Hideo Itami Requests Release From WWE

Hideo Itami

Hideo Itami is the latest WWE wrestler to ask to be released.

Fightful.com reported last night that Itami requested his release from WWE this week. According to a report today by PWInsider.com, WWE has yet to grant Itami his release, but he will be receiving it. Once he receives it, he will be subject to the traditional 90-day non-compete clause. There’s no word yet on his future plans in wrestling, but he plans on returning home to Japan.

Itami said goodbye to everyone last night as it was his final scheduled night on the road with WWE. He wrestled on 205 Live, losing to Akira Tozawa in the main event. Ariya Daivari, who he has been associated with on television, then turned on him, laying him out with a clothesline.

There was speculation that Itami was on his way out of WWE after he changed his Twitter name to KENTA — his ring name in Japan — a few days ago.

After wrestling on 205 Live, Itami tweeted, “THANK YOU.”

It was also revealed on Tuesday that Dean Ambrose informed WWE management that he will be leaving following the expiration of his contract in April. The Revival, Mike and Maria Kanellis also recently asked for their releases, but got denied. The reasons for all of these decisions were reportedly creative frustrations, and Itami’s release request was motivated by the same rationale.

Itami, who was one of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s biggest stars, joined WWE in 2014 and was a part of NXT for several years. Despite coming in with much fanfare, Itami’s career with WWE got derailed by injuries that never allowed him to sustain any momentum. Itami suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for over a year (from May 2015 to June 2016) and then suffered a neck injury in October 2016 that kept him out of action until April 2017.

Itami joined 205 Live in November 2017 and had some success, but never captured the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. He competed in a Fatal 4-Way Match for the Cruiserweight Championship at the Royal Rumble on Sunday, where he took the pinfall from title holder Buddy Murphy.