NXT TakeOver: Chicago II did not go as planned for Lars Sullivan. Instead of leaving Chicago with the NXT Championship, the Rocky Mountain monster left the Windy City with a broken jaw.
After Aleister Black addressed his bitter fight with Sullivan on the June 27 episode of NXT, play-by-play man Mauro Ranallo revealed that Lars fought more than half the match with a broken jaw.
This X-ray photo of Sullivan’s fractured jaw was then shown.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) June 28, 2018
The injury came when Sullivan attempted a diving headbutt from the top rope. Black quickly got his left knee up, striking the big man in the jaw. Sullivan immediately held his jaw in pain as the referee checked on him, but he kept going.
Black caused further damage to Sullivan’s jaw by nailing him with a running single leg high knee strike. Sullivan appeared startled by the attack and blood began to pour out of his mouth moments later. A bloody-mouthed Lars tried shaking it off, but Black struck him with two devastating Black Masses to hand “The Freak” his first pinfall loss on NXT television.
This is all just a storyline, according to John Pollock of POST Wrestling.
“They are keeping him off the live events to match the story they are telling on television, but we were told by one person with knowledge of the situation that he is completely fine,” Pollock wrote.
Dave Meltzer corroborated the report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter published today.
“Another correction is the Lars Sullivan broken jaw that was reported is actually storyline,” Meltzer wrote.
“My guess is that they wanted to tell the story that he was so tough he broke his jaw early in the match with Aleister Black, kept going, and that’s an excuse for losing to protect the mystique since it was his first loss since they started pushing him. They are keeping him off shows for a while to sell the injury as legit.”
Sullivan did not appear at the latest set of NXT television tapings and there is no word if he’ll appear at the next event, which is scheduled for this Wednesday at Full Sail Live in Winter Park, Florida. If he does not appear, he likely won’t return to television until after NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, which takes place on August 18.