Japanese legend Hayabusa passes away
WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of Eiji Ezaki, better known to fans around the world as Hayabusa, at the age of 47.
An innovative high-flyer who helped inspire a generation of Superstars, the mysterious, masked Hayabusa was known for throwing caution to the wind. Ezaki created daring moves like the Phoenix Splash, which to this day can be seen in the repertoire of daredevil competitors, including former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. A major star in Japan in the mid to late ’90s, Hayabusa competed in one major American match, teaming with Jinsei Shinzaki (known as Hakushi in WWE) in a losing effort against Sabu & Rob Van Dam at ECW’s Heat Wave 1998 event. Although his career was cut short by injury in 2001, Ezaki never strayed far from the industry, where he continued to impart his knowledge.
Upon hearing of his passing, WWE Superstars, Alumni and personalities took to social media to pay their respects to the groundbreaking grappler:
Thoughts and prayers to Hayabusa and his family. His style of wrestling was ahead of his time. A true innovator. pic.twitter.com/Az9x20xpOc— Nattie (@NatbyNature) March 4, 2016
Truly saddened to hear of the passing of Hayabusa this morning. A great inspiration to me and many of my peers. His legacy will live on.— Sami Zayn (@iLikeSamiZayn) March 4, 2016
RIP Hayabusa. The memory of the Phoenix will rise & inspire the warriors of the future.— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) March 4, 2016
RIP Hayabusa, one of most unique and innovative wrestlers ever.— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) March 4, 2016
Sad to hear the passing of HAYABUSA He was an innovator & good person. Glad to have shared ring w/him pic.twitter.com/fppeXoB7mf— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) March 4, 2016
I was sad to wake up to news that Hayabusa, who thrilled Japanese, Mexican and American fans (in ECW) passed away. pic.twitter.com/MWGubiz7T6— Joey Styles (@JoeyStyles) March 4, 2016
Very sorry to hear of the passing of Japanese ring warrior #Hayabusa. Glad to have met him. R.I.P. Ganbatte Kudasai— Bubba Ray Dudley (@BubbaRayDudley) March 4, 2016
WWE extends its condolences to Ezaki’s family, friends and fans.