Eiji Ezaki (江崎 英治 Ezaki Eiji) (29 November 1968 – 3 March 2016) was a Japanese professional wrestler, better known as the masked Hayabusa (ハヤブサ Hayabusa, "Falcon"), who worked primarily for Atsushi Onita's Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMW) promotion.
Early years (1987–1991)
Trained by former All Japan Pro Wrestling star and sumo wrestler Takashi Ishikawa, Eiji Ezaki made his professional wrestling debut at an independent show on November 2, 1987, teaming with Masashi Honda against three upper classmen. He and Honda would struggle in the very small indy circuit for four years before joining Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling's dojo, headed by another former AJPW alumnus Tarzan Goto.
Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (1991–1993)
Ezaki made his FMW debut on May 5, 1991, where he teamed up with Amigo Ultra to defeat Akihito Ichihara and Yukihide Ueno. As is customary in professional wrestling, especially puroresu, Ezaki lost the majority of his matches for the early years of his career. In September 1993, Atsushi Onita sent Ezaki overseas to Mexico.
North American excursion (1993–1995)
Ezaki adopted the Hayabusa gimmick in December 1993 while in Mexico. While there, he learned the lucha libre style from wrestling instructor Rey Misterio, Sr. Ezaki wrestled for the World Wrestling Association, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre during his time in Mexico. He then returned to Japan to face Jushin Thunder Liger in a well received first round match during the Super J-Cup tournament. During his time in Mexico, Victor Quinones would offer Ezaki a contract to defect to IWA Japan, but declined, showing loyalty to FMW. He would also learn the art of high-flying moves from Ultimo Dragon. He would remain in Mexico until December 1994.
Between January 1995 and April 1995, Ezaki wrestled in the United States, mainly in the Florida area. During this time, the World Wrestling Federation was interested in Ezaki and offered a tryout, but he politely declined, remaining loyal to FMW.
Return to FMW (1995–2001)
Upon his return to FMW in May 1995, Hayabusa wrestled very dangerous matches involving barbed wire and explosives. After one "Exploding Cage" match, he was rushed to the hospital due to severe burns. Hayabusa's rivals included Mr. Gannosuke,The Gladiator, and Onita himself, and he frequently teamed with Jinsei Shinzaki. Ezaki occasionally altered his character to the "Darkside of Hayabusa" or the maskless "H."
Ezaki wrestled one match in Extreme Championship Wrestling at Heatwave in 1998. He and Jinsei Shinzaki unsuccessfully challenged Rob Van Dam and Sabu for the promotion's World Tag Team Championship.
In October 2001, Ezaki suffered a career-ending injury during a match against Mammoth Sasaki. Ezaki attempted a springboard moonsault off the middle rope and lost footing, landing on his head, cracking two of his vertebrae and leaving him paralyzed. The injury provoked a high fever and required surgery. Ezaki was considered the heart and soul of FMW, and after his departure, the company slowly folded.
Ezaki later pursued a career as a singer. He promoted a new wrestling company called WMF (Wrestlings Marvelous Future) that contained up-and-coming wrestlers. The name was chosen since, spelled backwards, the initials are FMW in honor of the late company. He traveled to a few WWE events where he met old friends such as Sabu, Rob Van Dam, and Rey Mysterio backstage. He also took photographs with Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Triple H, and spoke with Jeff Hardy.
Ezaki attended the PWU (Pro Wrestling Unplugged) FAHRENHEIT: 3RD DEGREE event on August 19, 2006 at the New Alhambra (formerly known as ECW Arena). This was his first appearance in the USA since 2000, the last time being at E3 in Los Angeles, helping promote TOKYOPOP's FMW DVDs by having a 6-man tag match. He also participated in a shoot interview with RF Video.
Ezaki was active in working with the Dragon Gate promotion. He recorded a debut album with Dragon Kid titled Trust! which came out in November 2007. He partook in the company's first US tour, joining them in their appearance in Los Angeles on September 5 and Hawaii on September 8, 2008. Ezaki also designed the tour's T-shirt. When asked about his career in an interview, Ezaki said that one never knows what the chances are of a return to the ring.
On 3 April 2015, Hayabusa was part of a press conference announcing the return of FMW. He served as the executive producer of the promotion.
- As a musician, Hayabusa has released three solo albums (one posthumously), an album with Dragon Kid, and an album with Koji Nakagawa and Masahiko.
- Hayabusa appears in the low-budget wrestling movie Backyard Dogs and in Mask de 41 as the "Red Falcon". He also appears as Eiji Ezaki in Baion.
- Hayabusa also appeared in the music video "Life Is...~another story~" by J-Pop artist Ken Hirai.
- Hayabusa appears in the Japan-exclusive Nintendo 64 games Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 and Virtual Pro Wrestling 2: Ōdō Keishō. He appears unofficially in WCW vs. nWo: World Tour, as Hannibal, in WCW/nWo Revenge, as Han Zo Mon, and in WCW vs. the World as Habanero.
Ezaki was the oldest of two sons. His grandparents on his mother's side of the family were owners of a hotel, before his parents took over.
Ezaki married his wife Harumi on April 7, 1997. Together, they had two daughters, Ayane (born October 19, 1997) and Shie (born May 10, 1999). He and Harumi amicably divorced in 2004, but remained friends, while sharing custody of their daughters.
In May 2005, he performed a play called The Shinichi Amano Story at the Tokyo Shinjuku Theater. He portrayed the main character's best friend Fuyuki Hayato, an injured air pilot soldier in World War II, who is wheelchair-bound. His performance was given positive reviews and the play was a huge success.
On April 25, 2010, his father died.
By 2015, Ezaki had regained the use of his legs and could stand on his own and walk with a cane.
Ezaki died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage on 3 March 2016, at age 47. He was found dead at his home. The owner of a nearby tavern, whom he was supposed to meet about an upcoming concert on March 7, went to his home when he did not arrive for the meeting, and there found his body.
- Finishing moves
- Falcon Arrow (Sitout suplex slam, sometimes while spinning or from the top rope) – Innovated
- Firebird Splash (450° splash)
- H Thunder (Scoop side piledriver)
- Phoenix Splash – Innovated
- Signature moves
- Corkscrew senton, sometimes while springboarding
- Dragon suplex
- Fisherman buster
- H Edge (Ura-nage)
- Jumping corkscrew roundhouse kick
- Stardust Press (Shooting star press)
- Shotei (Palm thrust)
- Sitout double underhook powerbomb
- Spinning heel kick, sometimes with a corkscrew, diving, or springboard
- Springboard senton bomb
- Springboard moonsault
- Thunder fire powerbomb
- Tiger suplex
- Asian Mist
- "The Falcon"
- "The Phoenix"
- "The Flying Assassin"
- Entrance themes
- "One Big Rush" by Joe Satriani (NJPW, Super J-Cup '94)
- "Fight With Dream" (FMW, 1995–1996)
- "Fight With Dream (Kawasaki Remix)" (FMW, May 5, 1995, and May 5, 1996)
- "Fight With Dream II" (FMW/AJPW, 1996–1999, 2000–2001)
- "Welcome to the Darkside" (Used as Darkside of Hayabusa) (FMW, 1998–1999)
- "Silver Resistance" (Used as H) (FMW, 1999–2000)
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Florida Wrestling Alliance
- FWA Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling
- FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Masato Tanaka (1), Daisuke Ikeda (1)
- FMW Independent Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- FMW World Street Fight 6-Man Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Tetsuhiro Kuroda and GOEMON (1), and Masato Tanaka and Koji Nakagawa (1)
- WEW 6-Man Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Masato Tanaka and Hisakatsu Oya
- WEW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- WEW Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Mr. Gannosuke (1), Tetsuhiro Kuroda (1)
- Plant City Wrestling Federation
- PCWF Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #38 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1998/1999
- PWI ranked him #255 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Tokyo Sports
- Fighting Spirit Prize (1997)
- ja:ハヤブサオフィシャルブログ「愛と勇気とあるこーる」 (in Japanese). the official blog of Hayabusa.
- Hayabusa's Bio . Fmwwrestling.us. Retrieved on 2012-07-04.
- BAHU's Hayabusa Bio Part 2 . fmwwrestling.us. Retrieved on 2015-09-02.
- BAHU's Hayabusa Bio Part 2 . Fmwwrestling.us. Retrieved on 2012-07-04.
- ドラゴン・キッドオフィシャルブログ「Trust!」powered by SPORA . Spora.jp. Retrieved on 2012-07-04.
- Image: l_49758bcc5ce0b5d4b21ec1d0e1637556.jpg . a319.ac-images.myspacecdn.com. Retrieved on 2015-09-02.
- Image: l_1ad541f6b70f22747442fdde63f3fb74.jpg . a269.ac-images.myspacecdn.com. Retrieved on 2015-09-02.
- ＦＭＷ復活 ハヤブサ復帰リングを用意 (in Japanese). Daily Sports Online (2015-04-03). Retrieved on 2015-04-03.
- Caldwell, James 2015-04-03. Japan news: 1990s FMW promotion looking to make a comeback . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2015-04-03.
- Meltzer, Dave 2016-03-03. FMW star Hayabusa passed away at 47 . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2016-03-04.
- ハヤブサさん「急死の詳細」を関係者明かす (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2016-03-04). Retrieved on 2016-03-04.
- Hayabusa « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database . cagematch.net. Retrieved on 2015-09-02.
- Purolove.Com . Purolove.Com. Retrieved on 2012-07-04.