PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A mountain of a man named Ryback has gone from good guy to bad guy and back again, as a wrestler for WWE. But there’s no question what kind of guy he is when his and his pro-wrestling pals visit Children’s Hospital, as they did Monday afternoon.
“There’s no feeling in the world like it,” Ryback said. “To go in there and to have an impact on their lives and brighten their day a little bit. And they brighten our day, believe it or not. This is the best part of my day today.”
They help Children’s patient Grace Conroy enjoy a moment she will never forget.
“They come off as really nice people when you meet them in person,” she said. “In the ring, they’re differen, and more intimidating.”
Erica Witherspoon strikes an intimidating pose with Ryback and other wrestlers.
“They seem like teddy bears,” she said afterward. “So sweet of them to come. In the ring, they’re like big tough guys.”
This is WWE’s fourth visit to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. On one of those visits, they met an eight-year-old boy named Connor Michalek.
Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon says he melted the hearts of the WWE family.
“Connor was one of he biggest WWE fans,” she says now. “But I think all of he WWE superstars and divas and all of our fan base became Connor’s biggest fans. And Connor was actually the first ever fan inducted into our Hall of Fame.”
She started a fund in his name called Connor’s Cure, a CHP foundation that supports brain tumor research. It has raised more than $800,000 to date. Though Connor has passed away, his legacy lives on. And so do the visits to Children’s Hospital.
“It made my day,” Erica Witherspoon said. “Oh my gosh, it made my day!”