There's speculation that the spot Rowan currently occupies alongside Daniel Bryan was originally meant to be for Lars Sullivan.
This time last year, since Daniel Bryan was still retired, we would have been jumping for joy at the suggestion of a Bryan versus AJ Styles WWE Title match. 12 months later and the rivalry between the two is kind of played out. We have seen them clash a number of times now which is likely why the crowd wasn't exactly hyped for their match at Royal Rumble.
The ending to the match certainly didn't help either. With the two technicians battling it out for the grandest prize in pro wrestling, Rowan slowly made his way to the ring. No explanation as to why, but we could tell by the way he was dressed that he'd be siding with Bryan. That turned out to be the case, and he is now the WWE Champion's sidekick.
It all seems a little random and hasn't really been explained, aside from the two apparently having shared interests. Wade Keller may have shed some light on why this pairing has manifested on The Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast. "I think Lars Sullivan was slated for this spot. I mean it just totally would fit Lars’ character and how he was portrayed in NXT," Keller said on the podcast this week.
Sullivan is currently the only one of six recent NXT call-ups to not appear on Raw or SmackDown Live yet. That is reportedly due to the behemoth suffering an anxiety attack and being sent home from Raw a few weeks ago. One rumor suggested that WWE had reserved a spot opposite John Cena at WrestleMania 35 for Sullivan. However, the slot Rowan is now occupying alongside Bryan would have made a lot of sense had Sullivan taken up the mantle.
When it comes to what's next for Sullivan, that is really anyone's guess. While it has been hinted that WWE is sympathetic to the issues he is suffering, his spot will not stay open forever. The brutal truth is that if he were not such a big guy, Vince McMahon would have probably already forgotten about him. If the rumors are true though, he may have already lost chances at working with Cena and Bryan from day one.