The past few weeks have seen a myriad of talents indicate they want out of WWE, with reports claiming Mike Kanellis, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder have asked for their releases, and Dolph Ziggler and Maria Kanellis’ futures are in question.
On Tuesday of this week we reported that Dean Ambrose informed WWE management he would not be re-signing with the company when his contract expires in April, and WWE confirmed the news with a statement issued on the official company website noting Ambrose is indeed leaving the company at the end of his deal.
On the heels of the above talent reports, both PWInsider and Fightful are reporting WWE 205 Live star Hideo Itami has also asked for his release from the company, due to creative frustrations, and finished up with WWE on this week’s episode of 205 Live, during which he lost a singles match to Akira Tozawa.
Earlier in the week Itami changed his Twitter handle to KENTA, the ring name under which he wrestled before signing with WWE, and the name he will likely go back to using after he leaves WWE.
The PWInsider report furthers Itami said his goodbyes to the WWE locker room following 205 Live on Tuesday, and it is expected that Itami will be returning to his native Japan. His contract does carry a 90 day no-compete clause, meaning he will not be able to appear for another televised wrestling promotion for a period of 90 days following his exit from WWE.
Hideo Itami signed with WWE and the NXT brand back in 2014, and his signing was touted as a major deal by the company, with Hulk Hogan even participating in Itami’s welcome ceremony.
Itami’s career in both NXT and WWE has been marred with injuries, however, and his transition to the main roster was not met with as much fanfare as his NXT signing. Back in 2017, the former Pro Wrestling NOAH Champion debuted on 205 Live, but has been unable to gain much momentum on the Cruiserweight brand. Most recently, Itami took the pinfall loss to Buddy Murphy in a Cruiserweight Title Fatal Four Way match at the Royal Rumble PPV.
The coming months will be interesting for WWE, as the landscape in the company is shifting rapidly, with talents mentioned above either confirmed or rumored to be leaving the company, and new faces such as Abyss, Trevor Lee, Sonjay Dutt and KUSHIDA having signed deals with WWE.