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Thread: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

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    Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?



    Quote Originally Posted by f4wonline
    Hideo Itami may be out of the WWE.

    Both Fightful and PWInsider reported tonight that Hideo Itami asked for and was granted a release from WWE this week following tonight’s SmackDown tapings in Phoenix, Arizona. Fightful reported that the talk backstage was that Itami was unhappy with his creative direction. He will be under a 90-day no compete clause.

    Itami was featured in the main event of tonight’s episode of 205 Live, where
    Spoiler:

    he lost to Akira Tozawa. Ariya Daivari, who he has been associated with on television then turned on him, laying him out with a clothesline.


    After the tapings, he posted on Twitter "THANK YOU". He had recently changed his name from Hideo Itami back to KENTA.

    Itami, who was one of Pro Wrestling NOAH's biggest stars, signed with WWE in 2014 and was a part of NXT for several years. Most of that time was spent dealing with injuries: a shoulder injury that kept him out for over a year, then a neck injury that kept him out for another six months..

    He was called up to 205 Live in December of 2017, where he feuded with various members of the roster. He was a part of the cruiserweight title match at the Royal Rumble this past weekend where he took the pinfall for Buddy Murphy, who retained the title.
    Source - F4WOnline: https://www.f4wonline.com/wwe-news/h...hes-wwe-275771
    Source - PWInsider: https://pwinsider.com/article/123694/international-star-done-with-wwe.html?p=1

    I'll post some thoughts about this in a mo but on the heels of Dean turning in his notice Hideo's apparently been granted his release too. =(


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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Injuries really did slow down his momentum like I thought Batista had when his stock was so high when he became World Champion. Batista turned it around though, Itami never did that and was just there as a talent I felt and to me WWE really didn't know how to book him at all. Itami's 205 Live stuff overall was good, but I felt they truly did drop the ball with a badass like him. Well with this tour ending KENTA is coming back to us to GTS and Kick people to death.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Great news for him, he needs to go back to being allowed to be what made him great in the first place.
    I have a plan so cunning......

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Just in time for BOSJ!


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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    It’s a shame but he didn’t have a great WWE career at all. Injuries and then the signing of Nakamura really killed his stock and he just never really recovered. Good luck to the guy


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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Quote Originally Posted by CGS View Post
    It’s a shame but he didn’t have a great WWE career at all. Injuries and then the signing of Nakamura really killed his stock and he just never really recovered. Good luck to the guy
    Yeah agreed. His injuries came at the worst time and once WWE got Nakamura they gave up on Itami I think.

    He has some really good matches on NXT and 205 live to his name but ultimately his run will always be seen as a bit of a disappointment.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Why do I have a feeling if someone asks for a release eventually they will get them but with a clause they can't go to another televised company within the contract ending. I think that happened to British Bulldog back in the day.

    They made him or WCW pay a buyout.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Quote Originally Posted by CGS View Post
    It’s a shame but he didn’t have a great WWE career at all. Injuries and then the signing of Nakamura really killed his stock and he just never really recovered. Good luck to the guy
    I'm not too convinced that Nak had anything to do with Itami's WWE woes. His first major injury happened prior to Nakamura signing with the WWE. His second major injury happened just a few matches back from the first injury, which is when Nakamura was signed to NXT. By time Itami was returning from his second major injury, Nakamura was already being promoted to Smackdown. After being back for a few months, Itami goes out with yet another injury, but when he comes back, he's promoted to Raw/205 Live, away from Nakamura. Altogether, I think Itami and Nak were in direct competition on the same brand for just a month or two. If anything else other than injuries hurt Itami's WWE run, it's just the fact that NXT was all about signing any notable indie name they could get their hands on resulting in the WWE never needing to be too concerned about pushing Itami at all costs when every couple of months, there's a new major signing.

    Itami had really, really shit luck, but I don't know if Nak had anything to do with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Necro View Post
    Why do I have a feeling if someone asks for a release eventually they will get them but with a clause they can't go to another televised company within the contract ending. I think that happened to British Bulldog back in the day.

    They made him or WCW pay a buyout.
    It's pretty standard stuff, including when the WWE fires someone (Unless the talent chooses to waive the 90 day non-complete clause, which also means not receiving WWE pay for those 90 days).

    The only notable time this didn't work was when Brock left the WWE in 2004 and the WWE tried to keep him from working anything fighting related until his WWE contract expired, which was close to ten years. It went to court and Brock won his freedom.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    KENTA and WWE always sounded like an odd fit anyway. Pretty much only gutted we never got Hideo/AJ.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Quote Originally Posted by RainShaker View Post
    Just in time for BOSJ!
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    It's the first injury that really killed Itami, people forget the focus he had at WM31 getting in the Andre battle royal and having that 20 minute documentary done on him. He was getting more attention on him in early 2015 than Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn or Finn Balor were having. He legit was going to win the NXT title instead of Finn Balor, that's why they went to Japan that summer. I agree with Jim that the Nakamura signing didn't change much, when Itami came back the first time he was being built up for a Takeover level feud with Austin Aries and teaming with Kota Ibushi in the Dusty Classic until he gets injured again before they had a match together which sucked because you know that would of been an act that goes far. I also think he might of been in consideration to be in the Crusierweight Classic but his recovery was cutting it fine to be included. Even during his third run on NXT, they give him Takeover matches with Bobby Roode and Aleister Black, not to mention his very good TV stuff with Oney and Ohno. While he never won the title on 205 Live, I'd say he was in the upper half of guys on the roster that were somewhat protected and made out to be in and around the title hunt, and he had a bunch of matches that were very good. He had a sneaky good 2018, in fact his WWE run is actually underrated quality wise because everyone talks about him not achieving much, all the injuries, he's not KENTA anymore etc, but his batting average of having good matches is really strong. He just had a great match on Sunday at the Rumble!

    Hopefully he's going home to NOAH. I don't know if his body is up to it, but at least he'll look the part and be able to do his real finisher.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    I must say that I can't help be glad about this. Unfortunate that it didn't work out for him in WWE, especially after being given the superstar treatment from the off. He could've been a big star but injuries were a factor and they went with Nakamura when he was signed so he never got much of a chance after that. But when he did, he knocked it out of the park IMO. His match with Aleister Black and Bobby Roode were one of the few truly great NXT matches in a long while. He had a great match with Akira Tozawa and some awesome tags on 205 Live. At the end of the day, he had more great matches than people would think and he had got his money, had they been experienced and should have no regrets in his career. Plenty to rest his hat on even if he never became huge in WWE.

    There were big rumors that he wanted to come back to NOAH after the Marufuji match in September, saying he missed the company and wanted to return home, and hopefully he will be.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Interesting timing. Noah just got sold. Curious if there is any connection there.
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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Like Ambrose, not a surprising and if he's not happy and wants to return home then power to him. He's had unfortunate luck, which is a shame.

    Makes me wonder about whether they will move a few 205 Live guys about in the Shake-Up. If the feeling is no, then there's no real upward trajectory for those guys and he may be the first of a few 205 guys to go.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Not surprising. I'd be willing to bet that he wasn't particularly happy with having to rely on "RESPECT MEH" as his only dialogue for the past month or so.


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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    It’s a bummer we never got a one on one with Itami and Bryan, or even like Marketh mentioned Itami and Styles but if he isn’t happy then the best thing to do is leave. Like Ed mentioned he’s had some solid matches on 205 over the last year, and even his match with Tozawa last night was really good imo.


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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    Not surprising. I'd be willing to bet that he wasn't particularly happy with having to rely on "RESPECT MEH" as his only dialogue for the past month or so.
    Or change his finisher. I’d be a bit gutted that one of their biggest stars in recent years borrowed my move for their whole run and then when I turn up it gets banned for an accident.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy King View Post
    It’s a bummer we never got a one on one with Itami and Bryan, or even like Marketh mentioned Itami and Styles but if he isn’t happy then the best thing to do is leave. Like Ed mentioned he’s had some solid matches on 205 over the last year, and even his match with Tozawa last night was really good imo.

    Bryan vs Itami has happened before outside of WWE. And one of their matches is widely considered to be the best match in both mans careers.

    But yes Itami vs AJ would of been bonkers.
    Last edited by indyfan; 01-30-2019 at 01:49 PM.
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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
    Bryan vs Itami has happened before outside of WWE. And one of their matches is widely considered to be the best match in both mans careers.

    But yes Itami vs AJ would of been bonkers.
    I think Jimmy meant in a WWE ring.

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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    So sometimes the 205 Live guys post small 205 Life vignettes detailing the life and times of the cruiserweights, and today Jack Gallagher uploaded this... sort of closing piece about Hideo.

    https://twitter.com/GentlemanJackG/s...59469349507073

    I think one of the most telling things was when he was getting prepped for surgery and none of the doctors spoke Japanese, like the language barrier was so great that no-one could even reassure him on what they were going to do. And something so simple as missing authentic sushi was enough to get the idea that he felt like he didn't feel at home. Hideo will go down as one of the bigger 'what ifs' of WWE in recent years. What if he didn't get injured the first time, NXT in Japan was likely pencilled for him to win the strap. What if he didn't get injured the second time, that feud with Austin Aries teased a reveal of the parking lot injury that kept him out for a year+, etc, etc.

    At least he had some bangin' matches on 205 Live to close out his WWE chapter.


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    Re: Hideo Itami granted WWE Release?

    Great vid

    The stuff about having Ariya with him helping really stood out to me, because it shows just how important having people in that "manager" role could still be, especially with more and more international talent. Not just to help with the language barriers, but cultural ones too.

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