Itami at Japan

NXT: News On Hideo Itami, Tye Dillinger

NXT superstar Hideo Itami, who was injured last October 12, is supposedly cleared to compete, per Dave Meltzer, who tweeted about the subject.

This was in response to a fan who asked him about the matter.

“[Meltzer] do you have any info on Hideo Itami and when he will comeback?”

This is the second time Itami has been injured, and though he may be recovered, WWE may be hesitant to put him back into action.

The first time Itami was injured, he was scheduled to face Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze in a triple threat at Takeover: Unstoppable before suffering a shoulder injury that sidelined him for over a year. Balor and Breeze instead had a one-on-one match at Unstoppable, where Balor won and became the number one contender to Kevin Owens’ NXT Championship.

Itami returned June the following year at Takeover: Brooklyn II. After a match between Austin Aries and No Way Jose, the Japanese superstar arrived and performed a Go to Sleep on Aries, starting a program between them. Just two months later, though, Itami would be injured again at a live event after receiving a botched powerslam from Riddick Moss. He suffered a neck injury, and it is from this injury that Itami is currently recovering from. Itami was unable to compete alongside Kota Ibushi in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament. He returned to NXT at the December 3 show in Japan, but did not wrestle.

Itami walks on stage
Hideo Itami prepares for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. [Image by WWE]

Meanwhile, Meltzer says that Tye Dillinger is not to be called up anytime soon.

Dillinger made a one-off appearance at the 2017 Royal Rumble, lasting around five and a half minutes before being eliminated by Braun Strowman. Dillinger entered the match at number 10, which is a nod to to his “Perfect Ten” gimmick on NXT. Tye is not to be called up anytime soon, though, for reasons not many are sure of.

The main roster is currently lacking in midcard babyfaces, particularly Smackdown Live. Many believe Dillinger could easily be slotted into a program for the Intercontinental Championship. In fact, last year, then Intercontinental Champion The Miz got into a Twitter exchange with Dillinger, and many hoped and believed it would lead to Dillinger’s debut on Smackdown Live.

Dillinger stands ready. [Image by WWE]

Of course, this did not come to fruition, and Dillinger remains in the developmental brand. Despite not appearing at the most recent NXT tapings, Dillinger is still set to continue his program with Eric Young and his stable, SAnitY. Many, including Meltzer, believe that WWE views Dillinger as someone who is not meant for the main roster and is instead kept in developmental to help other wrestlers develop and be an anchor for the locker room. After all, Dillinger has spent 10 years in WWE’s developmental system. He even wrestled under WWE’s ECW reboot under the name Gavin Spears. He was released shortly after before resigning back with WWE in 2013. Dillinger even made an appearance in a backstage skit with Shawn Michaels and Triple H, where Michaels performed Sweet Chin Music on Dillinger, who was dressed as a backstage worker named Stan. This is where Shawn Michaels had his famous line.

“I just kicked Stan.”

Hopefully WWE does see worth in Dillinger, and maybe even call him up. The season after Wrestlemania is always a good time for people to debut. This is when former NXT superstars Apollo Crews, Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Simon Gotch, and Aiden English all debuted last year, all to varying degrees of success. If WWE is waiting for the right time to debut Dillinger, then they shouldn’t have long to wait.

[Featured Image by WWE]

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