To say that Hideo Itami has been snakebit during his time in NXT is a definite understatement. He was set for a No. 1 contender match in 2015 when he went down with a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for over a year. When he finally made his return to feud with Austin Aries, he suffered a neck injury at a live event a short time later.
The clouds may finally be lifting for Itami, however. He has now officially been cleared to return to action, according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
This next bit is a huge bummer, but I had to research it, so now you all get to be sad, too. Strength in numbers! Itami officially signed his WWE contract in June of 2014, and made his in-ring debut on September 11, 2014. That means he’s been with WWE for 30 months, and has been a WWE wrestler for 28 months.
Only 11 of those months have been spent as an active, non-injured competitor. If you think that’s a massive drag for us as wrestling fans, just imagine how Itami feels. There’s a reason he was so white-hot pissed and motivated when he returned last summer. If this trend of having a fire lit under him due to professional and physical frustration, pray for the faces and chests of everyone else in NXT.
Hopefully, Itami will be back on NXT and back in storylines beginning at the next set of tapings, the week after NXT TakeOver: San Antonio. His erstwhile enemy, Austin Aries, is also injured at the moment, but I’m sure there is no shortage of people for him to be pissed off towards.
Get excited, because NXT is about to get kicked up a notch.