It’s Wrestlemania season in the world of professional wrestling entertainment, and that brings on a number of meanings.
Along with all the festivities and thousands of raging fans who enjoy this time honored tradition of illusion and athleticism, there is also the iconic WWE Hall of Fame celebration.
The first WWE Hall of Fame inductee was the legendary Andre the Giant, back in 1994. Andre was inducted by modest means, when WWE’s Vince McMahon hung his framed photo on a wall outside the executive’s office, and thus began the legacy of this annual tradition.
Today the Hall of Fame is held in an extravagant fashion, with thousands of fans in attendance throughout the course of Wrestlemania weekend, and hundreds of wrestlers are invited to the celebration.
On top of the wrestling talents who have paved the way in groundbreaking fashion, like Steve Austin, Jake the Snake, Sting, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair, the WWE also honors several athletes and celebrities for their deeds.
Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand will be awarded with the third annual Warrior award this year.
LeGrand is an ex college football player who was paralyzed from the neck down in a tragic football play almost seven years ago. On October 16th, 2010, LeGrand went down in a collision with Army player Malcom Brown.
During the fall, LeGrand’s head crushed into Brown’s collar bone, breaking it with the severe impact.
LeGrand has not walked since, but he has dedicated his life to preserving the spirits of other spinal injury victims. Eric LeGrand became a motivational speaker and symbol for others in suffering.
The Warrior award was inspired by the life and commitments of late wrestling superstar Jim Hellwig, also known by his in ring name The Ultimate Warrior. The Ultimate Warrior past away in 2014 just one day after his final WWE appearance and two days after being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Stephanie McMahon, WWE’s Cheif Brand Officer, said “Eric LeGrand has shown incredible perseverance and unwavering positivity throughout his recovery,” in a statement announcing LeGrand’s award. “From the work he does helping others with spinal cord injuries to his motivational speaking, Eric is the perfect choice for this prestigious award.”
LeGrand was also thrilled.
“It is an absolute honor to be named the 2017 Warrior Award recipient,” LeGrand said. “I am truly grateful for WWE’s support of my personal journey and I am proud to continue to be an example of strength for people everywhere.”
The Warrior ceremony takes place on March 31st, along with several wrestling inductions including the late Rick Rude and Kurt Angle.
The Warrior’s wife Dana will present the award named for her late husband, as she has done since the first induction two years ago.