Wrestling: Cheerleader Melissa
The fifth recipient of Cauliflower Alley Club's Future Legend award, Melissa Anderson
(b. 1982) is an American Professional Wrestler
/manager/valet from Los Angeles
best known for her work in SHIMMER
as Cheerleader Melissa
and in TNA
as Raisha Saeed
and as Alissa Flash.
She debuted in 1999 in the California independent scene as the valet for the tag team the Ballard Brothers after training in Billy Anderson's school. She had her first match on her 17th birthday, a loss to Lexie Fyfe.
She would go on to compete for many promotions around the world, being personally invited to work for Aja Kong
's ARSION and German Stampede Wrestling. Among her in-ring achievements, she is a Trans-Atlantic Champion, a 2x SHIMMER Champion
, the inaugural and 2x All Pro Wrestling Future Legend Champion
, is a 2x a Pro Wrestling Revolution World Women's Champion
, Pure Wrestling Association Elite Women's Champion, River City Wrestling Champion, RCW Angels Champion, RCW International Champion, RCW Phoenix Champion and an RCW Tag Team Champion note
. Pro Wrestling Illustrated
named her #1 on their list of the best female singles wrestlers in 2013.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
"Tropes of a Future Legend":
- Action Girl: Gradually made the transition from cheerleader to action star by physically involving herself in the Ballard Brother's matches to eventually getting put in APW singles matches.
- And Your Little Dog Too: Raisha Saeed would often direct Awesome Kong to inflict further punishment on the knockouts she had already defeated. After Gail Kim's final impact match was lost to Kong, Raisha directed her to finish off Gail and her non wrestling sister, at which point the remaining knockouts decided they needed to be stopped.
- Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: At River City Wrestling, Allissa Flash and "Playboy" Andy Dalton had a "dance off" before their match and graduated to suplexes but he couldn't do a kip up without Rudy Russo's assistance.
- Arch-Enemy: Looney Lane was Melissa's in Ultimate Pro Wrestling, though she has largely been overshadowed by Sweet Saraya overall. See Melissa used to be Lane's tag team partner and still liked her, even after acknowledging Lane might not feel the same way. Melissa is considerably less fond of Saraya, who she has encountered in more venues and who once put a bounty on Melissa's head. They managed to make peace after Bellatrix 7 though.
- The Artifact: She still uses the Cheerleader Melissa name despite the fact that she left the cheerleader gimmick behind long ago. She's tried changing her name to just Melissa, and to "'The Future Legend' Melissa" as well (even going so far as to rename APW's "Above The Law Championship" "The Future Legend Championship" after she won it from one of her trainers, Robert Thompson) , and somehow it never catches on and she goes back to being Cheerleader Melissa. Not even the international attention brought by TNA was completely enough for Alissa Flash to overtake her Cheerleader brand recognition.
- As Himself: Herself on Attack Of The Show
- Author Avatar: She's the president of World Wonder Ring Stardom's American Branch.
- Big Damn Heroes: Melissa saved her former tag team partner and then SHIMMER champion MsChif from a beat down by Amazing Kong and Sara Del Rey.
- The Big Bad: Raisha Saeed was of TNA's Knockout Division. While Kong did all the work and was far more physically dominant, she was mostly content to just hit whoever was in front of her until the bell rang and then leave, occasionally batting a referee for an unfavorable call. Raisha was the one who encouraged her to stick around and continue beating on people, direct ambushes and brought in Rhaka Khan and Sojourner as back up. At one point, Kong actually refused to hit an already incapacitated ODB with a chair, but Saeed kept insisting Kong use it until she complied.
- Blinding Bangs: When ODB stole Raisha Saeed's burqa, her face remained obscured by her hair.
- By The Hair: In her early All Pro Wrestling days, Cheerleader Melissa managed to immobilize Jacqueline by choking the more experienced competitor with her own hair extensions.
- The Cheerleader: At first, she is now better known as the cheerleader who does not cheer. If you are lucky you might see her singlet end in skirt like tassels or some other visual cheer leading clue like pom-poms but not always.
- Combination Attack: As a team, Melissa usually tried to get her own two cents in if MsChif was setting up one of her finishing moves by kicking their opponent in the face during the setup, particularly if it was the Yoshi tonic, which has been called "Green Crash".
- Comedic Sociopathy: Upon meeting Britani Knight, Melissa proclaimed she was going to beat Britani the way her momma beat Britani.
- Composite Character: Alissa Flash's distinctive traits have gradually faded over time, to the point Mickie James seemed to expect the Air Raid Crash in Ring Ka King, even though its something Alissa used to never use. When Traditional Championship Wrestling billed Mickie and Melissa's first ever meeting, Melissa corrected that she had faced Mickie before, wore the exact same outfit Flash wore when facing Mickie.
- Cool Teacher: Taught by the likes of Christopher Daniels, then had further training from American Dragon and Mariko Yoshida
- Curbstomp Battle: While her title defense against The World Famous Kana would not be called uncompetitive, Melissa gave her ten curbstomps on route to a decisive victory. Her Volume 69 match was called off to prevent it from degenerating into one after Melissa made it clear she was not going to relent even after curb stomping Athena unconscious.
- David Vs Goliath: Well, is Melissa on the slightly larger than average size for a wrestler and so she often ends up as the Goliath, but got to be David Vs Yann Nakano when ChickFight went on the road. It was absolutely inverted against Princesa Sugey, who is as terrible as she is tiny and managed to defeat the much larger and much less nasty Melissa.
- Demoted to Extra: While Alissa Flash was on the losing side of knockout matches from her Impact debut against Sarita, she at least was a constant presence. Eventually she addressed this trope when she felt what should have been her first significant victory, against Cody Deaner, was tainted by interference from the other knockouts, showing her frustration by attacking new comer Ayako Hamada and throwing her down the bleachers. But gradually she showed up less and less until she was released without fan fare.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Congratulated LuFisto after losing to her on the first Northern Championship Wrestling Femme Fatales show, which was immediately after repeatedly throwing LuFisto into the guardrail several times, hitting her with pieces of the guardrail and hitting her with Peegaboo till her mascot was in pieces too. Then Sara Del Rey had to ruin the moment.
- Didn't Think This Through: Mary Lee Rose's early days in nCw Femme Fatales largely consisted of interfering in Cheerleader Melissa's matches while refusing to wrestle Melissa herself. Then Mary Lee Rose, wanting more competition, issued an open challenge for the fifth Femme Fatales show. Melissa immediately accepted and then mocked Mary for being too stupid to see it coming. Thankfully for Mary Lee Rose, her manager Madamoiselle Rachelle did everything she could to get the match canceled and pitted Melissa against Yumi Oka instead.
- Enemy Mine: Cheerleader Melissa came out to help Radiant Rain of the Minnesota Home Wreaking Crew against MsChif, to get revenge on MsChif for beating her in a last woman standing match but instead was attacked by crew member Lovely Lacey, allowing MsChif to win. Afterwards Mschif saved Cheerleader Melissa from the Minnesota Home Wreaking Crew, who decided to take her out for "ruining" the plans they had for the banshee.
- Evil Is Petty: She "pinned" LuFisto's mascot Peegaboo, following an assist from a bias "referee" in Mercedes Martinez on SHIMMER Volume 52.
- Evil Minion: Raisha Saeed had Fatina Al' Hassam in PWR
- Facial Markings: Alissa Flash had the same ones as Sherry Martel.
- Faux Affably Evil: Raisha Saeed tried to project the air of a stoic woman of reason but in fact got off on other people's pain and misfortune.
- Finishing Move: Air Raid Crash (borrowed from Mariko Yoshida), an inverted cloverleaf she calls the Kondo Clutch note and the (Megumi) Kudo driver (AKA Vertebreaker) as Cheerleader Melissa. Raisha Saeed has the Damascus drop(elevated camel clutch...into a drop) while Alissa Flash has a fujiwara armbar and the Michinoku Driver II.
- Finishing Stomp
- She made MsChif submit on SHIMMER Volume 4 by locking on the Kondo clutch, bending her in half and driving MsChif's boot into the back of her own neck. In the ChickFight VII semifinal round, MsChif took the match out of the ring, possibly to avoid being caught in the same predicament Cheerleader Melissa put Sayara in, only to find Melissa recreating the situation from Volume 4, as she clubbed MsChif all the way to the stage, suplexed her on the steel, applied the Kondo clutch and pulverized with her own leg till she stopped moving. In this case, MsChif didn't quit and got back up while Melissa was going back to the ring to be declared the winner.
- She almost never wins with a curb stomp, but it is frequently Melissa's way of saying she's done with you. Take her nCw Femme Fatales time limit draw with Hailey Hatred, where she knew time was running out and saw Hatred wasn't likely to give to the Kondo clutch and so just curb stomped her instead. This particular case was also a subversion, as Hailey and Melissa were given another five minutes.
- However, her combination attack with Mercedes Martinez, which combines a curb stomp with a top rope double footstomp, is a straight example.
- Foreign Wrestling Heel: Raisha Saeed was billed from Syria. Beyond a put on accent and stereotypical insults (calling Gail Kim and ODB "swines") she was a pretty mild case compared to Team Canada or World Elite in TNA...but just as bad in PWR with Hassam. Saeed teamed up with Sheik Mustafa Bashir and Sheik Abdul Bashir to form a trio of evil foreigners in Ring Ka King, though given it was a TNA partnership they fought almost as many foreigners as Indians.
- Game-Breaking Injury
- The Cheerleader sent Sweet Saraya to the hospital by throwing her onto an aluminum can at a Real Quality Wrestling event, which cut one of her ligaments. Incidentally, that gave Amazing Kong a bye on her way to the ChickFight Finals that year, though she would "make up" for that error by also giving "Jezebel" Eden Black a bye by attacking Skye and Bubblez, preventing either from advancing.
- Cheerleader Melissa was part of the first ten ChickFights until an injury kept her out of the eleventh and wrestled in the first sixty one volumes of SHIMMER till she had to get stitches above her eye following a match with LuFisto.
- Good Is Not Nice\Nice Is Not Good: Cheerleader Melissa can shift from startlingly helpful to needlessly cruel and back again during the events of a single show. She'll mock and taunt those that are nominally her friends and sincerely accept requests from people who she has seemingly nothing to gain from even listening to. She tends to be pretty cocky and can be a real ass but often that just seems to how she is, as if she really doesn't understand how much that can turn other people against her.
- Graceful Loser: While it was expected of the other two, usually being friends, Melissa also decided to celebrate Santana Garrett's victory over herself and La Rosa Negra on VPW Casino Royale - Night 2 in 2014.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Alissa Flash's leather jacket.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: After Melissa's first loss to MsChif in SHIMMER she demanded a No Holds Barred falls count anywhere match (the rules of ChickFight, of which she is a multi-time winner) and managed to pick up the win. Well, MsChif was not exactly unfamiliar with that setup but it was clear Melissa had the better game plan. For that matter Melissa managed to beat MsChif in every single falls count anywhere match they had afterward, except one where pin falls and submissions were irrelevant because the stipulation was last standing. MsChif continued to beat Melissa in standard matches, such as when she defended the NWA World Women's title in PWR.
- I Have Many Names
- It has been pointed out on more than one news site that LFC cage fighter Sheila "Crash" Cardinal bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain professional wrestler who used to lead cheers. So did Malicia of IWRG, wonder what happened to her...
- One of at least two Wildfires to encounter Jazz (the other being Angel Orsini). She was known as Miss Spartan when the Ballard Brothers went by Rick Spartan and Rob Spartan.
- I Have the High Ground: She liked to use a lot of high flying moves while she managed the Ballards (and Spartans). Cheerleader Melissa is much more grounded as a wrestler, though she isn't above a missile drop kick and likes to attack wrestlers in the downed in corners while standing on the second or top rope.
- Irrational Hatred: Toward Athena after the end of her second SHIMMER Championship reign. While O-Face was the move that eliminated Melissa from the Four Way, Nicole Matthews and Madison Eagles were just as "guilty". One could argue it was rational to single out Athena for being noticeably smaller than the other two but that would also mean it would be in Melissa's favor to just let Athena try to eliminate the other two or even aid her before invoking the rematch clause. Even more so in hindsight, as Melissa proved very capable of beating Athena one on one but proved she wasn't content to "just" beat Athena.
- It Runs in the Family: Her dad, Doug Anderson and uncle Billy Anderson, were wrestlers too.
- It's Personal
- Fights with Wesna were something that just tended to happen where Melissa went. It was Annie Social who declared she would never let Melissa win the SHIMMER Championship and simply latched on to Wesna to makes sure she could fulfill that vow.
- Portia Perez was personally offended that Melissa not only refused to let the Canadian Ninjas end her career, but that she had the gall to try and get some pay back against them for trying. True Melissa did "cost" Perez the nCw Femme Fatatles title on Perez's birthday but she and Nicole Matthews had tried to take Melissa out on the same day first. Also, Matthews jumped Melissa while she was celebrating winning her first championship in SHIMMER. Nicole Matthews would be the one to succeed her after her second reign as SHIMMER champion.
- Melissa served as one for WWE on Sunday Night Heat.
- Alissa Flash and Raisha Saeed were basically high profile jobbers in TNA, though it makes sense for Saeed, being a manager. Flash and Saeed looked better in Ring Ka King. Also, Cheerleader Melissa did pin Daizee Haze in a tryout match.
- Loser Leaves Town: Not only did Alissa Flash and Darci Drake lose the River City Wrestling tag titles to the Gulf Coast Connection but Flash was banned for 90 days from the promotion due to the loss. This also caused her to be stripped of RCW International Championship, since the champion is supposed to be available for a defense every thirty days.
- Lovely Angels: She and noticeably shorter and bulkier Bionic J in ARSION. They only had one match which wasn't allowed to reach a decisive conclusion before they were back to teaming up again.
- Ms. Fanservice: As Alyssa Flash, a deliberate subversion. She would get heat by wearing a leather jacket during her matches and start to unzip it before closing it back up again, it worked surprisingly well.
- No Holds Barred Beat Down:
- Delivered one at ChickFight VII to Sweet Saraya that lead to her leaving the arena on a stretcher. Since ChickFight is no holds barred, falls count anywhere, the referee simply decided to stop the match once Saraya was suspended in the ropes by her neck and could no longer feasibly defend herself, advancing Melissa.(you can get disqualified, but mostly for what you do when the match is not over, so it calling the match saved Saraya)
- Cheerleader Melissa beat down Allison Danger during an autograph signing at World One Queen's cup in hopes she would not be able to compete for their AWA championship title shot match later that night. Allison decided to show up against doctors orders anyway but Melissa still won the title shot.
- At SHIMMER volume 57, Melissa was initially declared to victor of Allison Danger's retirement match, but the decision was reversed when it became clear Melissa wasn't pleased with that "victory" and refused to layoff Danger.
- One Steve Limit
- Why else would she face Melissa Stripes in the preliminaries of the World-1 Queen's Cup?
- Cheerleader Melissa trained a wrestler in Canada named Tiffany, and the two teamed together as Girls Gone Wrestling. Alissa Flash teamed up with a long established wrestler in CMLL, who was also named Tiffany. Guess what fans like to call Flash and Mexican Tiffany's tag team? Come on, guess!
- Only One Name: Miss Spartan was the only Spartan in her group who lacked a first name. "Cheerleader" is not really a first name either, though she has gone as "Melissa Anderson" in German Stampede Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Revolution and WWE. Malicia's last name has yet to be released by Internacional Wrestling Revolución Grupo.
- Power Stable: (as Saeed in TNA): The Kongtourage
- Put on a Bus: Out of TNA by Madison Rayne. The Bus Came Back for a Knockouts Pay Per View where Alissa Flash lost to Gail Kim and then she went right back out.
- Real Song Theme Tune
- (in APW, SHIMMER and ChickFight): Tricky's "#1 Da Woman"
- (in APW and IWA Mid-South): The Prodigy's "Firestarter"
- Red Baroness: "The Future Legend" (For Melissa and Alissa) "The Terminator" (for Alissa)
- Series Mascot: Of ChickFight. Even when she doesn't participate in the tournament she makes appearances to promote it.
- Signature Move: Flying forearm, Super forearm (diving strike to seated opponent), front Russian leg sweep called single minor (Jeff Jarrett's stroke), curb stomp. She also likes to stand on the second rope on one leg and repeatedly ram someone into the turn buckles with her other.
- Statuesque Stunner: Played up as Alissa Flash, it was slightly exaggerated by TNA billing her as being four inches taller than she really was (which it could usually get away with because of its ring size and camera angles)
- Tag Team
- Which was lovingly dubbed "MelisChif" and which Melissa put an end to after they lost to the Canadian Ninjas. Melissa got to team with Lioness Asuka as a birthday present.
- Girls Gone Wrestling in Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling and APW with her pupil, "The Mafia Princess" Tiffany. Melissa called on Tiffany specifically to deal with Nattie and Belle Lovitz, though they kept teaming together after beating "The Stampede Girls".
- Finally won the RCW Tag Team Titles with Darci Drake.
- Teen Genius: She worked behind the scenes with her father and uncle, both for shows and for the training school, largely completing high school by emailing her teachers while one the road.
- The Rival
- Fought Nikki/Nic Grimes/American Angel/Sara Del Rey and Wesna Busic all around the world through multiple promotions. Not to be confused with Nikki Roxx, who has been a rival to Cheerleader Melissa, Raisha Saeed and Alissa Flash.
- Nikki The NY Knockout was her primary rival in All Pro Wrestling and in a few Mexican promotions. As Melissa is from California it is sort of a West Coast vs East Coast deal but the two get along pretty well, in spite of their in ring rivalry.
- Joey Spector regarding the RCW Championship and RCW Tag Team Championships when he was half of San Antonio's Most Unwanted. Also the Gulf Coast Connection (Rudy Russo and AJ Summers)
- Sort of has another East Coast/West Coast one with Mercedes Martinez, who she has tagged with almost as much as she as wrestled against across the US. They feuded over the RCW Championship when Mercedes dated Joey Spector but then went after the tag belts after Martinez and Spector broke up. Mercedes also went up North to give Melissa some reprieve against the Canadian Ninjas.
- Christina Von Eerie is another whose faced at least three faces of Anderson, particularly in PWR, where she worked her way up from repeatedly jobbing to Raisha to beating Melissa for the championship, after Melissa had gotten done defending the belt at a Wrestling In Merida event.
- Tournament Arc
- Cheerleader Melissa had an altercation with Jazz in the semifinals of ChickFight V after Jazz went over MsChif. They seemed to patch up their issues after Melissa beat Jazz in the finals.
- Melissa has also won the Pro Wrestling World-1 Queen's Cup (2007) by beating Allison Danger in the last match.
- Beat Jezebel in the finals of ChickFight VII
- Won nCw Femme Fatale's Amazones And Titans in 2011 with Jay Phenomenon as her partner.
- Underestimating Badassery: Melissa(or Alissa, whatever) took the PWR Women's Championship to Puerto Rico, to defend it under the World Wrestling League's banner and beat the stuffing out of the challenger they provided for her, Ivelisse Vélez. Melissa pulled up Vélez's shoulders before the three count to beat her up some more but in this time had given Ivelisse time to recover, turn the match around take the belt from Flash. Ivelisse would successfully defend the belt against Cheerleader Melissa one more time(albeit, by disqualification) in California before Melissa won it back in their third title bout.
- Villain Team-Up: As SHIMMER's Champion she increasingly teamed with the nCw Femme Fatale's champion Mercedes Martinez.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Not what they started out as but what she and MsChif developed into. They still beat and twist the crap out of each other, which they indeed did do in between their first time teaming up on SHIMMER and their second time teaming up which was also under the SHIMMER banner, but they no longer take any of it personal and do have limits. Melissa would not go so far as to toss MsChif off a balcony when given the opportunity at an All Pro Wrestling event, for instance. Then again, there is a good reason the two were not a particularly successful team, despite their individual merits. Melissa was more interested in taking one of MsChif's belts than making it work.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: After Allissa Flash beat Joey Spector for the River City Wrestling Championship, the decision was reversed by Commissioner Jeromy Sage because the match had gone thirty seconds longer than the time limit. Flash later won it again in a no time limit, no disqualification match.
- You Go Girl: All Japan Pro Wrestling called on her to have the first ever women's professional wrestling match in Taiwan against then Ice Ribbon and Smash star Makoto.