Favourite Five

Five Opponents for Hideo Itami Post-WWE

With rumours of Hideo itami’s WWE departure, Daniel McIver gives us five potential opponents for the former KENTA on the independent circuit.

Breaking last week; it was rumoured that KENTA, formerly known within WWE as Hideo Itami, had successfully handed in his release and has left the company.

It then started speculation from within the wrestling community as to what the future is of the highly touted Japanese star. So, as a result, please find below five opponents I would love to see KENTA face going forward. The list is in a top 5 but they are in no exact order; I would be as happy to see the man who’s in number 5 face him as much as the man in one! Whilst it is incredibly likely he will go back to Pro Wrestling NOAH where he was incredibly successful; let’s pretend he’ll also be taking bookings elsewhere. Who would we like to see him face?

1. PAC

The man often touted, with the exception of Cody Rhodes, as the first to bet on himself and leave the hallowed turf that is World Wrestling Entertainment; PAC has went onto undoubted success since his last appearance in WWE. A current DragonGate champion and one of the first signed to new promotion, All Elite Wrestling- PAC has no ceiling on his future. Which is why it would be so fascinating to see the two clash. Both men left WWE after being placed in the Cruiserweight divisions which heralded fans to demand more for both wrestlers and they then left. The story would be incredibly easy to tell and it would be a fantastic bout for sure.

2. Zack Sabre Jr.

I don’t think I’ll have to do much justification for this but here we go anyway! Zack had one of his banner years in 2018 and was brought to the forefront of both New Japan and RevPro at the exact same time. His intricate limb work and submission style directly clashes, whilst simultaneously meshes well, with KENTA’s hard-hitting and stiff style. Zack can easily match up in the hard-hitting department so it would certainly make for a wince-inducing affair. Please let this happen!

3. Marty Scurll

I feel like Marty vs KENTA could be a really…weird image. Marty with his humorous but easily-transitions into serious style of character development would massively contrast with the seriousness and intensity of KENTA. The intricate limb-work, similar to Zack, that Marty employs would tell a simple story of Marty attempting to stop KENTA’s hard-hitting kicks and chops. Perhaps not a man that instantly jumps to mind for the former Itami but still; a definite possibility especially if he wishes to go back to ROH- a company where he helped cultivate his following of fans in matches against Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuiness.

4. Hiromu Takahashi

It’s often said that KENTA would shine in the main Japanese company he’s never set foot in- New Japan Pro Wrestling. The style and, now, worldwide audience the product has would easily appeal to the incredible Japanese talent and matches like this could be the final decider. Of course; we need to see what’s going to happen with Hiromu after his incredibly serious neck injury, which he is still out with and will be for the foreseeable future. But I feel like this matchup would be a great way to introduce KENTA to many who don’t know him/those who do but want to see him mix it up with a mainstay of the junior heavyweight division.

5. Hangman Page

One that may surprise many; we go back to All Elite Wrestling for the end of this list. Hangman is one of the fastest rising talents in wrestling today- having the best career year to date in 2018 and huge things look to be in store for the ex-teacher in 2019. And KENTA could help solidify that. If he wishes to travel to the States again, which in fairness isn’t hugely likely, Page will be ready and willing to face him. Adam Page has hinted that he will be going after the, soon to be minted, AEW Championship so the feud would instantly garner a large amount of attention. A clash of sizes and styles could help push both men to even higher standards.

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