SmackDown stars Big E and Lars Sullivan were the two betting favorites to win the Dual-Brand Battle Royal during last night’s WWE Survivor Series Kickoff show. However, neither star participated in the match.
According to Dave Meltzer on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Big E was possibly pulled from the battle royal as he “was saved” for the grand entrance made by The New Day during the main show. The New Day, who are now playable characters in the Gears 5 videogame, stepped out wearing custom Gears of War armor before their “Best of the Best” match against The Street Profits.
Meltzer noted that since both Big E and Sullivan are in line for big pushes, it made no sense for WWE to have them in the battle royal unless they were going to win. He said that with Big E “being groomed for a future championship match” and Sullivan set to be booked as “SmackDown’s version of Braun Strowman,” WWE wanted to protect both stars rather than having them participate in a battle royal that wasn’t even on the main card.
Big E was also rumored to be the fifth and final member of the Men’s Team SmackDown but that spot eventually went to Otis.
Meanwhile, Lars Sullivan has not been seen on WWE TV since his backstage interview on the November 6 episode of SmackDown. Meltzer said he was unaware as to why WWE has been keeping The Freak off their programming.