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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Melina

Although Melina Perez was born in Los Angeles, she grew up in the High Desert. Perez is of Mexican American origin and speaks English and Spanish as her native tongues.

Melina Perez is a notable wrestler and model in her professional life. Her ring aliases as a wrestler are Kyra, Melina, and Melina Perez. In February of 2022, she commemorated the 15th anniversary of her first victory. Likewise, she began her career as a model by competing in beauty pageants. Consequently, she was crowned Miss Hawaiian Tropic Anaheim. This model won numerous competitions, including Group USA Bridal Show, Ms. California Belleza Latina, and Group USA Fashion Show, during her career.

The wrestling career of Melina has taken many different turns throughout her two decades in the wrestling industry. Melina chased her dream of being a wrestler at a time when WWE mostly looked to hire models from other fields and where women were looked at as just eye candy and not wrestlers not respected. WWE still had Melina on their radar and made her a fixture on the roster for many years. Different characters or slight twists to her gimmick would lead to Melina having some versions standing out more than others. Melina thrived in certain roles that became attached to her career. However, there were also some negative changes that didn’t connect in the bigger picture. Find out which Melina renditions helped her become a legend and eventual hall of famer.


The current role of Melina in wrestling saw her wrestling for Billy Corgan’s NWA promotion. Melina is arguably the biggest name in the women’s division if not women’s wrestling to date. Corgan was trying to turn NWA into a bigger brand with more free agents coming over and get eyes on the women’s division at the time.

Melina looked good in her appearances working with Thunder Rosa. The flexibility of the role has seen Melina managing Rosa and wrestling matches. Thunder leaving NWA and going to AEW would see Melina moving forward on her own for what may be the final chapter of her career.

Relationship with Johnny Nitro

The introduction of Melina as the manager for MNM would see her and Johnny Nitro moving forward on their own. WWE split up the team when Joey Mercury was punished for violating the company’s wellness policy back in 2006.

Melina and Nitro moved into an act together with romantic implications. Instead of Melina strictly being a manager, she and Nitro had a few romantic moments together. Nitro won the Intercontinental Championship with Melina at his side, and she started to have more matches, and this would lead Perez to be one of the best female villains for years to come in WWE history.

Forgotten Mick Foley alliance

Mick Foley had a reputation during the Ruthless Aggression era in WWE for trying to help put over new wrestlers during his sporadic appearances as a legend. Names like Randy Orton and Edge moved to the next level in their careers after working with Foley throughout their time in WWE. WWE saw Foley pitching the idea of having an angle with Perez since he believed in her talent.

Melina was placed into various segments with Foley utilizing their friendship from real-life on television. Fans were confused about Melina being a face with Foley but a heel in other segments. Things ended predictably when Perez turned on Foley during a segment with Vince McMahon and ended up with Foley being Fired from WWE.

Feud with Beth Phoenix

The first major face run for Melina in WWE came in a feud with Beth Phoenix for the Women’s Championship. Melina and Phoenix were initially teaming up as heels to feud with Ashley Massaro and Maria Kanellis over their Playboy cover shoots which led to the teams having a Playboy Bunny Mania Lumberjill match at WrestleMania 24. Miscommunication from Melina accidentally hitting Beth with her boot costing Phoenix to lose her Women’s Championship match caused Beth to turn on Melina. Fans eventually started supporting Perez for changing her heel ways and standing up to Phoenix. The duo had a couple of great matches against each other, including a wild “I Quit” match won by Beth which was arguably one of the best women’s matches during that time and showcased what the “divas” were capable of if given time.


WWE would find the ultimate perfect act to introduce the trio of Melina, Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury. MNM thrived as the top heel tag team on the SmackDown brand when they would debut on April 14th, 2005, attacking Rey Mysterio during Carlito’s Cabana. A huge moment defeating Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Tag Team Championships made them a force to be reckoned with in the division.

Melina did most of the talking for Nitro and Mercury as an impressive heel promo and establishing themselves as heels. All three wrestlers benefited from having each other to build a reputation together. Melina might have been the most valuable part of the act to start things off, due to how many other teams failed at the time and how the company portrayed certain stars.

Final Face Work

Melina dealt with a few injuries towards the end of her WWE run in the late 2000s and early 2010s. A return would see her winning the Divas Championship from Jillian Hall in less than 5 minutes but would later have to vacant the title due to an ankle injury. Fans loved Perez as one of the few established top stars left in the division around this time.

WWE didn’t give the women many relevant segments or longer television time, which limited her best moments in the ring. Perez still did her best, looking for more opportunities and connecting with the fans, even if the company didn’t necessarily appreciate it and respect it.

First Singles Run As Dominant Women’s Champion

Melina’s career peaked in 2007 when she won the WWE Women’s Championship against Mickie James in the first Women’s Falls Count Anywhere match. After WWE rebranded Johnny Nitro as John Morrison, she went solo.

The singles run of Melina instantly clicked due to her established heel personality and fans finally getting to fully see her in-ring skills shine. Melina won the Women’s Championship to have tremendous rivalries against Mickie James and Candice Michelle as well as Michelle McCool. There were a couple of years where she was the best overall performer in the WWE women’s division.


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