raised more than $200,000 for pediatric cancer research.

In addition, following the Ultimate Warrior’s impassioned Hall of Fame speech last year encouraging WWE to recognize its unsung heroes, the Warrior Award was established in his memory to honor those who exhibit unwavering strength and perseverance, and who live life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of the Ultimate Warrior.  With the full support and input of Ultimate Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior, Connor Michalek was the first recipient of the Warrior Award, and moving forward the award will be given annually to acknowledge other unsung heroes among WWE’s employees and fans

WWE is proud to use our global platforms to raise awareness for important social causes, including Connor’s Cure as well as our longstanding partnership with Make A Wish, our on-going partnership with Susan G. Komen, which has resulted in more than $1.5 million in funds raised, and our international partnership with Special Olympics.”

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