Lars Sullivan has undoubtedly been the most hyped of WWE‘s most recent batch of NXT call-ups.
An incident in which he missed a debut on last week’s Raw placed concerns on the status of Sullivan and his push, but PWInsider has confirmed that the self-proclaimed Freak is still under contract with WWE.
All six advertised NXT call-ups were scheduled to be present at last week’s Raw and SmackDown Live. However, it is reported that Lars Sullivan suffered an anxiety attack shortly before his debut in a dark match.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer confirmed that WWE officials took time to sit down with Sullivan and help him work through his issues after the January 7 show.
At that point he was booked for a dark match following SmackDown the next day. Unfortunately, Sullivan was not present at the show, having instead flown from Florida to his home in Colorado.
With Sullivan’s absence from last night’s Raw, which featured all the other scheduled call-ups, further questions have been raised about his status in the company. We do now know that Sullivan did not miss Monday’s program due to contract issues, and he is still an active member of the roster.
Thankfully, WWE have a well-developed precedent of taking mental health seriously.
In the wake of Mauro Ranallo’s struggles with bipolar disorder and Daniel Bryan’s decade-long struggles with depression and anxiety, a strong culture of openness to discussing mental issues has been present.
While every individual case of illness is unique, WWE’s strong track record concerning mental issues is reassuring. The company’s openness to working with him through his battle means that we could still see a debut at the Royal Rumble, with a “super push” to follow.
And surely, if he needs someone to reach out to, Lars has a number of fellow wrestlers in his corner who have fought the same battles.
The entire WrestleTalk team is hopeful and optimistic that Lars Sullivan will make a speedy and healthy return to the ring.