After the McMahon family shook things up on Raw last month with a game-changing announcement, the pieces started to fall into place when it was confirmed that six NXT standouts would be arriving to the Raw and SmackDown LIVE brands.
Among the fresh new faces are Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic), EC3, Lacey Evans, Nikki Cross, and the previously-announced Lars Sullivan.
Cross worked this past week’s SmackDown house show loop, whereas EC3 and Evans worked dark matches before Raw in Orlando, Florida. Heavy Machinery also got some ring time as they beat The Colons in a dark match after SmackDown LIVE went off the air in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sullivan was supposed to wrestle as well. According to John Pollock of POST Wrestling, EC3 replaced Sullivan in the dark match against Hawkins. Sullivan was then scheduled to wrestle a dark match at SmackDown LIVE, but that got canceled too. Pollock could not confirm why Sullivan didn’t wrestle at either show.
According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter published today, Sullivan is believed to have had an anxiety attack on Monday before his first-ever match as a member of the main roster.
“Sullivan, real name Dylan Miley, 30, was scheduled to debut on the main roster, probably in a dark match, on the 1/7 Raw in Orlando. He either didn’t show up at the arena, or did and left the building, believed to be due to an anxiety attack,” Meltzer wrote.
It would appear that Sullivan left the Amway Center before his scheduled debut since PWInsider.com reported that he was backstage — hence our Sullivan could debut on Raw report.
According to Meltzer, management spoke to Sullivan and their feeling was that “everything was fine.” However, he was supposed to work a dark match at the following night’s SmackDown LIVE event in Jacksonville, Florida and he didn’t show up at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The belief is that he flew back home to Colorado. Sullivan apparently moved back to Colorado last month as he posted an Instagram video of himself working out with the location set at Rocky Mountains, Colorado.
“The office, which is a lot more understanding of mental health issues due to its experience with Mauro Ranallo, talked with him and smoothed things out and everything was fine. He was then supposed to do a dark match at the 1/8 Smackdown tapings in Jacksonville. Not only did he not show up in Jacksonville, but he apparently flew back home to Colorado,” Meltzer wrote.
Meltzer adds, “Nothing else is known, whether they will change plans or how it will be handled.”
WWE continued to hype Sullivan’s debut this week on Raw and SmackDown LIVE with the same vignette that has been airing for weeks. WWE has yet to confirm a start date or brand for him or any of the other five.