Eiji Ezaki

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Eiji Ezaki
Born (1968-11-29) November 29, 1968 (age 45)[1]
Yatsushiro, Kumamoto, Japan
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Hayabusa
H
Darkside of Hayabusa
Eiji Ezaki
Billed height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Billed weight 75 kg (165 lb)
Trained by Tarzan Goto
Debut May 5, 1991
Retired October 22, 2001 (suffered career-ending injury)

Eiji Ezaki (江崎 英治 Ezaki Eiji?) (born 1968) is a former Japanese professional wrestler better known as the masked Hayabusa (Falcon/Phoenix), who worked primarily for Atsushi Onita's Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMW) promotion.

Career[edit]

Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (1991–1993)[edit]

Eiji Ezaki began his wrestling career training in the FMW dojo. He would make his FMW debut on July 19, 1991, where he teamed up with Amigo Ultra to defeat Akihito Ichihara and Yukihido Ueno. As is customary in profession wrestling, especially puroresu, Ezaki lost the majority of his matches for the early years of his career. Ezaki debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling at Super J Cup 1994 where he was defeated by Jushin Liger in the first round.

North American Excursion (1993–1995)[edit]

Ezaki adopted the Hayabusa gimmick in 1993 while in Mexico. While there, he learned the lucha libre style from wrestling instructor Rey Misterio, Sr.[2] 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 Liger in a well received first round match during the Super J Cup tournament.

Between January 1995 and April 1995, Ezaki would wrestle in the United States, mainly in the Florida area.

Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (1995–2001)[edit]

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, while he would frequently team 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.[3]

Post-retirement[edit]

Ezaki later pursued a career as a singer. He would go on to promote a new Wrestling company called WMF (Wrestlings Marvelous Future) that contained young, up and coming wrestlers. The name was chosen since spelled backwards, the initials would be 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 had the opportunity to take photographs with Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Triple H and spoke with Jeff Hardy.[4]

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 has been active in working with the Dragon Gate promotion. He recorded a debut album with Dragon Kid entitled Trust![5] 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.[6] Ezaki also designed the tour's T-shirt.[7] When asked about his career in an interview, Ezaki said that one never knows what the chances are of a return to the ring.

Other media[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Ezaki was married and has two children. The couple divorced sometime in 2004. He has kept in touch with his wife and children since the divorce.

Ezaki is close personal friends with Jushin Liger. The two had a falling out in 1996 after Ezaki turned down a deal with NJPW, but they mended their friendship on April 22, 2005 when they spoke for the first time in nine years.

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • "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[edit]

  • Other titles
    • 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[8]
    • PWI ranked him #255 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003

References[edit]