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Hideo Itami granted release by WWE

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As of last night’s taping in Phoenix, 205 Live’s Hideo Itami has finished up with WWE.

After a very public signing to much fanfare back in 2014 (Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart even flew to Japan to welcome the man known as KENTA to WWE) Itami’s career with the promotion turned out to be a disappointing one.

Itami’s five-year run ended last night after a match to Akira Tozawa on 205 Live (you can watch the highlight above).

Itami peaked early during his WWE career. The former NOAH standout entered the 2nd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal before being sidelined soon after due to a major shoulder injury that kept him on the shelf for just over a year.

Soon after his return, Itami would receive the biggest pop of his WWE career at TakeOver Brooklyn II where he’d debut his GTS finisher under the WWE banner (a move CM Punk would make famous stateside years after Itami “invented” it as KENTA) following plenty of well-timed teases.

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A neck injury would sideline Itami for another stretch until the spring of 2017 where he’d immediately begin a feud with Bobby Roode for the NXT title. A notable feud with Alesiter Black would soon follow before Itami was sent to 205 Live, where he’d join WWE’s new Cruiserweight division.

A request for release by Itami would be granted following his final match last night meaning that he will have to honor a no compete close for the next 90 days before working for another company.

Itami, who was reportedly very unhappy with the direction of his character during his stint with WWE, appears to be relieved after being granted his release as evidenced by the above tweet that was sent out shortly after this news broke.

Dave has been covering Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts for various websites since 2010. He currently runs both FightBooth and FightBoothPW with the help of some lovely and talented people.

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