Professional Debut: 2002, WWE Debut: 2005
Managed: Mark Henry (WWE), Mick Foley (WWE), MNM (OVW/WWE)
Debut Match: Melina vs. Michelle McCool (SmackDown!, 06/30/05)
Brand History: SmackDown! (2005 - 2006), RAW (2006 - Present)
Achievements: WWE Women's Champion (2)
TOUGH ENOUGHMelina Perez began her career as a model where she won the Miss California beauty contest. Winning the competition allowed her to broaden her horizons and she soon began working as a model for athletic clothing companies such as Nike. By 2000 Melina decided that wrestling was a career she’d be interested in pursuing and consequently joined Jesse Hernandez’s School of Hard Knocks. Melina’s pro-wrestling debut came in 2002 where she joined several Californian Independent Wrestling organisations; most notably Empire Wrestling Federation. Perez’s ring names whilst working this field were Kyra and Melanie Little Deer.
With her experience Melina Perez felt it right to apply to Tough Enough III. The former two-time Women’s Champion made the final twenty-one before getting cut. In spite of not continuing in the contest Melina joined Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2004 where she debuted as the former girlfriend of John Hennigan (John Morrison). The man responsible for her debut was Matt Capotelli who was feuding with Hennigan at the time. In the end though Melina turned on Matt Capotelli and joined Johnny Nitro.
The infamous trio of MNM came to life soon after and on November 10 2004 Nitro and Mercury became the OVW Southern Tag Team Champions. Whilst in OVW Melina occasionally got a call-up to WWE as an extra. On a Thanksgiving episode Melina appeared as a Native American serving refreshments. She also appeared on RAW as part of Randy Orton’s fashion show on November 29 and then again for a Limbo Contest.
MERCURY, NITRO AND MELINA - MNMApril 14 2005 was the day in which history was made. Melina, Nitro and Mercury - collectively known as MNM - debuted on an edition of Carlito’s Cabana where Rey Mysterio was a guest. Melina first berated Rey Mysterio and then he was attacked by Nitro and Mercury. The next week they made their in-ring debut and picked up the WWE Tag Team Championships from the duo of Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio.
Melina also began getting physical in the ring making her in-ring debut against Michelle McCool. After the match McCool received the Snapshot and was ultimately wrote out of future storylines. Elsewhere Melina made her pay-per-view debut against Torrie Wilson at the Great American Bash where she was also victorious. From here Melina set her attention on RAW Diva and Women’s Champion Trish Stratus.
After kidnapping Trish Stratus in London, England the pair met at Survivor Series for the belt. Trish Stratus won the match after Mickie James aided her ‘idol’. The next month MNM were suddenly sprung with a title defence against Rey Mysterio and then World Champion Batista. Melina visited Batista in his lockeroom and as Batista left he thanked her for the ‘warm-up’. Later in the night MNM lost the tag team belts. The next SmackDown! saw Melina hold a press conference citing that Batista had sexually harassed her. MNM evoked their re-match clause that night and with help from Mark Henry they regained their gold.
Melina announced that Mark Henry was her protection against Batista. Henry accompanied all three members of MNM throughout the feud with Batista and Rey Mysterio. At Judgment Day MNM lost the WWE Tag Team Championships to Brian Kendrick and Paul London, and then Melina lost a singles match with Jillian Hall. Clearly irate Nitro attacked Mercury and the Melina slapped Theodore Long resulting in him firing MNM on the spot!
DITCHING DEAD-WEIGHTThe loss of Joey Mercury didn’t phase the advancement of Melina and Johnny Nitro as they debuted on RAW on the May 29 edition of RAW. Melina helped guide Nitro to the Intercontinental Championship and at the same time rekindled her hatred for Trish Stratus. At Saturday Night’s Main Event the duo joined forces to take on Carlito and Trish Stratus, unfortunately for Melina she lost the match.
After Melina's arrival on RAW, Mick Foley began to mention her in promos, playing on the real friendship they had forged that he talked about in his WWE.com columns, and they soon formed an on-screen friendship. At SummerSlam, Melina was involved in Foley's "I Quit" match against Ric Flair when Flair threatened to hit her with a barbed wired baseball bat, causing Foley to quit the match to save her. On the August 21 edition of RAW, her career was endangered when Foley was offered the choice to either join Vince McMahon's Kiss My Ass club or have Melina fired. After begging Foley not to go through with it, Foley "joined the club" to save Melina's job, only to have her suddenly turn on him by delivering a low blow and firing him at the behest of McMahon. Mick Foley mentioned in his ’Hardcore Diaries’ that the idea was formulated by himself as a way of getting Melina more over and helping to refresh the Kiss My Ass angle. It was also around this time that Melina added another characteristic to her gimmick: screaming loudly at ringside while managing or in tag team action, which became known as the "primal scream".
GOLDEN QUEENOn January 29, 2007, Melina became the number 1 contender for the WWE Women's Championship, during this match she re-introduced her finisher from the independent circuit, the Kyrapractor, to the WWE under the new name California Dream. On February 5 Melina lost a title match against Mickie James. The following week on RAW, Melina pinned James in a mixed tag team match and then challenged James again for the title. On February 19, Melina was booked to win the Women's Championship from James and, in continuation of their storyline feud, retained the title in a rematch during the first ever Women's Falls Count Anywhere match in WWE history.
In March, Melina was placed in an angle where she became jealous of SmackDown! Diva Ashley Massaro due to Ashley's attention toward her appearance in Playboy. The angle had Melina claim in her blogs that all Playboy cover models were not capable of fighting her in the ring. This resulted in scheduled matches against former Playboy cover girls Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle, with both women losing to Melina. The storyline finished at WrestleMania 23 with Melina pinning Ashley in a Lumberjill match to retain her Women's Championship in her first WrestleMania match.
After WrestleMania, Melina organized a photo op with the Women's Title belt in the ring but was interrupted by Mickie James, resulting in another feud between the two Divas. On April 24 at a house show in Paris, France, Melina lost the Women's Championship in a Triple Threat match to James when James pinned Victoria, but on the orders of Jonathan Coachman she was entitled to a rematch on the same night, where she pinned James to regain the title and become a two-time WWE Women's Champion. On May 7 Melina was defeated in a tag team match when she was pinned by Candice Michelle. Melina was scripted to lose to Candice in various tag team matches, as well as in non-title bouts over the next few weeks. At Vengeance, Melina dropped the Women's Championship to Candice, and failed to recapture the title at The Great American Bash.
Melina was soon shafted as Beth Phoenix stepped up to feud with Candice Michelle. This angered the former Women's Champion who began brutally attacking her opponents whenever she was given the chance. Almost six months on Melina re-surfaced with a storyline at her feet. The former Champion made her second Wrestlemania appearance where she defeated Playboy Cover Girls Maria and Ashley alongside Beth Phoenix.
SLAYING A GLAMAZON
After losing a tag team match on RAW, Melina and her partner - Beth Phoenix - erupted into a full scale brawl. The two ladies met at Judgment Day alongside the Women's Champion Mickie James. Melina was pinned in the match which did not sit well with Beth Phoenix. The brawling, bad-mouthing and hatred continued to brew as the two clashed at One Night Stand in the first ever I Quit Match for females in WWE History. Melina lost the match, but her recent showings tell us she's not done with fighting the war.