While injuries have unquestionably played a bigger role in Hideo Itami's WWE failings, the former KENTA has been greatly hindered by the way the company have presented him, particularly during his initial babyface run.
Itami made his name as a stiff, brutal, cold-blooded killer in Pro Wrestling NOAH. He was as mean as they come, throwing strikes with bone-breaking force, showing little remorse as he buzzed his way through the dwindling Japanese promotion. Sadly, the style that made him famous is completely at odds with WWE's safe, sanitised product, and he has suffered greatly.
Everything was stripped away from Hideo. Daniel Bryan robbed Itami of half his moveset, and CM Punk allusions initially prevented him from using the Go To Sleep. Bereft of his old signature moves, Itami was forced to tone down on the stiffness and filter his work through sports entertainment's glossy lens, much to his detriment.
WWE were never going to let him work like he did in Japan, but they must take the blame for completely neutering his character. Even today, as a heel, Itami resembles a man cosplaying his former self, and he still looks uncomfortable with his role in the company.
A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.