Over the past few months, WWE has been beefing up its developmental system by signing top indy name Kevin Steen, and international stars KENTA and Fergal Devitt.
Itami has made it clear that he wants to become a part of WWE’s developmental system, so he can adapt to the WWE ring style and lean English, but his star power in Japan is what will likely see him debut on the main roster soon rather than later.
As for Devitt, Dave Meltzer was quoted as saying “Finn [Balor] wasn’t brought in to spend [two or] three years ” in developmental.
He will of course be required to have a run in NXT, because that’s how WWE develops its talent, but Meltzer speculates Balor will be brought to Raw “before 90% or 95% of the talent in NXT that’s there now will be up.”
Paglino: Although the Observer report doesn’t mention this, my guess is Balor and Itami are likely to get called up before others in NXT due to their international fame. Balor is a big star in Ireland, and Itami is a big star in Japan, so making these two household WWE names will increase WWE’s business potential in the Irish and Japanese markets.