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From the WWE Rumor Mill: Hideo Itami done with WWE?

Gary Cassidy
07 Feb 2018, 20:01 IST

Itami had a one-off appearance on RAW before debuting on 205 Live

What's the story?

Well, it's the story that seemingly won't go away.

In November, Dave Meltzer reported that Hideo Itami may want to return to Japan after his WWE contract expires and we hinted that his run in 205 Live may be a very short one.

Well, after losing to Roderick Strong in his first round match of the 205 Live Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Itami took to social media to throw petrol on the ever-burning rumour that he may be on his way out.

In case you didn't know...

Before coming to the WWE in 2014, Hideo Itami was a hugely successful wrestler in Japan under the name KENTA. He won several titles for Pro Wrestling Noah, including their GHC Heavyweight Championship once and their GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship three times.

After some serious injuries hindered his progress, things were looking up for Itami when he recently debuted on RAW to team with Finn Balor before his stint in 205 Live.

The heart of the matter

Well, the former NXT Superstar took to Twitter shortly after his defeat to 205 Live debutant in round one of the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament last night to say, "It's over" - and that, sadly, seems like a different type of "over" to the one that Finn Balor commonly refers to.

You can see how the match went down here.


What's next?

While Itami's loss to Roderick Strong doesn't mean the end per se, it does mean no 205 Live appearances for a while as the new format of the show sees two round one matches each week, which will most likely stay as the format as the tournament progresses.

Itami had been hyped as a "205 Live Superstar" so it looks like any appearances on NXT may be unlikely at this stage too.

If last night was his last match, what a way to go out. The match was an instant classic and there are worse people to put over than Roderick Strong!

We'll keep you updated.

Author's take

Well, this is a sad story all around if true. Hideo Itami came to WWE with all the promise in the world and had a very hot start in NXT - but one that was short-lived thanks to injury, and he has never truly regained that momentum.

His striking ability is incredible and the match against Strong was pretty phenomenal, as have most of his matches been.

The injuries may have put WWE off from ever going all-in with Itami, and you never know what the Superstar feels, so a return to Japan may be just what's needed for the man formerly known as KENTA, and he'll no doubt return as a huge star.

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