The 2014 Barbwire Blog Legacy Awards: Cheerleader Melissa; Female Terminator, Female Pioneer

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In wrestling, there are technicians who get the job done in the ring, and there are bruisers who can intimidate their opponents with ease. Cheerleader Melissa is not only a tough woman in the ring, she’s also a calculating woman as well. From her debut on August 17, 1999 at the age of 17 to now, she has become a folk heroine as well as an influential woman in the wrestling industry. Trained by some of the best wrestlers in the world, Melissa has acquired the fundamentals from Bill Anderson and Christopher Daniels, the technical ability from Daniel Bryan, and the submission skills from Mariko Yoshida; and she has become one of the best.

As one of the originals of SHIMMER, she has appeared in more volumes than any active women on the roster. “The main thing I remember from the early days in Shimmer, was the excitement in the air with having so many talented females in one location,” she said in a 2012 with Wrestle Enigma. “It truly was something very special that was the beginning of a great era for female pro wrestling and I am proud to say that I have been on every Shimmer DVD since the start.”

A two time SHIMMER Champion, Melissa helped put SHIMMER on the map. “I wouldn’t say it was difficult, as it is a passion for me to keep going no matter what, under any circumstances. If you love what you do, it will never seem like work and all the bruises and struggle was worth it for me.”

In TNA, she pulled double duty as two very different alter egos, Raisha Saeed and Alissa Flash. “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…”

Nowadays, Melissa is still active in the wrestling scene, and now she’s taking on a behind the scenes role with STARDOM USA. But Melissa’s career is far from finished. An ambassador outside the ring, a force to be reckoned with inside it, the former #1 women’s wrestler on PWI’s Female 50 of 2013, Melissa maintains the ability to make waves as she continues to impress the world.

We here at The Barbwire Blog honor Cheerleader Melissa as our latest recipient of our Legacy Award, given to those who left their mark in the industry and inspired today’s stars; not just because she is a phenomenal talent, but because she is a pioneer in the women’s wrestling scene in the modern era.

“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,” she says. “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.”

You can follow me on Twitter @matthewhollie as well as The Barbwire Blog’s official accounts:
Twitter: @BarbwireBlog
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