Big E and Lars Sullivan were two of the big names from the SmackDown roster who surprisingly did not compete at the Survivor Series PPV this Sunday night.
Dave Meltzer talked about this on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio and he suggested that the New Day member was pulled from the dual-branded battle royal so he could possibly be saved for the grand entrance of the trio later in the show.
Another reason for not including Sullivan and Big E into the battle royal was that both the stars are in line for big pushes in future and it made no sense to include them into the bout unless they were winning.
Regarding their future, Meltzer noted that the former NXT champion is “being groomed for a future championship match” while Lars Sullivan is expected to be booked as “SmackDown’s version of Braun Strowman” in the coming times.
Big E was also rumored to be the final member of SmackDown’s Survivor Series team but the spot went to Otis. Since Raw went on to dominate the Blue Brand in that match, it’s possible that the company kept the former NXT star out of the bout to protect him.
E still made an appearance later in the show when the New Day made their entrance wearing their custom Gears of War armor after the trio became playable characters in the Gears 5 videogame.
However, Lars Sullivan, who hasn’t appeared on WWE programming since the November 6 episode of SmackDown, continued his hiatus and the reason for his absence remains unknown.