While it’s not quite a Jon Moxley tell all – at least, not that we can determine from Post Wrestling’s translated synopsis of his interview with Weekly Pro Wrestling magazine in Japan – but KENTA doesn’t have glowing things to say about his time in WWE. And especially not the last year and change he spent as a member of the 205 Live roster.
KENTA said he was excited when he was moved to the main roster cruiserweight show in November of 2017, “but then things started to ‘deteriorate’.” He struggled with his character, and “could never really figure out who Hideo Itami was due to his lack of in-ring activity”. A big issue was with WWE telling him what to do, and what not to do, during matches. The 38 year old “says he was ‘defanged’” on 205 Live and that “‘no good memories come to mind’” of his time on the purple brand.
His overall disappointment isn’t surprising. Seen as a huge signing back in 2014, his career as Itami was plagued with injuries. NXT’s boom mostly happened while he was on the sidelines, and aside from Ali, the cruiserweight division hasn’t improved anyone’s position in the company. KENTA’s run on 205 Live got there got off to a rocky start when Brian Kendrick was injured taking his finisher. There were rumors of heat over the incident, and he stopped using the GTS as a result – which certainly fits with his saying he was told what to do and what not to in the ring. He finished his time as a mostly upper mid-card gatekeeper, and was granted his release in February of this year.
Hopefully the “‘no good memories’” refers to professionally and not personally, because the farewell video Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari posted after his departure certainly made it seem like there a few bonds formed in the purple brand locker room.
Also in the interview, KENTA says he and his family will continue to live in the U.S. as he doesn’t want to uproot them again. He also talks about choosing New Japan, where he’ll compete in the G1 Climax tournament starting on July 6, because he still wants to achieve the international success he feels he failed to reach with WWE.
Looking forward to watch him try?