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Hayabusa (1968-2016)




Tokyo Sports reports that Eiji Ezaki—known among professional wrestling fans as Hayabusa—passed away yesterday, March 3, 2016, at the age of 47.

In an in-ring career that lasted for a decade, Hayabusa changed the face of wrestling with his high-risk offense, acrobatic maneuvers, and brutal matches in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling. As FMW's franchise player, the man known as "The Flying Assassin" wowed crowds with aerial and mat attacks that form the foundation of high-flying wrestling today. From his signature Phoenix Splash to the devastating Falcon Arrow, Hayabusa was light-years ahead of his time not only in puroresu, but in modern pro wrestling.


In his short but amazing career, Hayabusa carried FMW to worldwide acclaim and recognition. His famous feuds with Mr. Gannosuke, Yukihiro Kanemura, and the late Kodo Fuyuki brought a certain edge to FMW that set it apart from all other Japanese promotions. Whether he's soaring through the air with picture-perfect somersaults or going to the ground with his "H" persona, Hayabusa ensured that FMW was a force to be reckoned with.

His meteoric rise to success was cut short in October 2001, when he broke his neck in an unfortunate in-ring accident that cost him his career, mobility, and the existence of FMW itself. Following the accident, Ezaki spent his life in a wheelchair and started a music career. But his heart never left the wrestling ring. In August last year, after 14 years, Hayabusa walked back to the roost he once ruled.



Hayabusa's immense contributions to the sport are found in every high-flying match, whether it's in the independent scene or the grand stages of mainstream pro wrestling. Despite a relatively short career, Hayabusa's legend stands out as one of the most decorated, enduring, and endearing legacies in all of professional wrestling. Not just for the flashy moves of today's most agile wrestlers, but for the glimmer of hope that we all had for him to walk once again.

Thank you, Hayabusa. In your passing, a phoenix truly rises to his rightful place in the heavens.

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