-MELINA-

An image of  Melina Perez.

From: Los Angeles, CA

Associates: Johnny Nitro

WWE Debut: April 2005

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Melina started off her career as a fashion model. Upon encouragement from friends she signed on with the WWE’s reality show “Tough Enough 3.” Shortly thereafter she aligned herself with Johnny Nitro, and the two have been inseparable ever since.

In April 2005, Mercury, Nitro & Melina made an immediate impact in their SmackDown debut. Claiming to be the hot new team on the scene because of their good looks and the celebrity circles they run in, MNM walked to the ring on a red carpet with paparazzi photographers snapping pictures. Interrupting the very first Carlito’s Cabana, MNM attacked Rey Mysterio. One week later in their first SmackDown Match, Mercury & Nitro defeated Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

MNM also went on to have an intense rivalry with Batista & Rey Mysterio. On the Dec. 16 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, Melina tried to seduce Batista to get him to call off a match. Batista took the bait, but then thanked Melina for the warm-up when it was over. That night, Batista & Mysterio defeated MNM to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Two weeks later, Melina accused Batista of sexual harassment, and announced that she would be suing him. That night, Mark Henry made his return; he attacked Batista during a rematch for the WWE Tag Team Championship, handing MNM their third reign as champions. Henry would later attack Batista again during a Steel Cage Rematch before putting the Animal out of action with an injury.

With Batista out of the way, Melina sold Henry’s contract to Daivari, and MNM was able to concentrate on the WWE Tag Team Championship again. They began issuing an open challenge, offering any team an opportunity to beat them to earn a chance at their gold. Matt Hardy answered, and at No Way Out 2006, he & Tatanka defeated MNM; however, when the gold was on the line the next Friday night on SmackDown, MNM was able to come out on top. MNM later defeated Hardy & old foe Road Warrior Animal in another open challenge before Paul London & Brian Kendrick stepped up to the plate.The challenge of London & Kendrick ended up being the beginning of the end for MNM. After two months and five straight losses to London & Kendrick, MNM lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to them at Judgment Day. Nitro & Melina blamed the loss on Mercury, attacking him and effectively putting an end to MNM as a tag team unit. To make matters worse, Melina lost her singles match against Jillian in controversial fashion, and Melina and Nitro went to General Manager Theodore Long to protest the decision. When the GM refused to do anything about it, Melina responded by slapping him right across the face. Melina’s actions would not prove to be wise, as Theodore Long fired her and Nitro on the spot, effectively ending the couple’s run on SmackDown.

Nitro & Melina made their RAW debut on May 29, but it was an unsuccessful one as Nitro lost to John Cena after tapping out to the STFU. However, Nitro did manage to score his first RAW victory the following week when he defeated Charlie Haas; when Melina ran into the ring and feigned injuring her ankle, Nitro used the distraction to roll Haas up, using a handful of tights to help him get the victory.

On the June 12 RAW, Nitro took on Carlito with Shelton Benjamin sitting in on commentary; thanks to Benjamin’s interference, Nitro was able to defeat the Caribbean Superstar with an impressive standing Shooting Star Press. It was later announced that all three men would meet at Vengeance in a Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship. The following week, Nitro & Benjamin faced Carlito in a Handicap Match; while the two argued during the bout, they held it together long enough for Nitro to pin Carlito once again.

At Vengeance, Nitro stole Carlito’s pinfall on Shelton Benjamin to win the Intercontinental Championship. Carlito nailed Benjamin with the back cracker, but the opportunistic Nitro pulled him out of the ring and pinned the champion. The next night, Nitro and Melina tried to attack Trish Stratus, but Carlito came out to run them off.

The following week, Nitro defended his championship against Carlito who was about to get the pin before Melina jumped in. This caused Carlito to win by disqualification, allowing Nitro to keep the gold. This time it was Trish who came to Carlito’s aid to make sure he wasn’t out numbered.

The next week on RAW the Divas went at it like they were out for blood. Trish was about to hit Melina with some Stratusfaction, but Nitro caused a distraction at ringside allowing Melina to get a roll-up pin for the win. Carlito ran out before Melina and Nitro could double team Trish. Instead, she and her cool tag team partner doled out double beatings and double drop kicks on their opponents.

It all came to a head at Saturday Night’s Main Event in a mixed tag match where Nitro & Melina faced Carlito & Trish. Trish and Melina traded punches outside the ring allowing Carlito to give the unaided Nitro a back cracker and get the pin for the win. Trish joined Carlito in the ring to celebrate their victory while Nitro helped a furious, screaming Melina from the floor and back to the locker-room area.

With Carlito getting two wins over him, Melina better hope Nitro doesn’t have to face the Caribbean Superstar in a match for the Intercontinental Championship.

Now that they’re on RAW, red-carpet darlings Johnny Nitro and Melina will look to make the same impact that they made in their 13 months on SmackDown. While Melina gets hearts pounding with her unique ring entrance, she’s also a force to be dealt with around the ring, even declaring herself “the most-dominant Diva in WWE.”

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Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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