Hideo Itami, American Alpha and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJune 1, 2016

Hideo Itami, American Alpha and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Two major questions headlined the week's WWE NXT news: When is Hideo Itami coming back to the ring, and when will American Alpha be bound for the main roster?

    Itami has been gone so long from the developmental brand (thanks to a shoulder injury) that two new NXT champions have been crowned and five TakeOver specials have passed in his absence. The latest word on his recovery is the first positive news on that front in a long while.

    As for American Alpha, WWE has reportedly been discussing a move to the main roster in the near future for the NXT tag team champs. That appears uncertain now, though, as the entire WWE landscape is set to change with the brand split.

    In other stories, WWE is opening its Performance Center to visitors, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn is on its way and Mojo Rawley traveled with the main roster on Monday night.

News on American Alpha's Potential Move to Main Roster

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    Over the past year, American Alpha has been one of NXT's hottest acts. The tag team titleholders were apparently set to take that act to a new stage.

    According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc), WWE had been planning on promoting Chad Gable and Jason Jordan to the main roster in the fall. That plan is suddenly no safe bet, however.

    With the brand split coming in January, one has to assume WWE will be rethinking much of what it had in mind before that decision was made.

    Finn Balor and others may be drafted to fill the Raw or SmackDown roster. If that happens, NXT is going to need to keep talents like American Alpha around longer than expected to make up for that loss. The tricky act of balancing star power between NXT and the main roster is about to get trickier.

    Plus, WWE is still working on introducing The Vaudevillains and Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady.

WWE Announces New All-Access Tour of Performance Center

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    For the second time, a small group of fans will get to experience NXT in an intimate way.

    WWE announced on its official website, "WWE is opening the doors to its state-of-the-art Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, on Monday, July 25, giving a limited number of WWE Universe members the chance to experience NXT like never before." The package will include a Q&A session with NXT coaches, autograph signings with NXT Superstars and more.

    The company offered a similar opportunity late last year. Clearly, that one went well enough for WWE to revisit the idea.

    This is simply smart business. Fans will be paying large sums of money, and WWE doesn't have to shell out much in return other than access. Getting extra dollars out of the Performance Center is a no-brainer move.

Summer TakeOver Show Update

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    It's time to stop worrying.

    Confusion and anxiety ensued after information about the next TakeOver special in Brooklyn was removed from the Ticketmaster and WWE schedules.

    Many speculated that NXT was coming to end, since this happened right as WWE announced the brand split. Dubbing the live special "The End" didn't help. But TakeOver is still happening, and NXT isn't going away.

    On F4WOnline.com, Dave Meltzer reported, "WWE officials said that Ticketmaster would be updating the page with new logos and information and that the show is still on."

    That explains the information getting pulled. It appears to be true that the simplest answer is often the right one.

    Even with the need to fill two separate rosters on Raw and SmackDown, NXT is too hot a commodity to go away. Plus, its role as a feeder system is invaluable.

    NXT will once again visit Brooklyn this summer. If that show is half as good as last year's, we're all in for a treat. 

Hideo Itami Update

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    Hideo Itami's shoulder injury has kept him out of action for over a year. The wait to see him kicking heads again could soon end, though.

    According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc), Itami is expected back in a few weeks. His recovery from shoulder surgery has gone much slower than expected. 

    Itami will have a lot of lost momentum to regain. He is poised to enter an NXT roster that will look mighty different from when he left, with Tyler Breeze gone and Shinsuke Nakamura now a major part of the brand. 

    It will be a welcome sight when the former GHC heavyweight champion performs in front of the Full Sail crowd.

Other News, Notes

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    NXT's traveling ways continue: Dave Meltzer mentioned in the Wrestling Observer's daily update on Monday, "NXT is booking shows outside Florida going forward. In fact, they just announced a tour in July with shows on July 14 in Indianapolis, July 15 in Cincinnati and July 16 in Louisville."

    A few weeks after those shows, NXT will then be in Brooklyn for the second straight year.

    NXT prospects were working out alongside a familiar face this past week. Lana has been training at the WWE Performance Center. She tweeted thanks to both the Performance Center and WWE/NXT coach Sara Amato.

    And in a sign that WWE may be inching closer toward bringing Mojo Rawley into the fold as part of the main roster, he traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, with the main roster on Monday night. PWInsider's Mike Johnson reported, "Rawley was backstage at Raw."

    Rawley and his tag partner Zack Ryder have worked a number of WWE house shows. That and these kind of travel arrangements make it look like the energetic Hype Bros member could make it to Raw and SmackDown before The Revival, as crazy as that sounds.

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