The Likely Reason Why Lars Sullivan Joined SmackDown LIVE Instead Of Raw

Lars Sullivan

Immediately following Carmella’s loss to Charlotte Flair on SmackDown LIVE, R-Truth tended to “The Princess of Staten Island,” but Lars Sullivan hit the scene and stalked to the ring. Likely sensing that Lars was there for a fight, Truth got right in the face of “The Freak” and the two Superstars began trading haymakers. The monstrous Sullivan soon got the upper hand and dropped Truth with the Freak Accident.

Sullivan then turned his attention to the downed Carmella, but she slowly slipped out of the squared circle unscathed as Sullivan once again leveled Truth with a running sit-out powerbomb.

Sullivan’s appearance came off as surprising, if not confusing since he appeared on Raw during the first night of the Superstar Shake-up. Sullivan showed up shortly after Rey Mysterio interrupted Elias’ Superstar Shake-up performance as a new member of the Raw roster. Sullivan attacked Mysterio, putting him down with a running gut-wrench sit-out powerbomb.

The caption for the above video states, “The freakish Lars Sullivan officially joins the Raw roster, making a statement against fellow Team Red newcomer Rey Mysterio.” also had Sullivan designated as a member of Raw.

With Sullivan showing up on SmackDown LIVE after appearing on Raw the night before, this comes off as WWE making a late decision on his designated brand. However, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that the WWE creative team planned on having Sullivan appear on both nights of the Superstar Shake-up. Sullivan’s appearance on Raw was likely done to give him more exposure and further cast him as a dominant force in WWE.

As for why Sullivan joined SmackDown LIVE instead of Raw, Meltzer speculates that it was done to keep him on a separate brand from Braun Strowman since they have similar gimmicks.

When WWE made the decision for Sullivan to join the main roster last fall, their top idea for him was a feud with Strowman that would culminate with a match at WrestleMania 35. Strowman, however, sustained an elbow injury in November, leading WWE to change course on their plans for Sullivan.