Hideo Itami made his Raw debut, but instead of taking on some cruiserweights, he saved Finn Balor from a beatdown at the hands of the Miztourage.
WWE is doing all that it can to get people interested in 205 Live. It’s actually been an underlying theme of the company’s entire 2017. It began with the introduction of Neville to the division all the way back in January, and since then, we’ve seen the likes of Austin Aries, Kalisto, and current Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore added to the purple brand’s ranks. Not only that, but the 205 Live stars will be going on their very own tour in 2018.
Back to 205 Live roster additions though, and the next man being added to the brand will be Hideo Itami. The Japanese star’s cruiserweight debut has been being teased for a number of weeks now, and last Tuesday it was revealed that he would be making his long-awaited main roster debut on this week’s 205 Live. It turns out, we didn’t have to wait until Tuesday to see Itami though.
In fact, the debut came a day early and it took place in a non-cruiserweight segment no less. Finn Balor was suffering a beat down from Miztourage members Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel when Itami’s music hit and the Japanese star came sprinting to the ring. Michael Cole made sure to point out that he and Balor have a history from their time back in Japan, and on the back of that a tag match was booked, Balor and Itami versus Dallas and Axel.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) December 19, 2017
The reunited friend’s opponents on Monday will now be familiar with Itami’s hard-hitting style as he picked up the win for him and Balor. Those of you who aren’t fans of Japanese wrestling or NXT may not know too much about 205 Live‘s newest recruit, however. The in-ring veteran has been competing for over 15 years and signed for NXT back in the summer of 2014.
The acquisition of Itami by NXT was quite rightly seen as a very big deal. Unfortunately though, his stateside career has been somewhat derailed by injuries. The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a large scar on Itami’s shoulder, that’s the result of a surgery the former NXT star had while suffering from just one of the injuries that kept him sidelined for an extended period of time. Make no mistake though, Itami is a hard-hitting, strong style wrestler that is about to bring a new perspective to 205 Live.
Clearly, WWE is of the belief that not enough fans are watching 205 Live on a weekly basis. Itami’s addition is an attempt to change that and his appearance on Raw this Monday is a way of trying to lure in the casual viewer. If Itami caught the eye of anyone on Raw this week then Vince McMahon will be hoping that means they’ll tune in to see him again on Tuesday.
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