Four years ago the Ultimate Warrior walked onto this very stage, in one of the greatest cities in all the world... NEW ORLEANS!
This feels like a homecoming for the girls and me; a full circle moment in this beautiful city.
It was bittersweet walking through Louis Armstrong Airport... I was thinking back to the day we'd landed for Warrior's personal homecoming in 2014...
I've had to be tough over these four years but this all felt tougher than I might actually be... but as happens if one is open and if one believes...a muse arrives.
Walking through that airport, imagining him still alive, and our daughters holding his giant hands, I saw words that set my boots straight. They read: "One Time in New Orleans" which brought me to his Ultimate "One Time".
"One Time in New Orleans" a man named Warrior was welcomed into the arms of his brothers and sisters, his WWE Family, and the WWE Universe escorted by his, cupcake daughters to take his place in "Then, Now, FOREVER" as a WWE Hall of Famer!!!
"One time in New Orleans" I was sitting right there effervescing with bubbling pride...champagne uncorked.... so proud was I for this hard earned celebration...So thrilled was he to be home...I could only articulate my emotion with tears. Warrior's best days culminated on this very stage.
I will ALWAYS BELIEVE the last weekend of his life, spent here, in a place as colorful and full of life, as New Orleans, was an ultimate crowning...his final promo on Raw, the proper refrain...those moments launched a newly ethereal Ultimate Warrior, allowing him to rocket into the heavens to rumble amongst his gods!!
For all my convictions...For all my deeply held beliefs...Had someone told the woman I was, sitting right there, she would be standing on the stage he commanded four years later...
I'd have said...
...not a very warrior-like word, I know, but it's the truth.
...It’s been four years since Warrior's "One time in New Orleans"... a blink of an eye and a lifetime rolled into one.
In four years you can learn a lifetime of lesson, heal, change, blossom,
You can Bloom
In four years you can graduate from grieving in a way to honor the integrity of a sacred past. In four years you must bravely move toward the beauty sewn inherently into the unknown.
If I could travel back four years, to that "one time" and whisper something to the wife sitting there; I'd tell her not to be afraid...I'd tell her she was home.
I'd tell her to look around and know, these people were her friends...
I'd tell her the Ultimate Warrior knew what he was talking about when he said shaking the ropes imbued him with untold powers from Warriors around the world, Parts Unknown, ...and beyond.
I would tell her "One time in New Orleans she would have the honor of standing on her late husband's homecoming stage, on a platform built by his unwavering belief to deliver an honor baring our family name. The Warrior Award is meant for those who consider the word "impossible" profane and choose instead to ALWAYS, ALWAYS BELIEVE!!
"One time in New Orleans" a hometown hero was selected to be the 2018 recipient. This young man was chosen as the embodiment of the indomitable spirit of WWE HALL OF FAMER, The Ultimate Warrior.
His name is Jarrius JJ Robertson
JJ knows a little something about lacing up his boots, busting through a curtain, and shaking the ropes!! In fact when Jarrius makes an entrance the entire room
starts to shake...or vibrate...or dance...Jarrius has the mark of a true Warrior because he had to earn those frenetic vibes!!!
Little did this tiny warrior know he'd have a battle from the start. Jarrius was diagnosed with a life threatening disease impacting the liver and bile ducts. Not planning to tap out Jarrius underwent life saving surgery that had grave complications forcing a medically induced coma lasting more than a year. Heartsick parents and doctors agreed it was time to withdraw life sustaining medical treatment. Upon removing the breathing tube...miraculously, Jarrius began to breathe.... on his own.
Jarrius' battles were not over but like the greatest warriors he held on...until...
"One time in New Orleans" two Warriors chose life even though one lost their own. Jarrius underwent a second liver transplant at Ochsner Children's Hospital. As Jarrius received the gift of life it can never be forgotten the ultimate warrior who benevolently gave it.
It's my honor to present the Warrior Award to the recipient of a life saving organ donation, and in spirit, to the most honorable of quiet, anonymous heroes too,
the donor who gave a life to save one.
To have life.
You will be inspired by our 2018 Warrior Award recipient and awed too-by the selfless donor who gave life to one so full of it!
Fasten your seatbelts, hold onto your children, because...
"One time in New Orleans" the WWE Universe put their hands together and welcomed a true, frenetic force with ultimate energy befitting the Warrior Award...
MR JARRIUS ROBERTSON!!!!