Tokyo Sports has announced that Eiji Ezaki, known to fans around the world as the high-flying Hayabusa, has passed away at age 47. Hayabusa’s passing was caused by subrachnoid hemorrhage.
Hayabusa was best known for his time in Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling, but also had stints in All Japan Pro Wrestling where he captured the All Asia Tag Team Championship alongside Jinsei Shinzaki. He also appeared for Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling at their 1998 Pay-Per-View Heat Wave where he and Jinsei Shinzaki challenged Rob Van Dam and Sabu for the ECW World Tag Team Championships. In FMW, he was a Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Champion on three occasions, a Brass Knuckles Tag Team Champion on two occasions, an Independent Heavyweight Champion, a World Street Fight 6-Man Tag Team Champion on two occasions, a WEW 6-Man Tag Team Champion, a WEW Heavyweight Champion on two occasions, and a WEW Tag Team Champion, also on two occasions. Many considered him to be the heart and soul of the promotion.
In 1998 and 1999, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked him #38 on their Top 500 Wrestlers of the Year. He was ranked #255 in 2003.
Hayabusa retired from the ring in 2001 after suffering a career-ending injury which left him paralyzed; however, he was able to regain the use of his legs and was able to walk with cane in 2015. Post-retirement, Ezaki made a career out of being a singer.
We here at The Outerhaven wish to offer our condolences to the Ezaki family. Hayabusa was one of the great high-flyers in wrestling history and he will sorely be missed.