Just a few short days ago, it was announced that Melina Perez would be appearing at this Monday’s RAW Reunion show. This both wowed and shocked fans, as Melina hasn’t made a WWE appearance since 2011. Melina made her WWE debut on the April 15th 2005 edition of Smackdown. She originally debuted alongside Joey Mercury and long-time boyfriend Johnny Nitro (Johnny Mundo). Melina would quickly go on to establish herself as one of the more memorable heels of the Divas division of the time. She then left the company in January 2011 and has since continued working independent shows, where she remains a relative attraction. With the most recent Melina related news being that she is returning to RAW for at least one night – with tonight being the RAW Reunion show – join us as we take a short trip down memory lane and pay tribute to the Scream Queen.
Melina got her WWE start in 2005 – as the leader of MNM with Morrison and Nitro. MNM, then a trio of Hollywood wannabes (complete with red carpet), beat down Rey Mysterio. If you go back and compare Melina’s start with that of Trish Stratus, you won’t find too many differences. Both were excellent heels – able to rely on their good microphone work, as well as their sex appeal (Melina still has arguably one of the most entertaining entrances of all time) to keep crowds booing. What many don’t realise, however, is that – like Trish – Melina actually became a solid worker. In the age of Divas, Melina was a cut above most, alongside the obvious likes of Trish, Lita and Mickie James, to name just three.
Just one week after their debut, Mercury and Nitro would have their in-ring debut. They would defeat Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio to begin their first reign as WWE Tag Team Champions. Melina herself wouldn’t debut until another five months later, when she would defeat Michelle McCool (who would become an integral part of Melina’s career).
2006 saw Melina move to solo competition on RAW. She befriended hardcore icon, Mick Foley, and the two began an on-screen friendship. This, of course, prompted a short-lived face turn – culminating in Melina turning on Foley, after he joined the infamous “Kiss My Ass Club” to save her career. Melina low-blowed Foley, gaining her tremendous amounts of heat and parachuting her into a feud for the Women’s Championship.
Melina’s hunt for the Women’s Championship would result in a feud with her most famous rival – Mickie James. The two women were the perfect fit for a feud; Mickie the beloved fan-favourite and Melina the ultimate, conniving villain. Melina would fail in her first attempt to win the championship from Mickie. Melina, however, would go onto win in her second attempt against James – earning her her first ever Women’s Championship on the 02/19/07 edition of RAW. This feud saw history made, too, as James’ failed rematch was the first ever women’s falls count anywhere match in WWE history.
Melina would lose the championship in April of 2007 – at a live event in Paris, France. She would win it back from Mickie James in that same night, after Mickie won the championship by pinning Victoria. Unfortunately, she would then lose the championship for her second time at the Night of Champions 2007 PPV, where she was defeated by Candice Michelle. She wouldn’t reclaim the Women’s Championship until Royal Rumble 2009, which began her longest reign with the title – culminating in a defeat against Michelle McCool at The Bash ’09. This would be Melina’s final reign with the Women’s Championship.
Melina would also find relative success with the WWE Divas Championship, which she held two times. The first reign beginning with a win over former ally (and shrink for MNM) Jillian Hall on the October 12th 2009 edition of Monday Night RAW. This would mark the first time Melina had to vacate a title through injury. Melina would not reclaim the Divas Championship until August 2010. Just one month later, Melina would once again lose against Michelle McCool – with McCool now the heel and Melina a babyface. This Night of Champions bout was special for the unification of the Women’s and Diva’s Championships. Just twelve months later, Melina Perez was gone from the company.
Since her WWE departure, Melina has made a number of independent appearances. She has worked for Southside Wrestling Entertainment, where she captured the Queen of Southside Championship and was named Southside’s Queen of the Ring in 2016. Perez has briefly worked for Battle Championship Wrestling, where she captured the BCW Women’s Championship. She has worked for Maryland Championship Wrestling, where she has captured the MCW Women’s Championship. She was also inducted into the Empire Wrestling Federation’s EWF Hall of Fame in 2016. In addition to her indie career, she has made numerous appearances on the small screen. She appeared in such shows as Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp and Bad Girls Club.
Despite almost a decade of absence from the WWE, Perez remains a recognisable character. Her years feuding with Mickie James; managing MNM and even her babyface work makes her a talent capable of generating a pop. Whilst her reality TV career never quite reached the heights of her wrestling one, the Melina character was one laced in reality TV. Sure, it is possible that certain fans have moved on from her – and younger fans might not be familiar with her work. But it is a certainty that once she comes to the ring and hits the splits at RAW Reunion, she’ll have the fans back on her side.