UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – On Saturday night, the magic of Hollywood lit up the Hard Rock Café at Universal Studios’ City Walk, where WWE Superstars granted the wishes of five very special kids. It all went down only 24 hours before the Superstars and Divas of WWE will wow thousands of WWE fans – including the Make-A-Wish kids and their families – inside STAPLES Center at SummerSlam. In the intimate setting, Sheamus, Mark Henry, Sin Cara and “High School Musical” star Corbin Bleu sat and chatted with the five WWE fans over hamburgers, Cokes, and a little bit of WWE trivia.
“The Make-A-Wish program is very important to me,” Sheamus explained to WWECommunity.com. “What we do in the ring is fun and all, but when we get a chance to give hope to these kids that are trying to overcome huge obstacles in their life, it’s awesome.”
The smiles started as soon as the Superstars walked toward the families’ dinner tables. Mark Henry made an immediate impact by snacking on a few fries from the plate of Mia Leon, much to her delight.
“I’ve been a WWE fan since I was 10 years old,” the 18-year-old, who goes by “Punkie,” told WWECommunity.com. “I remember my brother changing the channel to seeing John Cena run down to the ring and attack someone. That was so awesome. And it just went from there.”
Henry told WWECommunity.com that as a Superstar, it’s important to give back. “I’d rather do something to make them as happy as I can.”
When Sheamus sat down next to 17-year-old Aldo Vera, the Orange County, Calif., native and member of Make-A-Wish’s Inland Empire chapter pulled out an action figure of The Celtic Warrior for him to sign.
“That was a total coincidence that I had a Sheamus action figure with me,” Aldo told WWECommunity.com.
“I wasn’t aware he didn’t know I was going to be here. That’s incredible,” Sheamus said.
Ryan Burroughs, a 6-year-old who came to the LA area from his home in Rhode Island, was tremendously enthusiastic.
“My wish was to go to SummerSlam,” the youngster told WWEComunity.com. “My favorite was Sheamus. I got to hold his belt. It was heavy but I could pick it up.”
“Ryan knew all the facts, moves and matches of WWE,” Sheamus recalled. “He even reminded me about a Last Man Standing Match against Big Show in 2012.”
“Mark Henry told me how to train for football,” Ryan said. “Because I’m going to be a football player and a wrestler when I grow up.”
“I told him, ‘Go for it,’” Henry said. “I look forward to seeing him try.”
Make-A-Wish events are extra special for Sin Cara, who is a father.
“Any time you can help kids out besides watching us wrestle is very important to me, especially because I’m a dad,” the masked Superstar said. “When something hurts and you don’t have the power to fix it, it’s really hard. I can’t imagine what those parents go through. To give these kids a little bit of hope is very important to me.”
Sheamus summarized the evening in a poignant statement.
“It’s very hard to put into words exactly how humbling this is. It’s great that we can brighten their day, because they brighten ours. Lots of hugs, lots of love.”