POST NEWS UPDATE: Cheerleader Melissa discusses being at IMPACT 1000, returning as 'Raisha Saeed'

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2024/01/02/post-news-update-cheerleader-melissa-discusses-being-at-impact-1000-returning-as-raisha-saeed/

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** While doing a virtual signing for Captain’s Corner, Cheerleader Melissa spoke about returning to IMPACT/TNA as a part of IMPACT 1000. Melissa is known as ‘Raisha Saeed’, the manager of Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong). She shared that she stays in contact with those at IMPACT and mentioned that she noticed they were bringing Stevens back but inquired about a Raisha Saeed appearance. Melissa did not hear anything back for quite some time and then she was contacted by someone from IMPACT who said they were excited to have her at the taping. She checked her email and her flight itinerary was waiting there.

This (photo) was the (IMPACT) 1,000 (episode). Look at my comeback outfit. She clearly got an upgrade.

It was so funny because we all keep in contact, so I was like, ‘Oh, cool. You guys are bringing in Awesome Kong’ and then I was like, you know, ‘What about Raisha?’ And I never heard anything back for the longest time. So I didn’t hear anything. I was like, well I mean, you know, no hard feelings or anything and then, somebody else contacted me. They’re like, ‘Hey! We’re so excited to have you for White Plains,’ blah, blah, blah and I’m like, ‘I’m sorry. What are you talking about? You’re the first person to tell me.’ They’re like, ‘You didn’t talk to anyone?’ And I’m like, ‘No. I never talked to anyone’ and then I even had to look at my email and I had my flight booked. I was booked for those, and I had no idea. I had all my info. I was like, ‘Oh! Okay. This is exciting…’

** After STARDOM’s 12/24 show, Mina Shirakawa sat down with KAKUTOLOG for an interview. She recalled a time when STARDOM staff and others told her she wrestled well but ‘uneven’. She was frustrated after hearing said comments.

I was told by the staff and others that, ‘Shirakawa fights well, but she is uneven.’ That made me very frustrated. I wondered why I should be told that by someone who (in a sense) had never wrestled before… I put my life on the line every time. I felt so frustrated.

** In a new interview that New Japan Pro-Wrestling pushed out with Kazuchika Okada, he expressed that he’s enjoying his NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Title reign with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii. He said it’s been fulfilling and there are times when their match is better than the main event.

I lost the (IWGP World Heavyweight) Title, but after that, I won the NEVER 6-Mans. It was my first tag belt. It’s been a lot of fun, wrestling on a team. We’ve wrestled a lot of different opponents, and each match has had a different theme. You only get that with these titles. We wrestled the next generation coming up, top wrestlers in AEW and IMPACT and got a good bit of buzz around these belts. A lot of the time, our match has been better than the main events. It’s been really fulfilling.

** Joining The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast was Ortiz. He shared that if he could form a tag team with anyone, he’d circle back to what he and Eddie Kingston were doing prior to his hernia injury. He feels that he and Kingston were finding a groove.

Eddie Kingston would be up there, one of them (people I would choose to form a team with). We definitely did do it for a while, but, he got hurt. I think that’s when he got his hernia and he was out for a little while. So we were tagging and that’s when we had the Akiyama match, the Jun match and we were tagging and it looked like we were kind of gonna be a tag team, but then he came back, he did the G1 and he did the tournament and he kind of went off to his own path. So, I’ll maybe revisit that this year. I mean, we’ll see what happens. But if I say, the first person probably would be Eddie Kingston. Who after that? I don’t know. That’s me biasedly answering that just because it was already kind of a thing and I feel like we were really getting into kind of a groove. It just got cut short.

Further speaking about Kingston, he discussed his success and winning the AEW Continental Classic. Ortiz said Kingston is almost like the current generation’s Dusty Rhodes.

Man, it’s dope (seeing Eddie Kingston’s success). Everyone that knew Eddie or if you’ve seen Eddie on the independents and just any wrestlers that’s shared a locker room with him and just seen him do a promo and just seen him have one of those matches, we all knew who he was and just the rest of the world needed to be exposed to that. I’ve said it to him, he doesn’t like the reference but, he’s almost like our generation’s Dusty Rhodes. He’s the everyday guy, you know what I mean? He’s the blue-collar guy. He’s legit that guy and it’s just, his promos make you believe. No matter what, you know it’s coming from a place that’s real and then just him being my friend, on top of me actually just being a fan of his work, it was really awesome man. I was watching at home (AEW Worlds End) because sadly I wasn’t at the pay-per-view, but I was watching on my cell phone because I couldn’t mirror it onto my TV. I was like, I really feel like a dad, like an old dad that couldn’t get the technology to work. I’m pissed off, wanting to break my phone… So anyways, I got to watch him win the Intercontinental Classic on a really two-inch screen, but it was really cool. It was dope. I love it.

Looking back on his pairing with Mike Santana, he recalled them wrestling The Briscoes for wXw Germany. An agent told them to not go ‘too crazy’ because they were opening the show and there were a lot of matches left on the card.

One time in Germany, we (Ortiz & Santana) wrestled them (The Briscoes). We did wXw’s Tag League in 2017? 2018? Maybe 2017. But we wrestled them in night two I believe. So yeah, we got to touch them one time and it was awesome. It was really cool. But we specifically dialed back that match just because we were one of the first matches on the tournament and wXw runs their company very professionally, like a television product. So they had agents and the only thing that the agent came to us was just like, ‘Please don’t go too crazy, you know what I mean? Because you guys are opening up the card and we have so many matches.’ So we were specifically asked to dial back the match and not have a crazy, PWG, wild one. But for what we did in the ring with them, it was awesome. We felt the chemistry and wanted to wrestle them again but unfortunately, it never happened.

** ‘Fine Online’ rolled out their piece on NJPW’s YOH. He spoke about his 2023 and feels it was a year where he was able to express himself as a singles wrestler. He felt it was a productive year for him. In 2024, YOH wants to win a singles title and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament.

Looking back on the year 2023, I have always had a strong tag team image, but I think it was a year in which I was able to express my character as a singles wrestler as well. Although I did not win the championship belt, it was a productive year for me in terms of expressing myself. (In 2024), I would like to win a belt. I would like to focus on winning first place not only in Best of the Super Juniors but also in every tournament.

** In early 2023, Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford worked dates for DDT Pro-Wrestling. The duo came out of their run with Ironman Heavymetalweight Title reigns. Sabian appeared on Cultaholic’s Desert Island Graps podcast and reflected on debuting for DDT and how much that meant to him.

That was why when I got to go to DDT in February, that was such a big moment for me because, you know, in 2012, young Kip at that point was like, ‘I wanna do this. I really wanna wrestle here’ so when I got to do that and I even talked about it in a couple of the interviews as well that I did for DDT where like ever since I saw that match (Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi in DDT), that’s where I wanted to go and wrestle and so yeah, I got to tick that one off the list. Now, I just have to do it in Budokan. I need to have that match — maybe not that match but, a match in the same setup.

** To promote the next installment of Sareee-ISM on January 16th, Proresu-TODAY conducted an extensive interview with Sareee. She told the outlet that Jaguar Yokota, who is scheduled to be on the show, suffered a minor knee injury that she is working through.

Also, the other day, Jaguar-san hurt her knee a little, but didn’t take time off and (still) participates in the matches… But she didn’t tell anyone, and she was still limping through the match… She is injured at that level, but she didn’t say anything.

** All Japan Pro Wrestling Results (1/2/24) from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
– Koji Iwamoto, Naruki Doi & Takahiro Katori def. Fuminori Abe, Rising HAYATO & Ryo Inoue
GAORA TV Championship: Black Menso-re def. Minoru Tanaka (c)
– Kuroshio TOKYO Japan, Seigo Tachibana & Shotaro Ashino def. Atsuki Aoyagi, Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi
– Misa Matsui & Natsumi Sumikawa def. Asako Mia & Miku Aono
– Davey Boy Smith Jr., Hokuto Omori, Jun Saito, Minoru Suzuki & Rei Saito vs. Mitsuya Nagai, Osamu Nishimura, Ren Ayabe, Ryuki Honda & Suwama – No Contest
– Charlie Dempsey & Yuma Anzai def. Hideki Suzuki & Katsuhiko Nakajima
AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship: Dan Tamura (c) def. Hikaru Sato
Battle Royal: Ryo Inoue def. Atsuki Aoyagi, Black Menso-re, Dan Tamura, Fuminori Abe, Hideki Suzuki, Hikaru Sato, Hokuto Omori, Jun Saito, Kento Miyahara, Koji Iwamoto, Naruki Doi, Rei Saito, Ren Ayabe, Rising HAYATO, Ryuki Honda, Seigo Tachibana, Suwama, Takahiro Katori, Yuma Anzai & Yuma Aoyagi

** At the 2023 Japan Indie Awards, Hiromu Takahashi and Fujita Hayato won the Best Bout Award for their match on October 15th for Michinoku Pro Wrestling.

** IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi did a lengthy interview with Famitsu about video games.

** NJPW President Hiroshi Tanahashi spoke to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated.

** McKenzie Mitchell joined Tommy Dreamer and Denise Salcedo on Busted Open Radio.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.