After WWE confirmed the reports of Dean Ambrose leaving WWE, another news came late last night as it was revealed that Hideo Itami has been granted a release from his WWE contract. The news was reported from Sean Ross Sapp and Jeremy Lambert of Fightful.com. According to their story, Itami asked for his release this week and WWE obliged. His final show for WWE was taped on Tuesday, an edition of 205 Live, where he lost to Akira Tozawa.
Earlier on Tuesday, WWE confirmed the news of Dean Ambrose leaving WWE following the expiration of his contract at the end of April. This also follows news that The Revival and Mike Kanellis had also recently asked for their releases. The reasons for all of these decisions was reportedly creative frustrations, and Itami’s release request is also motivated by the same thing. But unlike others, Itami has been granted the release. He will have 90 days non compete clause that will apply the minute his release goes through.
Itami, who earlier in his career competed in Japan as KENTA, was part of a highly publicized class of recruits in 2014 that also included Finn Balor and Kevin Owens. Although, Itami’s career with WWE suffered due to unfortunate injuries that unfortunately never allowed him to sustain any momentum. Initially, he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for just over a year of action between 2015 and 2016, and Itami then suffered a neck injury in the fall of 2016 that kept him out of action until mid 2017. Itami had some limited success as part of the 205 Live brand this year.
On Sunday night at the Royal Rumble, he took part in the fatal four-way match for the Cruiserweight Championship against champion Buddy Murphy, Akira Tozawa, and Kalisto in a losing effort. He was pinned by Buddy Murphy who retained his championship on the night. Itami is now expected to go back to Japan and has already changed his Twitter Profile name to KENTA (same name that he used before signing with WWE).