Akira Maeda

Title History

  • European Heavyweight title (as Kwik Kick Lee) defeating Wayne Bridges (January 25, 1983);
  • WWF International Heavyweight title defeating Pierre Lefebvre (March 25, 1984);
  • IWGP Tag Team titles w/Osamu Kido defeating Kengo Kimura & Tatsumi Fujinami (August 5, 1986);
  • IWGP Tag Team titles w/Nobutaka Araya defeating Shiro Koshinaka & Keiji Mutoh (March 26, 1987);

Career Highlights

New Japan Pro Wrestling:

  • 1977: Akira Maeda was discovered by Hisashi Shinma, and trained by the legendary Karl Gotch. and debuted in August 1978..
  • ~~~Hisashi Shinma had plans to groom Akira Maeda to be the next Antonio Inoki for New Japan Pro Wrestling..
  • April 1982: After a stint wrestling in England, Akira made his return to Japan, pinning Paul Orndorff..
  • April 10, 1984: Akira Maeda left New Japan Pro Wrestling to join the UWF in Japan, which had a working relationship with the WWF..


  • Akira Maeda’s relationship with Vince McMahon soured, and he became a glorified jobber for the WWF for a while..
  • Akira Maeda tried to change the UWF into a shoot fighting league out of his distaste for “worked” matches..
  • September 2, 1985: Akira Maeda vs Satoru Sayama ended in a no contest when Maeda starting shooting on Sayama..
  • ~~~Akira Maeda lost his temper and started throwing legit kicks at Sayama until the referee stopped the match..
  • ~~~Akira Maeda was immediately fired and the UWF folded on October 11, 1985 after Sayama quit the promotion..
  • January 1986: Akira Maeda made his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling..New Japan Pro Wrestling:
  • 1986: Akira Maeda faced Andre the Giant in a match that turned into yet another shoot fight..
  • ~~~Antonio Inoki appeared and confronted the participants and eventually threw the match out..
  • June 12,1986: Akira Maeda faced off against Tatsumi Fujinami, and accidentally kicked him in the face, busting him open!
  • August 5, 1986: Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido defeated Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura for the IWGP Tag Team championship..
  • September 23, 1986: Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura defeated Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido to recpature the Tag Team titles!
  • March 26, 1987: Akira Maeda & Nobuhiko Takada defeated Keiji Mutoh & Shiro Koshinaka for the IWGP Tag Team championship..
  • September 1, 1987: Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kazuo Yamazaki defeated Akira Maeda & Nobuhiko Takada to win the IWGP Tag Team titles!
  • November 19, 1987: Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido & Nobuhiko Takada vs Masa Saito & Hiro Saito & Riki Choshu..
  • ~~~In the middle of the match, Akira Maeda landed a vicious intentional shoot kick to the face of Riki Choshu, breaking his orbital bone..
  • ~~~Riki Chosyu got to his feet and had to be held back by the other four wrestlers to stop him from attacking Akira Maeda!
  • ~~~As a result of this action, Akira Maeda was suspended, and eventually fired in March of 1988…


  • May 12, 1988: Akira Maeda opened the new UWFi promotion along with Nobuhiko Takada & Yoshiaki Fujiwara..
  • ~~~The UWFi promotion was the beginning for Japan combining shoot matches with worked matches..
  • November 10, 1988: Nobuhiko Takada defeated Akira Maeda by Knockout..
  • January 15, 1989: Akira Maeda defeated Nobuhiko Takada by submission at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan..
  • May 4, 1989: Akira Maeda defeated Chris Dolman by submission in Osaka, Japan..
  • November 29, 1989: The UWF drew 60,000 fans to the Tokyo Dome, which featured Akira Maeda beating Willie Wilhelm by submission..
  • October 25 1990: Akira Maeda defeated Masakatsu Funaki at the Tokyo Dome..
  • December 1, 1990: UWF president Shinji Jin fired all UWF employees and disbanded the promotion after a show in Nagano, Japan..


  • 1991: Akira Maeda formed RINGS, another promotion showcasing both worked and shoot matches..
  • ~~~Akira Maeda pushed himself as RINGS top star until his retirement in July 1998..
  • July 20, 1998 – Retirement Show: Akira Maeda defeated Yoshihisa Yamamoto by decision at the Yokohama Arena..
  • February 21, 1999: Aleksandr Karelin defeated Akira Maeda in his final match ever..

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