It has been reported by many websites that Hideo Itami asked for and was granted a release from WWE this week following the SmackDown tapings in Phoenix, Arizona. It was reported that the talk backstage was that Itami was unhappy with his creative direction. He will be under a 90-day no compete clause.
Itami was featured in the main event of this weeks episode of 205 Live, where he lost to Akira Tozawa. Ariya Daivari, who he has been associated with on television then turned on him, laying him out with a clothesline.
After the tapings, he posted on Twitter“THANK YOU”. He had recently changed his name from Hideo Itami back to KENTA.
Itami, who was one of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s biggest stars, signed with WWE in 2014 and was a part of NXT for several years. Most of that time was spent dealing with injuries: a shoulder injury that kept him out for over a year, then a neck injury that kept him out for another six months..
He was called up to 205 Live in December of 2017, where he feuded with various members of the roster. He was a part of the cruiserweight title match at the Royal Rumble this past weekend where he took the pinfall for Buddy Murphy, who retained the title.