He was the first big signing to debut on NXT when the brand moved to WWE Network and started its amazing 2014-15 run. But thanks to a shoulder injury, Hideo Itami's become a forgotten man.
We could all be getting a reminder soon. According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required but recommended... and, Happy Thursday!) the former KENTA is close to a return from the shoulder injury which required two surgeries and has kept the 35 year old out of action since last Spring.
The Japanese Superstar, who in addition to his headlining runs in Pro Wrestling NOAH, Ring of Honor (ROH) & NXT appeared at WrestleMania 31 in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, is expected back in the next few weeks. He's been out for more than a year, partially because there were complications from his initial shoulder surgery which prompted a second procedure.
Itami was written off with a parking lot attack angle to remove him from a planned Triple Threat against his friend Finn Bálor and his frequent rival Tyler Breeze at TakeOver: Unstoppable. The perpetrator was never identified.
That storyline is one potential angle which could be used to bring him back into NXT. There's also the upcoming tour of Japan, where there are numerous ways to set him up as a partner for or in a dream match against Shinsuke Nakamura.
Or he could be moved almost immediately to the main roster as part of the brand split.
Exciting times, and hopefully these rumors are true, as Hideo's a guy who could make them even more exciting.