Melina Nava Perez
is a Latin-American beauty queen from Los Angeles
who won Miss Hawaiian Tropics Anaheim, Ms. California Belleza Latina and a couple group USA shows before turning to Professional Wrestling
and eventually becoming a WWE Diva
. She first became interested in a wrestling career by talking to EWF superstar Mike Henderson, which lead to her training in Jessie Hernandez's School Of Hard Knocks in 2001 and Kyra
making her official debut not too long after. Kyra tried out for the third season of WWE Tough Enough
in 2003, where she was one of the last cut. She continued to wrestle in Empire Wrestling Federation, Ultimate Pro Wrestling, Arizonan Impact Zone Wrestling and Mexican WWA as Kyra and as Melanie Little Deer
in CRUSH (by the man who gave you GLOW
) until she successfully signed with WWE in 2004. Melina initially was the manager of MNM in developmental OVW, though occasionally wrestled, sometimes as Kyra again when allowed back on independent shows, before the team moved up to the main WWE roster and Melina broke out on her own to join the Women's division. After a Heel-Face Turn
in 2008 she became surprisingly over. She was eventually released by WWE in 2011 but continued to pursue work in independent promotions such as WSU
as well as in those outside of the continental USA. She is a three-time WWE Women's Champion
and 2-time WWE Divas' Champion
- Aborted Arc: She started feuding with Maryse over the Divas' title when the latter returned from injury. However she suffered a torn ACL and had to vacate the title, leaving her out of action for eight months.
- The Ace
- The Kyra gimmick, at least in EWF and UPW. At the age of three her family and their friend had her wrestle tiger cubs for their amusement and eventually put together a traveling show with Kyra's tiger wrestling as the main attraction as they all got older, taking challenges from zoos and nature preserves and was later hired by the CIA at 19, which saw her take down 198 drug dealers and had become an undefeated underground fighting legend known for taking on five opponents at a time by age 23 when she joined Empire Wrestling Federation. This all made her one of the more arrogant wrestlers on the roster.
- According to Bret Hart, Melina was the best worker in the company during her time in the WWE. Not diva, worker.
- Action Heroine: Kyra was a very over the top version.
- Alpha Bitch: Played the role so well that many were convinced that she had to be like that in real life.
- Ambiguously Brown: Whatever Melina was using to tan during her first Smackdown run looked fine, so long as she was by herself. Next to Nitro and Mercury it was clear they were using fake tan.
- Arch-Enemy: According to an interview with Glory it was "Anyone who steps with me inside of that ring." That said, Candice Michelle, Beth Phoenix and Michelle McCool are sometimes counted as this for her WWE run.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Subverted. She slapped Teddy Long when he wouldn't reverse the decision of her match, and got fired as a result. This was also how she turned heel on Natalya.
- Bash Brothers: With Frankie Kazarian, John Morrison and Joey Mercury...eventually with Mickie James too. Hurricane Shane Helms in Lucha Libre USA.
- Battle Cry: So often that hers was named "The Primal Scream".
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Was apparently given a bloody lip during one televised match that of course wasn't seen (the blood that is, the match still aired).
- Bound and Gagged: She had Mercury and Nitro abduct Trish Stratus and this is how they presented her to Melina.
- Breakup Breakout: Averted. She broke out slowly on her own and her alliance with John Morrison quietly disappeared. Played straight compared to Joey Mercury, however.
- Braids of Action: Kyra was known for wrestling with one long braided ponytail. Melanie Little Deer had braided pig tails, but they signaled her being Amerindian more than a person of action.
- The Bully: MNM tried to bully OVW's locker room after their big Smackdown debut. The only one who took them seriously though was Maria Kanellis, who was a booker/interviewer.
- The Cameo: While injured in 2010, she made one in a backstage segment at WrestleMania 26.
- Canon Name: Was only ever known as "Melina" in her WWE career, though was referred to by her last name Perez a few times.
- Catfight: With Jillian Hall at the make-up table. Averted when Beth attacked her backstage. It was brutal and incredibly violent, void of any Fanservice.
- Comedic Spanking: Got one from Velvet Sky at WWC 08/05/12. Melina returned the favor before pinning her with the sunset split. Melina gave Velvet another at the Aniversario show to discipline Sky shaking her ass all over the second rope.
- Contortionist: Melina is a back bender to the extreme who can easily shrug off most submission holds and she can also split over 180 degrees. While the shows these result in might be fun to watch though, they aren't always fun for Melina, such as when Beth Phoenix forced Melina to repeatedly kick herself in the back of her head.
- Corpsing: At Survivor Series 2007 she slipped and fell off the apron while trying to do the splits. Despite playing a heel, she burst out laughing and was still giggling to herself when she did them properly a second time.
- Defeat by Modesty: Double subverted. She beat Torrie Wilson in a Bra & Panties match (by stripping Torrie's clothes off). However she decided to attack the special guest referee, Candice Michelle, and got double teamed by her and Torrie-they ensured Melina got stripped to her bra and panties anyway, which sent Melina fleeing backstage.
- Demoted to Extra: At the start of 2011 after supposedly pissing off management by acknowledging her feud with Natalya was only a storyline. Put it this way, at the start of the year she was the #1 contender for the Divas' title. Her final appearance with the company eight months later was being the first girl eliminated from a battle royal.
- Designated Girl Fight: Whenever MNM was feuding with another tag team, they'd usually recruit another Diva to help deal with Melina. Ashley Massaro, Jillian Hall and Christy Hemme are examples.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Her backstage encounter with Batista did not get the results Melina wanted. So she started a slander campaign claiming he harassed her, hired Mark Henry to take him out and then sued Batista while he was injured.
- The Dog Bites Back: Despite Beth brutally attacking her backstage, Melina refused to back down and attacked her right back the very next week.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before officially debuting with MNM, she appeared a few months earlier on Raw. First as a participant in Randy Orton's lingerie fashion show and the next week in a limbo contest.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Her transition from valet to active competitor in the women's division was marked by her hair going from brown with blonde highlights to almost completely black.
- Femme Fatalons: As a heel. Jillian once encouraged her to rake Torrie with them but normally Melina would strike with her forearms or hands clasped to avoid breaking her nails. Less so after she trained with Nitro and Mercury for her first title shot which, among other things, included throwing more punches.
- Finishing Move: "The Last Call" - a leg-trap sunset flip powerbomb (more commonly known as the Code Red of Amazing Red). Also the "Sunset Split" - an inverted DDT combined with a split-leg drop. Also the Kyranium Buster (block buster) and Kyrapractor (muta lock) but mostly from her days as Kyra, obviously.
- Fur and Loathing: Wore fur down to the ring for her match at WrestleMania 23. Was actually included on WWE.com's list of top Mania attires and was the only Diva to make the list.
- Genre Savvy: Only two other Divas have actually attacked Melina while she was doing the splits on the apron - Mickie James and Michelle McCool. Michelle tried this a second time and Melina turned it around on her - grabbing the second rope and pulling herself up when Michelle went to kick her.
- Gimmick Matches: Competed in the first Divas' Falls Count Anywhere and I Quit matches. Also Bra & Panties matches, a pudding match, a pillow fight and naturally many Lumberjill matches.
- Girly Bruiser: Competed formerly in many beauty pageants, was known for loving feathers and ruffles, always looked fabulous...and also known for living for the fight and kicking the ass of anyone who messed with her girly things. She won five titles in WWE and competed in Falls Count Anywhere matches and an I Quit match.
- Halloween Cosplay: As Spider-Woman in 2010. Some house shows featured her fighting Maryse dressed as Cat Woman or Alicia Fox dressed as Bo peep.
- Hijacked by Ganon: When Victoria was in one of her psycho phases she made a checklist for the divas on the roster she wanted to take out. Melina agreed to follow Victoria's orders in exchange for being kept off of the list.
- Homage: She once did one to Ricky Steamboat that was unusual. He was in the front row and she walked to the ring and Johnny lifted up the back of her skirt to show that she had "STEAM BOAT" written across her butt.
- Hypocrite: Criticised the Divas who had posed in Playboy for flaunting their bodies. Yet had no problem dropping numerous Panty Shots when she was in MNM and also "sleeping" with Batista to try and stop him from facing Mercury and Nitro. It's likely this was intentional as she was the Heel and in fact was put to the test by Ashley Masaro, who told Melina Hugh Hefner had been trying to contact her and watched her and Jillian Hall get all excited before they realized she was lying, which caused Melina to say she would not have agreed to anything anyway to a nodding Jillian.
- Improbable Age: Every career path Kyra was in prior to professional wrestling was an example, and she'd let anyone who would listen know it.
- Insult Backfire: Melina takes diva to mean she's distinguished and stands out. If you meant "prima donna" she knows what she's worth, won't settle for less and you'd agree she had every right to act that way if you knew what she went through.
- Kayfabe: Started out preserving it even online but later switched to just being herself after her "face turn". In her blogs, she attacked Candice Michelle before they had started feuding. It's still unknown whether it was a work or they were put into a feud because of that. Gail Kim was also very annoyed with her during their mini-feud on Superstars when Melina admitted it was only a storyline via Twitter, even after "turning heel" again.
- Laser-Guided Karma: While Beth Phoenix was essentially an arrogant bully upset that she did not get her way, her forcing Melina to submit in an I quit match was karmic punishment for Melina's complete lack of gratitude toward Mick Foley giving up an I quit match with Ric Flair to stop Flair from beating Melina with a baseball bat. Later when Vince McMahon was going to fire Melina, Foley kissed his ass to save her job. When Vince asked Melina what she thought of that, she said Foley should be fired, which he was. Phoenix had something coming too but Melina really deserved what she got.
- The Load: In sharp contrast to her role on the Californian scene, Kyra was known for getting beat up in WWA so her partner, Lola Gonzales, would look better when she entered the ring and basically won the match by herself.
- Lovely Angels: With Beth Phoenix first as a heel and later Gail Kim as a face.
- Mini Dress Of Power: Stopped wearing them in an effort to be taken more seriously.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: One of her heel "quirks". Try not to pull the hair and don't break any of Melina's nails unless you prefer to wrestle an angry Determinator over a cowardly competitor more worried about protecting her manicures than winning.
- Ms. Fanservice
- Her ring entrance originally involved her doing a split on the apron and giving the audience a look up her skirt.
- At the start of her Heel-Face Turn, she did the splits for Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross on the announce table.
- Diamonds in the Buff: In 2005, she did a photo shoot for WWE's website where she was on a couch nude and barely covered by MNM's WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title belts, while wearing a necklace and other jewelry.
- Panty Shot: Initially during her time in MNM when she did the splits. She kept the entrance after becoming a full time wrestler but wrestled in tights, thus averting the trope.
- Multicoloured Hair: At first, she stopped dying it after her face turn.
- Naked People Are Funny: When she was "dating" Hornswoggle, he came up on Melina while she was in the shower, causing her to run away screaming, covered by a towel but Hornswoggle chased after her and pulled it away. Next week she was pinned by Mickie James after Horswoggle's distracted Melina before she could hit the sunset split. She chased him under the ring where she was heard screaming before Hornswoggle emerged with her top, then went back under to get her pants. Melina just stuck her head out, demanding her clothes back while Horswoggle ran away waving them around.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: She's always been a target for backstage controversy. Some people have said she slept around and was obnoxious while others have said she was friendly and perfectly pleasant. Maria Kanellis offered a compromise and said "I used to get along with her but then she drove me crazy". The two seemed on good enough terms when they appeared on Afterbuzz together. Fans have also said she is always nice and friendly.
- A lot of it does come from the fact that she kept working her angles in her blogs (when she was heel anyway). The Bella Twins offered a compromise - saying they never saw that side of her when they were in WWE. They theorised she may have had a lot of heat in her early years but shook it off later.
- She was also very shy according to Mick Foley when she first debuted. She mostly talked only to MNM and that led to a lot of workers assuming she was ignorant and arrogant. She was even taken to Wrestlers' Court over it.
- Noodle Incident: It was never acknowledged why Gail Kim was "always a horrible friend" to her.
- Paparazzi:A left over from MNM but she eventually dropped them. Rosa Mendes infiltrated the group to sneak attack Melina. Beth Phoenix also stole one of their cameras once after participating in a group beatdown on Melina involving Rosa Mendes and Jillian. She had good reason to drop them.
- Persona Non Grata: She and John Morrison got banned from the Skybar Nightclub in Los Angeles after they jumped in a pool to celebrate her birthday.
- Poisonous Friend: Maria for a brief angle on Smackdown that went nowhere when Melina was traded back to Raw.
- Punch Parry: Subverted, Melina and Layla tried to kick each other at the same time and unexpectedly knocked shins. They kicked twice more before Layla wound up for another which Melina just let whiff for an open shot. In a future match Layla slapped Melina in the face as soon as their kicks collided.
- Rapunzel Hair: Had naturally flowing black hair down well past her waist from 2007 until late 2010. She shortened it a little to around chest-length prior to her WWE departure.
- Reimagining the Artifact: The red carpet and paparazzi as part of her entrance initially was there because MNM's gimmick was of arrogant heels who thought they were A-listers. When MNM split, she kept the red carpet and paparazzi because she was still a cocky primadonna. When she turned face, they still remained because she was now a gracious and humble 'celebrity'.
- The Rival: Shelly Martinez, under her many ring names, was this to Kyra. Sadly there was no Melina vs. Ariel in WWE. Melissa Coates and Ebony Princess were also early rivals, if less frequent ones.
- Screaming Warrior: Oh good God! Nothing made MNM more hated than Melina's happy screams when they were winning...or her angry screams when losing. Both her sunset split and last call are usually preceded by a long battle cry too.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: As MNM's valet. Once actually broke up a pin against MNM by climbing in the ring and literally screaming in the referee's ear.
- She-Fu: Moreso as a face - a lot of cartwheels, Matrix-dodges and splits in her matches.
- Signature Move: Though she switched to a different one about every six months. In WWE she started with a series of mounted forearms or chokes and ended with a seated senton, with various axe handles, hair pull face busters, a high leg stomp and many illegal holds in between them. Her finishing sequence of divastator kicks were downgraded to a signature move too.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Essentially the raison d'etre of MNM, which fit their gimmick of name-dropping party-crashing Hollywood scenesters who claimed to know all kinds of famous people but didn't actually do anything. On top of that, not a month in and she was already claiming to be the most dominant diva in the WWE.
- Spicy Latina: Played with. As a heel she was angry, promiscuous and aggressive but otherwise presented as "Anglo". As a face she dropped the angry and promiscuous but kept the aggression.
- Spy Catsuit: Switched her ring gear to this in 2011, though without any sleeves.
- Squash Match: Defeated Jillian in one to become the Divas' Champion, giving Jillian the shortest reign on record, which will most likely never be broken. Also retained the title in another against Alicia Fox.
- Stripperiffic: Normally averted, except for her match at Survivor Series 2005.
- Take That: An obvious 'parting shot' at her came the week after her release. Beth Phoenix said in a promo "no more splits" which Melina took as a shot at her.
- Theme Naming: Many of her moves were named based on the fact that she's from sunny California. "Sunset Split", "California Dream"
- The Unfought: For all their cat fights, she never had a proper match with Rosa Mendes, even though Rosa made her WWE debut attacking Melina. They did have an FCW match but it was not televised.
- The Vamp: Except she was not very good at it. Her most high profile failure was sleeping with Batista to try and tire him out (if not convince him to bow out) but instead firing him up, leading to MNM even losing harder. Another was her offer to date Hornswoggle after he was revealed to be Vince McMahon's bastard son in hopes it would get her a shot at women's champion Candice but all she really got was public embarrassment from him and mocking from Jillian Hall.
- Very Punchable Man: Through OVW to WWE, when Melina was in MNM she frequently interfered in matches. While some teams Wouldn't Hit a Girl and got their own manager/valet/bodyguard to handle Melina, a few of MNM's opponents basically just went "to hell with this" and hit her.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Melina and Jillian Hall started off as friends on Smackdown and no matter how many times they seemed to tease each other, fall out, fight and form other allegiances they always ended back up as friends.
- Waif-Fu: Against Beth Phoenix. Eventually she was able to actually knock her out and pin her clean - something which rarely happened.
- We Used to Be Friends
- Melina did not think of much of Candice Michelle as a wrestler but was tolerable of her, so long as Candice stayed away from the ring. Melina was even a fan of Candice's Go Daddy commercials but once Candice decided to get serious about being a wrestler, any lasting trace of friendship between them got shredded.
- Inverted. She and Mickie James started off as bitter rivals but Melina turned face and the two formed a friendship there.
- Fire-Forged Friends: As many times as they fought, as brutal as the beatings they gave each other were, Mickie and Melina's rivalry never became personal compared to other feuds happening alongside their bouts. Melina did attack Mickie unprovoked sometimes but only to get at Trish Status, stay in the good graces of Victoria and Beth Phoenix, or get the upper hand on Mickie in fighting for the title. The two made poor tag team partners but that had more to do with Melina not caring instead of anything between them. In the end it was Mickie saving Melina from Victoria that cemented their friendship.
- You Can Leave Your Hat On: Debuted in a striptease segment with Randy Orton on Raw.
- You Go Girl: Her very first Women's title defence was in a Falls Count Anywhere match, the first time Divas had competed in such a match note . A year later she also competed in the first Divas' "I Quit" match. And a year after that was on the winning team of a rare Divas' Survivor Series match.
- You Have Failed Me: She blamed Joey Mercury for MNM losing the Smackdown tag team titles (in real life, they were breaking up due just not wanting to work together anymore). Melina would get her own medicine on Raw when Beth Phoenix turned on her for failing to help her win the Women's title off Mickie James.