Editorials Puroresu

The Phoenix Will Live Forever

This will be a completely unedited post.

For many wrestlers the names like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Shawn Michaels or Steve Austin inspired them to get into professional wrestling. For this 16 year old Australian the man that inspired me to pursue my dream of a being a wrestler was Eiji Ezaki better known as Hayabusa. He made me jump out of my chair and scream whenever he would step in the squared circle.

I was in the gym at 5 pm and I turned on my data and checked Facebook. I was seeing numerous wrestling personalities say I hope this isn’t true with a picture of Hayabusa attached, I immediately thought the worst and sadly the worst was exactly what happened. Hayabusa passed away at the age of 47. Subarachnoid hemorrhage caused the death which is bleeding of the brain. This would’ve all been caused by his tragic injury that left him paralyzed in 2001. He went for a springboard moonsault, a move he has done 1000 times but slipped and landed on his neck. Dave Meltzer is going to do a much better job doing a bio on Hayabusa than I am and I can’t wait to read but this is going to be what I feel currently.

Hayabusa began his career as Eiji Ezaki, a young boy in the Frontier Martial Arts (FMW) and after 3 years of training he went on excursion to Mexico and trained under Rey Misterio Sr. While in Mexico he adopted the lucha style he would bring back to Japan and make famous. He wrestled the best Mexico had to offer in Negro Casas, Dr. Wagner Jr, Atlantis and numerous more. He returned to Japan with the ‘Hayabusa’ character and had a very good match with Jushin “Thunder” Liger in the first round on the 1994 Super J Cup. He quickly became FMW’s biggest star and had amazing rivalries and matches with Onita, Gannosuke, Masato Tanaka. He and Onita drew close to 60,000 people at Kawasaki Stadium on the 5/5/1995 which is one of the most impressive wrestling attendance numbers ever. Hayabusa and Jinsei Shinzaki even held the All Asia tag titles in AJPW. Ezaki easily had one of the most impactful careers in pro wrestling history. I would say Hayabusa, Liger and Scorpio were the biggest influences in the modern day high flying wrestling style. The Phoenix Splash was invented by Hayabusa as was the Falcon Arrow. All the cool moves you see in modern wrestling you better believe Hayabusa was doing that 20 years ago.

I am writing this just over 2 hours after the news broke and the outpour of the fans of social media to his death is incredible. He meant so much to so many people including myself. Hayabusa didn’t know this but he helped me so much with my depression. When I felt like everything in my life was crumbling and I didn’t know If I would be alive the fighting spirit of Hayabusa gave me the strength to fight the negativity. Hayabusa was put in a wheelchair in 2002 and was told he would NEVER walk again. Hayabusa didn’t want to just accept his fate. He wanted to fight and never give up. In 2015 he stood on his own without any help and walked to the ring. He defied doctors orders and 13 years after the tragic incident he was able to walk again. The video is probably the most heart warming and compelling video I have ever seen and If that doesn’t give you courage to battle any negativity in your life then I would be worried. He bought Tenryu and Muto to tears as well as basically everyone who attended the event. I Thank Hayabusa so much for what he has done for me personally.

Joshi wrestler RAY was incredibly inspired by Hayabusa. She adopted a Hayabusa-like mask and was the first ever female to perform a top rope shooting star press. Hayabusa was very very close with Sabu and was influenced a lot by him as you can tell from his wrestling attire. In recent years, Hayabusa was in smaller films in Japan. He also was a successful singer and performed alongside Dragon Kid. When FMW made a return in 2015, he was serving as the president of the promotion. He still made numerous appearances around Japan and would show support wherever he could. He would do motivational speaking. He was a great man, 47 is too young for someone to pass away. I am very shaken up about this news but on “Puro In The Rough” we are all going to share our favorite Hayabusa memories when we are calm and not crying like I am currently. Hayabusa was one of the greatest people of all time and one hell of a professional wrestler. Thank you Hayabusa-San for everything you done for me and everything you done for wrestling. If it wasn’t for you wrestling would not be as cool as it is. Rest In Peace.

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