In a huge piece of news, it appears that WWE NXT has lost one of their top names today. It appears he will be gone for quite a long time as well. While it is not yet known how he got hurt, Japanese star Hideo Itami reportedly has a serious shoulder injury in a time that WWE cannot lose any more stars from NXT. It is speculated that Hideo might end up having surgery to repair the shoulder problem.
PWInsider.com reports that the current return time set for Hideo Itami is around 6 to 8 months.
This is a huge blow to the WWE Takeover PPV coming up later this month. We know that NXT star Sami Zayn also got hurt in his match with John Cena on WWE RAW this past week. It is said that he has a rotator cuff injury, which could keep him out of action for several months. The Zayn issue is not yet confirmed, as his MRI results have not been publicly released.
Many wrestlers were talking about Zayn’s injury at the WWE SmackDown taping this past week, but no one had any updates on the injury. He had been nursing a shoulder issue for the last number of months, so this could be a simple shoulder problem for Zayn. For now, we can speculate that he will not take part in the WWE Takeover: Unstoppable special later this month. However, most believe nothing will stop him from being in the match. We’ll have to see if WWE allows it though.
The idea discussed is that if Zayn can’t work, the winner of the #1 Contender’s match would step in after their match to face NXT Champion Kevin Owens later that night. That match was scheduled to include Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, and Tyler Breeze.
The winner of that match was believed to be Itami going in since we’ve already seen Balor/Owens and Breeze is a heel. So even the backup plan for the NXT Special is up in the air. If WWE only has Tyler Breeze and Finn Balor ready to work, most believe WWE would have Balor win and face Owens later on that night. Of course, Balor seems to be the guy winning regardless now. Whether or not he competes against Owens later in the night all depends on the Zayn injury.
With Alex Riley, Hideo Itami, and Sami Zayn(potentially) all down, NXT is in some trouble. Finn Balor was set to come up by June or at least the end of the summer. This may be put on hold due to a simple need for Balor. Many also speculate that Samoa Joe might be brought in earlier than anticipated so that he could help the NXT storylines going forward for the next number of months while other stars develop.
People such as Uhaa Nation are talented and could be built up enough to take on Owens. For now, however, it wouldn’t work. So someone like Samoa Joe coming in could certainly help a roster plagued with injury and need. Hideo Itami just came off his first WrestleMania appearance at WrestleMania 31. It was speculated that he would be on the main roster by the end of the year. Now we may not see him work in WWE NXT until that time.
[IMG Credit: wrestlingrumors.net, pl.wwe.com]