Lars Sullivan was set to make his WWE debut months ago, around the Royal Rumble, but it never happened. He even reportedly went missing for a few days before being found. The details behind Sullivan’s sudden non-debut are still sketchy. The 330-pounder from Colorado, at one point, was penciled in to face John Cena at WrestleMania 35, which took place Sunday night in New Jersey. That match didn’t happen, and Sullivan wasn’t on the show while Cena did a segment with Elias.
On Monday Night Raw this week from Brooklyn, the night after WrestleMania, Sullivan finally made his debut.
Kurt Angle was in the ring and was delivering what amounted to a retirement speech after his final match against Baron Corbin the night before. Sullivan hit the ring and aggressively chokeslammed Angle before hitting him with a diving headbutt.
It was an impactful way for Sullivan to make his debut. We’ll see where he goes from here. Angle isn’t wrestling anymore, so him getting attacked likely writes him off television for a while until WWE decides to bring him back on the show in an outside role that isn’t very physical. In other words, Sullivan vs. Angle is not a match we’re going to see … ever. And given the way Angle has looked leading up to WrestleMania, nor should we.
As for Sullivan, hopefully the WWE learned their lesson with Braun Strowman and decides to push Sullivan as another true monster. Sullivan can — and should — wrestle nothing but squash matches over the next several weeks. Then that can advance to 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 handicap matches before Sullivan finally goes up against someone with some star power.
That build worked for Strowman when he was a heel, and Sullivan can benefit from the same type of slow progressive storytelling. Strowman now works as a babyface so that “monster heel” slot is open on the roster. Maybe next year at this time, Strowman faces off against Sullivan at WrestleMania in a Monster vs. Monster match of some kind.
Most importantly, Sullivan looked the part of a monster.
The key will be keeping Sullivan a heel. Strowman became popular for his weekly butt kickings on TV. WWE will need to figure out a way to make Sullivan a monster and keep him a heel.