Lars Sullivan is coming soon to the WWE main roster.
At the start of the second hour of the Survivor Series Kickoff on Sunday night, a vignette on Sullivan aired. It showed him destroying a number of people in NXT and ended with the words “Coming Soon.”
— WWE (@WWE) November 18, 2018
You can watch the vignette here, which aired again during the Survivor Series pay-per-view.
— WWE (@WWE) November 19, 2018
WWE aired the same vignette on Raw.
It appeared that Sullivan was headed to Raw, but WWE aired the vignette again the following night on SmackDown LIVE.
Bryan Alvarez indicated on Monday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Live (h/t RingsideNews.com) that the vignette aired earlier than WWE had originally planned. It was apparently supposed to premiere next month at WWE TLC, but Vince McMahon made a sudden decision to air it during Survivor Series.
“So apparently the Lars Sullivan video package that aired yesterday that aired on the main show, I guess they created that video package and I guess it was scheduled to air at the TLC show and I guess Vince saw it and said, ‘G*ddamn, get that on today!’ So there you go,” Alvarez said.
We also heard that it was McMahon’s directive to air the video package and therefore call up Sullivan to the main roster. This is apparently something McMahon just suddenly decided to do as very few people outside of WWE’s television production department were told about Sullivan coming up to the main roster.
It doesn’t appear that McMahon has firm plans in place for Sullivan other than to give him a big push upon his debut.
“There is no specific destination or major program formulated, but the plan is for him to get a super push. He is the Vince McMahon kind of guy,” Dave Meltzer stated in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE plans on pushing Sullivan like how they initially brought up Braun Strowman (when he joined Raw in 2016), with squash matches demonstrating his brute power and aggression before moving onto deeper storylines and feuds. This is pretty much what WWE did with Sullivan already in NXT.
“So there’s no destination for Lars Sullivan you know like, ‘Oh he’s gonna feud with Braun Strowman’ or he may or whatever. Very much like he’s not… the plan is that, and again, god only knows… but the plan is he’s getting a big-time push just like Braun Strowman did almost exactly because I bet you do they do the exact same thing because they’re very patterned right now which isn’t a good thing,” Meltzer said (h/t RingsideNews.com).
“But I’m betting that they do the exact same thing like they did with Braun Strowman years ago that they’ll do with Lars and try to you know but yeah, he’s Vince’s kinda guy.”
While he awaits his main roster debut, Sullivan is currently embroiled in a feud with Keith Lee. After squashing enhancement wrestler Keita Murray on last night’s episode of NXT, Sullivan continued to attack his opponent until Lee came out to make the save by knocking him out of the ring with the pounce.
Sullivan and Lee almost came to blows again later in the night in the locker room, prompting NXT General Manager William Regal to announce that the two giants will face off next Wednesday on WWE Network.
While Sullivan has yet to wrestle a match outside of NXT, a promotion to the main roster always seemed inevitable. He’s been tabbed by WWE officials, and Triple H in particular, as a future star since arriving at the WWE Performance Center in late 2014. At the time, Triple H directed coaches to give extra attention and that his progress be closely monitored.
“I was told he looks to be a long-term project, but one worth devoting time to just based on his look and verbal ability,” Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer wrote shortly after his in-ring debut in March 2015.
Sullivan has dealt with multiple injuries since joining the WWE Performance Center, which has kept halting the company’s plans for him. In 2016, WWE officials had tentative plans to promote him to the main roster in early 2017 even though he had only wrestled about 10 matches by that point. He suffered a knee injury during a drill at the WWE Performance Center in spring 2016, which kept him out of action until April 2017 (the injury is why he wears a huge knee brace). He made his NXT television debut that month under his real name, Dylan Miley, and WWE officials decided to keep him in NXT for him to gain some much-needed experience.
He got rebranded as Lars Sullivan in May 2017 and has remained a fixture at the top of the card ever since then. He’s feuded with the likes of Aleister Black and EC3. He was also a part of a Six-Man Ladder Match in April to determine the first-ever NXT North American Champion, which Adam Cole won. Although Sullivan has yet to win the NXT Championship, his character has been very protected. His one and only pinfall loss on television took place last June at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II. Sullivan unsuccessfully challenged Black for the NXT Championship after succumbing to two straight “Black Mass” kicks.
In another backstage note, Triple H gave him the name Lars Sullivan because it sounds Irish and since McMahon is Irish, he believed it would subconsciously endear McMahon to him when the time came for him to join the main roster.