Notable Ring Names: KENTA, Hideo Itami From: Sōka, Saitama, Japan Born: March 12th, 1981 Currently Works For: WWE (In NXT) Mini Bio: One of the most decorated Superstars in the glorious history of Japanese sports-entertainment has found his new home in NXT. The athlete formerly known as KENTA stole headlines when he signed with WWE in summer 2014, an announcement that carried such gravity that WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan traveled to Japan to oversee the ceremonial contract signing. A former four-time tag team champion, three-time junior heavyweight champion and former heavyweight champion in his native land, KENTA debuted at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, where he revealed his new ring name, Hideo Itami. Full Bio:View here Stats & Accomplishments:View here
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Hideo Itami is back on the scene in NXT! During an NXT Live Event in Orlando last night, Hideo Itami shocked the NXT Universe when he returned to the black-and-yellow brand. Itami, who had been out of action since October with a neck injury, returned with only one man in his sights: Riddick Moss.
Moss, who took credit for injuring Itami, had been boasting about it all week on social media.
Hideo Itami has suffered an injury and will not be able to compete in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, WWE.com has learned.
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Itami. The NXT Universe was looking forward to seeing him join forces with Kota Ibushi in the Classic, with some on social media declaring them favorites to win the whole tournament. With Itami ruled out of action, Ibushi’s new partner is not yet known.
In an exclusive interview with WWE.com, Itami admitted that he is unsure if he will be able to compete at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, but he vowed to be at NXT’s first Live Event in his home country of Japan on Dec. 3 in Osaka.
Stick with WWE.com for more on this story as it develops.
We wish Hideo Itami the best in what will hopefully be a speedy recovery.
Last week, while taking part in a Twitch live stream with 2K for WWE 2K16, NXT Champion Finn Bálor provided a small update on Hideo’s progress as he continues to battle back from a shoulder injury that he had suffered back in May.
How’s Hideo’s [shoulder] coming along?
Bálor: It’s coming along great, he’s making great progress. So hopefully in the next few months he’ll be back to full strength.
You can hear what he has to say about Hideo around the 38 minute mark on the video below. Huge thank you to Jennifer for passing this on.