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, California 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. 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. Among her in-ring achievements, she is a 2x and the current SHIMMER Champion, the inaugural and 2x APW Future Legend Champion, is a 2x a PWR World Women's Champion, River City Wrestling Champion, RCW Angels Champion, RCW International Champion,RCW Phoenix Champion and RCW Tag Team Champion note with Darci Drake. 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 UPW, though she has largely been overshadowed by Sweet Saraya overall. See Melissa used to bw 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.
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") , and somehow it never catches on and she goes back to being Cheerleader Melissa.
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.
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.
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.
Finishing Move: Air Raid Crash (borrowed from Mariko Yoshida), an inverted cloverleaf she calls the Kondo Clutch note named after Shuji Kondo, the wrestler who innovated the moveand the (Megumi) Kudo driver (AKA Vertebreaker) as Cheerleader Melissa. Raisha Saeed has the Damascus drop while Alissa Flash has a fujiwara armbar and the Michinoku Driver II.
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.
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 Chick Fight, 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.
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...
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.
Delivered one at Chick Fight VII to Sweet Saraya that lead to her leaving the arena on a stretcher. Since Chick fight 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.
Subverted when Melissa tried advance from the next round the same way against MsChif. Even after Melissa pulverized her head-neck area in one of the sickest ways possible, MsChif still managed a rally that would only be cut short by a sudden crash.
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 initial 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 kept attacking Danger.
One Steve Limit: Why else would she face Melissa Stripes in the preliminaries of the World-1 Queen's Cup?
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 ECCW. Finally won the RCW Tag Team Titles with Darci Drake.
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 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.
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, when they took their rivalry to CMLL.
Tournament Arc: Besides Chick Fight, Melissa has also won the Pro Wrestling World-1 Queen's Cup (2007)
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 but they no longer take any of it personal.