Notable Ring Names: KENTA, Hideo Itami From: Sōka, Saitama, Japan Born: March 12th, 1981 Currently Works For: WWE 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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NXT superstar Hideo Itami competed against Tyler Breeze in a one-on-one bout Friday night at an NXT Live Event in San Jose, California. To the surprise of many, Itami finally nailed the “Go To Sleep” finisher on Breeze, a move made famous by CM Punk during his run with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Itami is the originator of the move while wrestling overseas in Japan. Punk brought it over to North America and turned it into one of the more infamous finishers in the company. He had teased using the maneuver before during “NXT: Takeover” specials, but had never actually performed it fully.
Itami had this to say on Twitter following the show:
STAMFORD, Conn. – WWE today announced it has signed Kenta, one of Japan’s biggest stars, to its NXT division. The announcement took place during a signing ceremony at a WWE Live Event in Osaka, Japan with WWE icon and Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan presiding.
Kenta’s intense and straightforward in-ring style has led to his success in Japan, as well as during visits to the U.S. He is expected to reach new heights of global success with WWE.
“Kenta is an incredible performer who brings the crowd to its feet when he steps into the ring,” said Paul Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent, Creative and Live Events, WWE. “WWE’s signing of Kenta reflects our continued dedication to creating a diverse roster that appeals to our global fan base.”
“I am humbled to join WWE’s NXT division and look forward to honing my craft with the global leader in sports-entertainment,” said Kenta.
Kenta will relocate to Orlando, Florida, where he will train at WWE’s state-of-the-art Performance Center to enhance his talents both athletically and creatively.