Hideo Itami Reportedly Asked and Granted Release from WWE

Another WWE Superstar has reportedly asked for release, and this time it affects the 205 Live division.

A report from Mike Johnson over on PWInsider claims that Japanese star Hideo Itami has asked for his release from the WWE and his request is expected to be granted. However, WWE has yet to formally announce Itami's release.

We have reached out to WWE for comment and will update if more information is revealed.

Rumors of Itami's desire to leave WWE began after the wrestler changed his Twitter handle to KENTA, which was his character in Japan prior to coming to the U.S.. It's expected that Itami will return to Japan and wait out the 90-day no compete clause that is standard for WWE contracts.

On the January 29 episode of 205 Live, Itami squared off against Akira Tozawa and lost. After the match Ariya Daivari, who formed a union with Itami, turned on the Japanese star. The booking of Itami on this episode is consistent with the report on his departure.

hideo itami vs akira tozawa 205 live

Itami even tweeted out "thank you" on his Twitter account after the show finished.


— KENTA aka Lil’K (@KENTAG2S) January 30, 2019

Itami's time in WWE has been marred by missed opportunities and injuries. After signing with WWE in 2014 after an impressive run in the Japanese promotion Pro Wrestling NOAH, where he held every title, Itami was sent to NXT to develop his brand.

After matches and feuds with the likes of Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze, Itami was on his way in WWE's third brand. Itami would even participate in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31 in 2015, being eliminated by eventual winner, The Big Show.

In May 2015, Itami would suffer a shoulder injury that required surgery and kept him on the shelf for months. He would have complications during his recovery that would keep him off television for even longer than expected.

Itami would return to NXT in April 2017 where he would feud with then-NXT Champion Bobby Roode. Itami would stay in NXT until his call up to Monday Night RAW in November as part of the Cruiserweight division.

Itami's request for release is a concerning trend for WWE, and comes only hours after Dean Ambrose reportedly told the promotion that he would not re-sign with them after his contract expired in April. WWE later confirmed the reports.

What do you think of Itami's request to leave WWE? Where do you think he should go? Let us know in the comments section below.