|Cheerleader Melissa heads back to England for the first time in 5 years.|
Trained by not only by Bill Anderson, she learned from Christopher Daniels, Robert Thompson, Bryan Danielson (Known to WWE audiences as Daniel Bryan) and Mariko Yoshida, she brings a technical game while utilizing high-flying moves, brawling, and submission wrestling to her arsenal. "It was a great experience working with all of them, but the best was the very different styles I learned," she said in an interview last year. "In the beginning, Billy Anderson guided me and Christopher Daniels trained me on the fundamentals. During my time training in Japan, Mariko Yoshida trained me on Japanese style with lots of submissions and technical wrestling. When I returned to the US, I trained with Daniel Bryan and Robert Thompson who were both all-around amazing trainers."
|Melissa has made a complete name for herself all over the world.|
In 2008 she made her Total Nonstop Action Wrestling debut as the mysterious Raisha Saeed, manager and speaker for the dominant Awesome Kong. The association between Melissa and Kong go way back before their TNA careers. “That was an idea that was already created in one of the (TNA) writers’ minds,” Melissa said. “They were looking for the right person to fill the role, but the funny thing was that I was actually approached by WWE before the Muhammad Hassan era with almost the exact same Raisha Saeed character. Back then, there were two other people involved so it was supposed to be a tag team with a manager and a female. It was looking really good, but then at the last second they decided to go in a different direction with the Arab-American route instead of the straight Arab route. And when they went in that direction, it cut the possibility of having the female role to that, although I did get to dress up in that character and do a couple of test runs with it.
“…Fast forward a couple of years later and TNA came up with that character by themselves. People want to believe that a monster character like Awesome Kong doesn't have a voice so someone else should speak for her but also be mysterious. Word got back to their creative team that I had done something similar to that character and it just happened to fit.”
A year later in 2009, Alissa Flash took on the TNA scene, but her stay in TNA was not good and left in 2010. “It’s pretty much an extension of Cheerleader Melissa,” she explained. “I don’t think there’s that much difference between the two characters. However, if you remember, I had a match with Daizee Haze on Impact as Cheerleader Melissa and I think TNA creative were a little confused by that. When you hear about Cheerleader Melissa, perhaps you expect to see like a super happy Dallas Cowboys looking cheerleader and instead you get this strong looking brunette coming out and going crazy on people. I just don’t think that translated well with TNA. They liked my style and my aggressiveness, but they were just like ‘That cheerleader thing doesn’t work with your wrestling style.’ So that’s how they eventually came up with the Alissa Flash character for me.”
But how does Melissa tell those two apart from one another?
"Raisha Saeed was a very mysterious character that acted as the voice for Awesome Kong in TNA. Everyone had their own view or opinion about Raisha which was the beauty of the character. Alissa Flash was a tough and strong woman…honestly, she’s Cheerleader Melissa without the pom-poms…"
|Melissa appears regularly in River City Wrestling in San Antonio as Alissa Flash.|
|Melissa won the SHIMMER Title in 2011 from Madison Eagles.|
But in 2012, she lost the belt to none other than Saraya Knight in controversial fashion. As Saraya put it bluntly; "I did what I had to do to get my hands on Melissa, I waited 5 years for that opportunity, It was a bonus she went into my match as a Champion and I was ecstatic when I took her belt, and from a submission!! I think it was well deserved and I patted myself on my back!"
|Melissa's story is never complete without the involvement of Saraya Knight.|
When asked if she any plans to win the gold again, Melissa replied, "Plans to win it again? Of course I do! I always have a plan up my sleeve and one day that gold will be back around the Cheerleader’s waist!"
|One amazing move worked wonders for Melissa.|
|Melissa has had lots of supporters and detractors throughout her career.|
“I think she’s beautiful and an amazing performer, not many are as good as her. She’s just no match for Perfection,” said Shanna, a fellow female wrestler from Portugal.
Fellow CAC member and legendary announcer Jim Ross had this to say about Melissa; “Shes worked hard to make herself better. Wish she’d get a break.”
When I asked about LuFisto, one of Melissa’s classic opponents…and sometimes tag partners, whether or not she has the highest respect for her, she states, “I always had. She’s an amazing competitor.”
“A pioneer for the Wrestling industry. I came across her from watching a match she had on HEAT against Victoria and have been a fan ever since,” says Jezabeth, a young wrestler out of Great Britain.
Former SHIMMER star Davina Rose, who wrestled with Melissa before and now goes by Bayley in the WWE, says she’s “Very respected in the world of women’s wrestling.”
When I was talking about a match that featured Melissa and Hailey Hatred, the most decorated female wrestler today, I hoped that one day they’ll face off again, and she replied; “me too, she’s a great opponent.”
“Melissa’s technique is so good, and she has power and stamina. She is a smart wrestler. I love Melissa!” Mariko Yoshida, one of her trainers and opponents during her career, said in a Dirty Dirty Sheets interview.
Rebecca Knox has had said this about Melissa; "A tough competitor and a remarkable lady who has done so much for the female wrestling industry."
Current SHINE Champion Rain said that Melissa is "Tough as nails. Also, reminds me of odd shaped cookies."
A rising wrestler from New Zealand named Evie has had her say about the Cheerleader; "Amazing talent, someone I have looked up to. Would love the opportunity to wrestle her."
|Even Rhia O'Reilly can never forget that dangerous curbstomp of Melissa's.|
And the Queen of Europe Queen Maya has said that Melissa "Was part of the greatest rivalry in recent women's wrestling history with Saraya Knight. Her cage match with her was like an epic field battle. I'm eager for an opportunity to prove my mettle with her."
|Melissa brings to Bellatrix prestige.|
|The reigning SHIMMER Champion is always looking good.|
Besides, her fans will still support her, even if she's a heel or a face. "I just want to say how grateful I am to every one of my fans of the support I have received through out the past years of my career. Its the fans that truly keep me motivated and make every bump/bruise worth my love for Professional Wrestling. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
And we couldn't agree more.