Last March, Hideo Itami won a tournament to represent NXT on the card at WrestleMania 31. He was eliminated from the Ande the Giant battle royal on the pre-show, but it was a dream come true for the 34 year old Japanese wrestler.
He seemed on the verge of a major push in the WWE's feeder promotion. In fact, he was scheduled for a #1 contenders Triple Threat at NXT's next live event, TakeOver: Unstoppable. But it was revealed he had a shoulder injury which would require surgery, and he was written out of storylines with a kayfabe injury.
Since his surgery late last Spring, there's been little news about a return. Initially, NXT occasionally put him on screen - such as in a crowd shot at Beast in the East - but lately, they've been very quiet about the puroresu star.
According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required but recommended) that's because he's nowhere near being fit to return. Itami's experienced complications for his surgery during rehabilitation. There are no details on what those complications are in the Observer report, but they're apparently serious enough that WWE has no timetable for a comeback at this point.
Since his injury. Sami Zayn underwent a similar surgery and is already back in the ring. NXT made another Japanese star in Asuka and yesterday announced the signing of Shinsuke Nakamura. They'll undoubtedly make room for as gifted a performer as the former KENTA should he find his way back, but the landscape has certainly changed in his absence.
We wish him the best in his comeback efforts, and will let you know if we hear any new information.