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Akira Maeda

        

Real Name - Akira Maeda (formerly "Il-Myung Koh")
Birthdate - 1/24/59
6'3" 225 lbs. - Osaka, Japan

Athletic Background - Karate

Teacher(s) - Karl Gotch, Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Professional Background - New Japan(`78-`82), Europe(`82-`83), New Japan(`83-`84), UWF(`84-`85), New Japan(`85-`88), UWF(`88-`90), RINGS(`91-`02), HERO's(`06-`08), Dream(`08-`12)

AliasesKwik-Kick Lee

Groups - RINGS Japan

Peak Years - `84-`94

Finisher(s) - 
- Leg Capture Suplex
- Half Crab

Favorites -
- Tiger Chancery
- High Kick
- Jumping Spin Heel Kick
- Belly-to-Belly Suplex
- Leg Kick

Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set8
 Science10 
 Aerial
 Power
 Strikes10 

Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment
 Selling
 Bumping
 Carrying
 Heat10 
 Legacy


Place in History - Upon his arrival in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, it seemed Antonio Inoki's successor had arrived. The company's founder and top star had long been interested in making pro-wrestling and namely himself as credible as possible and he did this by bringing in legit martial artists. Maeda's ability to work a match was sound and improving, but he grew to hate what he was doing, largely because he'd have to lose. The former karate fighter was rebellious and though most thought it would kill his career, it ended up making it. He was a pivotal character in the formation of the first UWF and he was its top star. After mismanagement the UWF did a high-profile interpromotional feud before eventually being fired after several incidents. He started another UWF, which was the first with better talent and an established style and fanbase, but again it had problems and dissolved. So three of top stars went on to create their own respective companies and be the top stars. Akira Maeda had RINGS, which outlasted the other two and probably produced better talent as well. Maeda helped the company get off the ground at the cost of his health and finally had to retire from chronic knee problems. Though RINGS was still holding some of the best matches in the world, popularity was dropping off and eventually they had to go to limited rules shootfights to compete. They survived the early years of Pride, but just couldn't compete and as Pride and K-1 just got bigger and bigger. The only remains of RINGS now exist in Holland and Lithuania where they still hold regular cards.
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