Hideo Itami has requested and been granted his release by WWE, according to reports by PWInsider.
Speculation has been rife regarding the future of the former NXT star following Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view as Itami took the pinfall in the Fatal 4-Way Cruiserweight Championship match and changed his Twitter profile name to KENTA, the name he used before signing with WWE, the following day.
Itami lost to Akira Tozawa on last night's 205 Live taping and was then allegedly granted his release, subsequently tweeting "Thank You."
Itami has had a frustrating WWE tenure after signing to great fanfare in July 2014. He joined NXT and even took part in the 2015 Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31. However, numerous issues have plagued him since then; from difficulties adapting to WWE's style, to a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for over a year.
Following his return to NXT he feuded with the likes of Kassius Ohno, Aleister Black and then-NXT Champion Bobby Roode before transitioning to 205 Live in November 2017 and becoming a featured competitor for WWE's Cruiserweight brand.
The debate as to where Itami will end up has already begun, with the 37-year-old being linked with the likes of Ring of Honor, New Japan, NOAH and of course the newly formed All Elite Wrestling. Regardless of where he ends up, he is a highly talented, well-respected individual with a great deal still to offer, and would be an asset for whoever he goes to following a disappointing WWE run.
We need more writers about
Hideo Itami! Get started below...