Wednesday, February 21, 2007

WWE Womens Wrestling Champion: Melina, part 2

Prior to her professional wrestling career, Perez was a fashion model. In 2001, after talking to Mike Henderson, she decided to become a professional wrestler and enrolled in Jesse Hernandez's School of Hard Knocks to train. Perez's pro-wrestling debut came in 2002 on a tour of the independent wrestling scene. She joined a number of California-based promotions, such as the Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF), where she wrestled for four years under the name Kyra. Melina Perez tried out for the WWE's reality show Tough Enough III, but was eliminated from competition in the final cut of the first episode.

Perez debuted in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) "farm territory" Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in March 2004 when Matt Cappotelli (kayfabe) brought her in as a way to taunt her ex-boyfriend Johnny Nitro. Melina, however, turned on Cappotelli and aligned herself with Nitro. Soon after, Nitro began teaming with Joey Matthews, later known as Joey Mercury. On November 10 the trio, now known as MNM, won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship.

While in OVW, Melina made occasional appearances on WWE television. One short appearance was on a Thanksgiving episode of SmackDown! in 2003 where Melina dressed up as a Native American. She was shown serving food and drinks, and as one of the girls that John Cena raps to.

Melina also made her first RAW appearance on November 24, 2004 when Randy Orton was a guest General Manager on RAW, and hosted a diva lingerie fashion show. Melina made more RAW appearances in late 2004, including a limbo contest in December 2004, but then she later returned to Ohio Valley Wrestling and MNM.

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