As we get closer to WrestleMania Weekend, and the 2019 Hall of Fame Ceremony, WWE has made clear that they’re taking the Warrior Award in a slightly different direction this year. When the Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014, he advanced the idea of an award for WWE’s underappreciated backstage employees. Instead, the Warrior Award that was established in his honor has so far awarded people who’ve struggled with illness or other limitations, and been inspirational to others, generally without working for WWE. That’s a worth idea, but not what Warrior had in mind.
This year, however, WWE is returning to his idea, by giving the Warrior Award to Sue Aitchison, WWE’s head of community relations, who’s responsible for many of their charitable undertakings. Here’s what WWE has to say in their official announcement:
A WWE employee for more than 30 years, Sue Aitchison is widely credited with spearheading WWE’s community outreach programs. Over the course of her storied career, she built a long-term partnership with Make-A-Wish and helped grant WWE wishes to more than 6,000 children. Aitchison also pioneered WWE’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge, inspiring a love of reading for millions of children around the world. Because of her commitment to giving back, Aitchison has also been the recipient of Make-A-Wish’s Chris Greicius Award.
WWE isn’t directly acknowledging any change in the focus of the award, and Aitchison’s work keeps it somewhat in the same wheelhouse as previous Warrior Award winners, so it will be interesting to see where things go in future years. In any case, Sue Aitchison definitely seems like a worthy honoree.