Daniel Bryan's WWE Hall of Fame induction speech for child cancer victim Connor "The Crusher" Michalek not only brought the pro wrestling superstar to tears but also—to the shock of some viewers—tore down the façade of wrestling storylines multiple times, admitting that "everything I've done...is fiction. It's not real."
The WWE Hall of Fame traverses an odd and blurred line between fiction and truth, with inductees earning honors based mostly on their scripted success (and, all too often, posthumously) and with everyone, for the most part, still being "in character." Daniel Bryan's speech on several occasions drew gasps from the crowd, most notably when the wrestler mentioned his character's 2012 "heel turn" and winked at "smart" fans' suspicion the company has consistently held him back from success or being "the face of WWE." (Another awkward moment came when Bryan told a story that involved Triple H meeting Michalek; you could hear the air quotes in his voice when mentioning "Hunter" by name.)
That aside, the speech was an unbelievably sweet moment for a guy to talk about a little kid he came to know and love who is now dead. For that, the lines were clear. And very, very real.