In NXT, he had great matches with the likes of Finn Balor, Bobby Roode, Kassius Ohno, Aleister Black, and Tyler Breeze. However, as soon as it would look like he was gaining momentum, he would suffer an injury.
After suffering two major injuries, he would have one last major run in NXT before being called up to 205 Live. While it took a while for Itami to gain some momentum, he would soon gain his stride on 205 Live.
He had great matches with the likes of Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado, Roderick Strong, Mustafa Ali, Cedric Alexander, and Akira Tozawa. He would also challenge for the Cruiserweight Championship on two separate occasions.
Hideo Itami has now been granted his release and is no longer a part of WWE. His last match in the company was against his fellow countryman Akira Tozawa on an episode of 205 Live in a losing effort.
Hideo had a chance to be a true star in WWE and it is unfortunate that there are several dream matches that we will never be able to see. If WWE had moved him to Raw or SmackDown Live, we might have eventually been able to see one of these matches.
#5 Hideo Itami vs Kevin Owens
WWE was reportedly planning on having Hideo Itami dethroning Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship at the Beast in the East special back in 2015.
However, he suffered an injury (it was teased that Kevin Owens is the one who injured him). Unfortunately, by the time Hideo was cleared to return from injury, Owens was already on the main roster.
Therefore, we never got to see Hideo attempt to get revenge on Owens after he brutally attacked him. The two can definitely have a great match that would tell a great story.
There can be several innovative counters including a Pop Up Powerbomb into a Running Knee, a GTS 2.0 into a DDT, and a Roundhouse Kick into an Apron Powerbomb that would make this match great.