- Angst Dissonance: Maeda got his mega-hyped bout against Andre completely blown up when his opponent showed up drunken, hostile and openly unwilling to work the match. Even worse, he knew the thing had been probably planned by Inoki to punish him for his desire to climb up the ranks. The average modern Western fan's commentary? "LoL, that Maeda was so unprofessional for stiffing Andre, he was lucky Andre didn't crush him."
- Badass Decay: Once one of the biggest pro wrestling draws ever and the owner of the first worlwide MMA promotion, now a public relations figure and trainer for small indy MMA joints.
- Base-Breaking Character: Some think that Maeda doesn't deserve credit for anything due to the amount of crap he has left behind him, like the infamous Choshu kicking and his multiple feuds, but other believe he is the most unsung figure in the history of MMA (and kickboxing, and sambo) for his role in globalizing the sport and bringing it to remote places like Netherlands, Russia, Georgia and Australia. A third camp believes both things.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Both Andre and Akira refused to do the job, so Akira kicked Andre a lot. Then Andre threw Akira out of the ring. When Maeda got back in, Andre finally agreed to job to him but Akira refused. Then Antonio Inoki came out and demanded the match end. The crowd at the time had no idea what was going on, and a lot of time passed until they were told.
- Evil Is Cool: For the ambivalent crowds of Japan, being an unrepentant Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy is a popularity boost despite rightful criticisms and bad views, and Maeda was no exception.
- Jerkass Woobie: After reading Maeda's biography, especially his difficult childood and teen years, it's hard not to feel sorry for him, even if his way to solve things was kicking people in the head.
- Just Here for Godzilla: RINGS's crowds were there for Maeda and just for Maeda. Even the broadcasting contract between WOWOW and RINGS specified that if Maeda didn't fight, no broadcasting fee would be paid.
- Mis-blamed: A good chunk of the IWC seems to believe that Maeda shot on André the Giant in their infamous match, despite it is easy to see in recordings that Andre was the one who was uncooperative and refused to work the bout. Even people who know the truth somehow believe Maeda was the offender, in many cases out of love for Andre.
- Moment of Awesome: His retire match against Alexander Karelin.
- No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: His bad boy attitude and violent feuds brought him a ton of popularity.
- Tough Act to Follow: RINGS fell out because Maeda's retirement left the promotion without its ace, and the most over fighters, Kiyoshi Tamura and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, failed to meet the expectatives set by their master.
YMMV / Akira Maeda