When WWE announced the dual brand Battle Royal for Survivor Series, two names that many considered as favorites never even ended up competing in the event. Big E, who was actually considered to occupy a spot on the main Smackdown men's team, and Lars Sullivan, both were noticeably absent without explanation despite being set up for major pushes.
On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, it was explained that the reason for not using them in a wrestling capacity at Survivor Series was exactly due to their ongoing pushes. Both wrestlers are being groomed for big pushes within the brand, with Big E likely headed for a title program sooner or later and Lars is being positioned as Smackdown's version of Braun Strowman. As a result, WWE writers wanted to protect them both as being in the Battle Royal or even the elimination match on the PPV would have meant an elimination in some fashion.