Hideo Itami Announced As Newest Member Of 205 Live

Have we found the identity of the next WWE Cruiserweight Champion?

WWE announced on this week's 205 Live that Hideo Itami will be making his debut soon.


The former NXT star made his debut in 2014, and came close to winning the NXT Championship - but his time in WWE's developmental brand was hindered by injury problems.

The 'Japanese Sensation' arrived in WWE with much hype, having drawn considerable critical acclaim over the course of his career. Formerly known as KENTA, the 36 year old made his debut in 2000. He wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling for a short time, before joining many of his peers in defecting to the newly-established Pro Wrestling Noah.

Itami stayed with Noah for 14 years - becoming one of the most popular and respected wrestlers in the world in the process - before signing a WWE contract. He also made several appearances in Ring of Honor, including a memorable rivalry with current SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan (then known as Bryan Danielson).

Over the first few months of his NXT career, Itami began to build momentum, but was sidelined for over a year with a shoulder injury sustained before TakeOver: Unstoppable. He returned in the summer of 2016, but again suffered an injury in October.

Itami was out of action until April 2017, before finally competing for the NXT Championship on a TakeOver show, taking on Bobby Roode in Chicago. He lost the match, the disappointment of which led to a heel turn for the final few months of his NXT career.

It's unclear whether Itami's 205 Live debut will be as a heel or babyface - especially given his popularity, and the fact that many are already speculating that he'll soon be inserted into a feud for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The title is, of course, held by a heel in the form of Enzo Amore.

No date has yet been confirmed for Itami's debut on the show.

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Jack King

Written by Jack King

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