Wrestling / Karlee Perez


"My name is Maxine, and the only place for me is at the top."
Her WWE Catch-Phrase.

Karlee Lelani Perez is an American actress, model and professional wrestling personality. As a glance at her face would suggest, she has quite the collection of ethnicities in her blood - Spanish, Cuban, Hawaiian, Italian, English, Irish and Chinese to be specific. Before she entered wrestling, she studied to be a criminologist.

She signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2009 and first debuted in their developmental program FCW - first using the name Liviana. After a few months there, she appeared as one of the rookies for the third (all-women's) season of NXT where she was mentored by Alicia Fox, using the name Maxine. She was the second contestant eliminated, but continued dominating storylines in FCW - where she was even General Manager for a while. She enjoyed her biggest WWE success when she debuted as a character on NXT Redemption - first as the valet for Derrick Bateman, but soon breaking out on her own. After NXT Redemption was cancelled and retooled into the developmental show it is now, Maxine requested her release from WWE.

After a hiatus from wrestling for about a year, she has made a return to the squared circle - competing in TNA under her own name. She is currently part of Lucha Underground as 'Catrina'note .

Tropes at the top:

  • Aborted Arc: Maxine and Johnny Curtis were forced to be handcuffed to each other on NXT Redemption, starting a storyline of Maxine trying to please William Regal in the hopes of being freed. Storylines were then abruptly cancelled and NXT was retooled.
  • Alpha Bitch: Slowly became this on NXT Redemption.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Her complete list of ethnicities is above. WWE gave her the ambiguously exotic name Liviana at first, before going for the more Anglo sounding Maxine. In Lucha Underground she is presented as Latina.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kaitlyn quickly became this on NXT Redemption, as Maxine was jealous of her Odd Friendship with Derrick Bateman.
  • Armour-Piercing Slap: She was quite fond of slapping people, both in the ring and out.
  • Bad Boss: As FCW General Manager. She was later kicked out of office and replaced with Summer Rae.
  • Badass Boast: Her debut promo on NXT Season 3 - "The average person possesses three senses - business sense, street sense and common sense. But I am not average."
  • Battle Couple: First with Derrick Bateman and then with Johnny Curtis.
  • Bridezilla: Oh so much leading up to her wedding on the NXT 100th episode special.
  • Brownface: She's more tanned as Catrina than she is normally.
  • Butt-Monkey: As the only heel on NXT Season 3, this was bound to happen. Diva Dirt put it best:
    "Poor girl. Pie in the face to go with her almost broken neck."
  • By the Hair: A lot of her moves in the ring would involve dragging the other girl by her hair.
  • Cast Speciation: With Aksana's sudden gimmick change to Shameless Fanservice Girl Femme Fatale, Maxine opted to become more violent and crazy.
  • Characterization Marches On: Well her appearance anyway. In the promotional materials for NXT Season 3, she was featured with tight curly hair as she had worn in FCW. When she actually debuted, she'd adopted a different look of wearing her hair long and straight.
  • Cleavage Window: On many of her outfits, including the one in the page image.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Maxine would use every dirty trick she could think of to win a match.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When she was a guest on The Aksana Show, Aksana brought up a picture of Maxine kissing Hornswoggle on NXT.
    • Alicia Fox stopped by NXT Redemption after having undergone a Heel–Face Turn, and her being Maxine's pro on Season 3 was acknowledged.
    • She seized control of Lucha Underground at the end of Season 2, referencing how she had done the same in FCW.
  • Dark Action Girl: And how! She's very vicious in the ring. The lady herself has said that her arsenal is full of moves that she would use if she were in an actual fight.
  • Darker and Edgier: On NXT Season 3 she was mainly just mean and snarky. Upon her return on NXT Redemption, she was far more violent and crazy in the ring.
  • Demoted to Extra: After NXT Redemption ended she appeared only in multi-Diva tag matches and battle royals. After a few weeks of this, she asked for her release.
  • Designated Girl Fight: With Derrick Bateman feuding with Titus O'Neil - who had AJ Lee in his corner - Maxine re-debuted on NXT Redemption to take her out. This also allowed AJ the chance to wrestle on the show herself.
  • Epic Fail:
    • A botch in her first match on NXT Season 3 led to her and Naomi continuing to wrestle even when the music was being played and the winners announced.
    • There was also a legendarily bad match between her and Kaitlyn that both women are deeply ashamed of to this day.
  • Evil Slinks: She comes to the ring this way as Catrina.
  • Femme Fatale: This was the gimmick she pitched to debut with on Smackdown, but it went to Aksana instead. She finally got to play such a character as Catrina.
  • Finishing Move: She used a double underhook sitout facebuster to defeat AJ once. Then she adopted a dragon scissors, which she said was more practical to use on bigger Divas like Kaitlyn or Tamina.
  • Genius Bruiser: She studied to be a criminologist, was able to run FCW and used a lot of submissions and other 'smart' strategies in wrestling.
  • Genre Blind: When she baked a pie for Hornswoggle and then mocked him, did she not realise how that was going to go?
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Her "at the top" catch phrase was sometimes not-so-subtly changed to "on top". Alicia Fox once suggested that Maxine was "more comfortable on her back".
    • When she dressed up as the Ice Queen for Halloween, there was this exchange.
    Matt Stryker: You can melt that outfit.
    Maxine: I can. But you know what cold water does to a man, Stryker.
    Stryker shuffles off, hands cupped over his area.
  • Graceful Loser: When she was eliminated from NXT Season 3, she gave a very classy farewell speech.
  • Heel: Much like Maryse she only ever played a heel in her WWE career. She was even the only heel on NXT Season 3 (though Kaitlyn started as a heel, she quickly turned face). There is one recorded instance of her working as a face - teaming with AJ to face Naomi and Aksana at a live event shortly before Season 3 aired.
  • I Have Many Names: Liviana in FCW, Maxine in WWE, Catrina in Lucha Underground and her own name in TNA.
  • Insult Backfire: Her response to Alicia Fox's "on your back" comment? "I prefer to be on top."
  • Kiss of Death: Well lick of death, which she did to Mil Muertes's opponents before their matches.
  • Leotard of Power: Her default attire on NXT Redemption.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The dark feminine to Kaitlyn's light. This was played up again in TNA, with Taryn Terrell as the light.
  • Loophole Abuse: NXT Season 3 had a 'Kissing Contest' with Cody Rhodes. She made him kiss her hand.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Her relationship with Derrick Bateman. Not so much with Johnny Curtis.
  • Ms. Fanservice: As a heel, she was able to get away with it in the PG WWE. Her ring gear was very skimpy, she brought a lot of lesbian subtext to the proceedings and wasn't above dropping innuendos.
  • Phrase Catcher: For a while on NXT Redemption, the others would taunt her by calling her "fish lips".
  • Power Stable: In FCW she had the Star Squad - consisting of Lucky Cannon, Aksana and Damien Sandow.
  • Screaming Warrior: Good thing she and Paige or Melina were never in the same ring together.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: In a match against Aksana in FCW, Maxine had Goldust's music played to distract her and get a win. She could get away with it because...well she was the General Manager.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: And she was apparently told off for being too sexual and too curvy.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Deconstructed after a while where Kaitlyn got friends to hold an intervention for Derrick Bateman over how unhealthy his relationship with Maxine was.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: She's been sprayed with breath spray, given pie in the face, been caught kissing Hornswoggle and thrown off a mechanical bull.
  • Spicy Latina: Played with. Even though she has a little bit of Cuban and Spanish ancestry, her violent and sexual persona fit the bill on NXT Season 3.
  • Spy Catsuit: She wore these as FCW General Manager.
  • Stocking Filler: Some of her ring outfits had stockings on them.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She rarely wrestled in developmental and took on a valet role on NXT Redemption at first. Yet she was noted to be quite a standout in terms of wrestling once she did. She also won far more matches on NXT Redemption than she did on Season 3.
  • Tsundere: Normally violent and abusive to her boyfriends, she could show a softer side every now and then too. She also appeared to be on good terms with Aksana, judging by some backstage segments on NXT Redemption. And when she met Derrick Bateman's mother, she seemed to want to get along with her.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Both towards Derrick Bateman and Johnny Curtis.
  • Wedding Day: The 100th episode of NXT centred around Maxine's wedding to Johnny Curtis. In the final segment of the show, she ended up reconciling with Derrick Bateman.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Her costume as the 'Ice Queen' for NXT's Halloween Episode.
  • Worthy Opponent: In contrast to Aksana, who said she should have won NXT, Maxine honestly stated that Naomi deserved to win Season 3.