ORLANDO, Fla. — WWE and Make-A-Wish celebrated Circle of Champions honorees during a special luncheon at Universal Orlando Resort Saturday, bringing smiles to the faces of 44 wish kids who are in town to experience WrestleMania Week.
The honorees were all inducted into WWE's Circle of Champions, receiving personalized certificates from surprise guest and 16-time World Champion John Cena. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer welcomed the group at the start of the ceremony, and WWE Superstars Finn Bálor, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and JoJo were also on hand to meet the children and pose for photos.
“You’re all WWE fans, so you know how exclusive and elite it is to be champion,” Cena told the children and their families. “But this Circle of Champions is the most esteemed honor that WWE has, and today, those people who come into our Circle of Champions are officially the most exclusive and elite members of the WWE family. I am so, so proud to be here today.”
The Circle of Champions grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses who want to meet their favorite WWE Superstars. The party included children from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium. Dreams Come True, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity joined forces with Make-A-Wish to fulfill the honorees’ WrestleMania wishes.
“It’s my dream week,” said David, a 15-year wish kid from Belgium. “I’ve got everything I’ve wanted. I met my favorite Superstars. I’m extremely happy.”
The WrestleMania Circle of Champions party is a tradition dating back to 2008. The inaugural event, which coincided with WrestleMania XXIV, was also held at Universal Studios. This year’s luncheon was hosted by Antojitos Authentic Mexican Restaurant.
Following the reception, the children and their families had the opportunity to explore Universal Studios and enjoy the park’s rides and attractions. The exciting week crescendos tomorrow when the group gets to experience WrestleMania 33 live from Florida’s Orlando Citrus Bowl.
As thrilled as the children were to meet the Superstars, their enthusiasm couldn’t hold a candle to Becky Lynch’s.
“We go in the ring and we try to be people’s heroes, but these kids are real heroes, and it’s amazing to meet them,” she said. “They’re so excited to come to WrestleMania, which is what we work for all year, and their excitement makes me even more excited. I am just so honored to be here, and it’s my pleasure and my privilege to meet these people.”
Since 1982, WWE Superstars have conducted more than 6,000 meet-and-greet sessions with sick children throughout the world.
For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit wish.org.