wrestling / News

Lars Sullivan’s Anxiety Said To Be Related To Past Controversial Remarks, Details On Which Sponsor Was Upset

May 16, 2019 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Lars Sullivan RAW 4-8-19

It was reported way back in January that Lars Sullivan was pulled from his then-expected RAW debut due to issues he had with anxiety, which at the time was believed to be stage fright and issues with performing in front of a crowd. In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was reported that the reason Sullivan had anxiety was because of the controversial remarks he made before he was signed to WWE. At that time, Sullivan made comments mocking those with mental health, as well as racist and homophobic comments. The anxiety he suffered at the beginning of the year was reportedly over concern that the comments would resurface again once he became more famous. He was worried about the repercussions on the WWE, himself and those close to him.

WWE allowed him to go home before he was set to shoot an angle with John Cena on the January 14 episode of RAW, as they were planned to have a match at Wrestlemania (that Sullivan would win). WWE felt that Sullivan was “money” and learned from the situation with Mauro Ranallo’s depression and anxiety issues, so they “bent over backwards” for Sullivan. They told him to take all the time he needed and that they were behind him.

Meanwhile, it was previously reported that WWE took action and fined Sullivan $100,000 partially because of the backlash, including a sponsor that was upset. The Observer notes that sponsor was Mars Wrigley Confectionery, although it could have been more. At least one fan, possibly more, contacted the company and was sent a letter that read: “Thank you for reaching out to Mars Wrigley Confectionery with your comments. We learned of Lars Sullivan’s comments recently and share in your shock and disgust. As a values-based company, we find his behavior abhorrent and unacceptable. We have engaged the WWE to discuss this situation and seek to understand what actions they will take to swiftly address this matter. We hope this information is helpful and wish you a great day!

As we noted, WWE felt they had no choice but to punish Sullivan severely so they could keep him on the roster. It’s believed that while WWE may still push him as a major star at this point, they may not give him a major title due to how it would look.

As for whether or not WWE has the contractual right to punish someone for something they did before signing with the company, they technically do.

There is a clause in the standard WWE contract which reads: “Wrestler shall act at all times with due regard to public morals and conventions during the term of this agreement. If wrestler shall have committed or shall commit any act or do anything that is or shall be an offense or violation involving moral turpitude under federal, state or local laws, or which brings wrestler into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or which insults or offends the community or any employee, agent or affiliate of promoter or which injures wrestlers’ reputation in promoter’s sole judgment, or diminishes the value of wrestler’s professional wrestling services to the public or promoter, then at the time of any such act, or any time after promoter learns of any such act, promoter shall have the right to fine wrestler in an amount to be determined by promoter; and promoter shall have the right to immediately suspend wrestler and/or terminate this agreement pursuant to Section 12.

article topics :

Lars Sullivan, Joseph Lee