Earlier this week, a rumor went around that WWE might be changing Lars Sullivan’s gimmick name to “The Freak.”
A sit-down interview with Corey Graves from the Oct. 30 SmackDown certainly seemed to be planting the seeds for that change. But that’s probably not the main thing people took away from the segment.
Instead, it’ll be what you see embedded below - Sullivan’s promo work about the pain being labeled a freak causes him, and the script he was given, which included a story about the pain he inflicted on some classmates who mocked him about his size & looks as a kid, that we remember.
He wrapped up with this mission statement, which Graves tried to sell as chilling instead of cringey.
.@LarsSWWE's plan for #SmackDown is simple: "Unleash a lifetime of pain and humiliation." pic.twitter.com/UDqQgKlJM2— WWE (@WWE) October 31, 2020
Sullivan’s one of several performers WWE’s pushing who are dogged by complicated real life issues*. He’s not the only one they think modifying his kayfabe name will help, either.
It probably doesn’t matter what you call him if his presentation is going to include stuff like this, though.
* Lars has been accused of past racist and recent sexually inappropriate behavior online. The company is said to be aware of both, but has deemed his actions redeemable in the first case, and not worthy of comment in the latter.