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Wrestling / Karlee Pérez

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

Karlee Leilani Pérez (born April 19, 1986) 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 billed as Candy Girl, later being billed as 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 Catrinanote .


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 Bi: Catrina was linked to Fenix, Mil Muertes, and Jeremiah Crane in an overtly romantic/sexual way, yet was quoted as saying that Ivelisse tasted the best out of everyone she's given the Lick of Death to, plus she stuck to gender-neutral pronouns when mentioning the unnamed person that she stated herself to be in love with before it was revealed to be Fenix.
  • 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.
    • Dario Cueto on Lucha Underground. Admittedly, he's most people's arch enemy but Catrina's one of the few who can rival his position for the show's Big Bad and in fact had it while he was Put on a Bus.
  • Armour-Piercing Slap: She was quite fond of slapping people, both in the ring and out.
  • Ass Shove: At Beyond's Battle Of New England Returns Joey Ryan, somewhat predictably, brought blow pops into the ring. What he intended to do with them is anyone's guess, but it's a safe bet being sodomized with them after being pantsed by Pérez wasn't it.
  • Back from the Dead: Catrina, courtesy of absorbing Fenix's life force.
  • Bad Boss
    • As FCW General Manager. She was later kicked out of office and replaced with Summer Rae.
    • If you're Mil Muertes, Catrina is merely an unnecessarily Mean Boss. If you're anyone else, be it one of her "Disciples Of Death" or any Luchador in the Temple should she take over, well her stealing your things is about the nicest thing you can expect. You'll never know when jefe Catrina might snape and attempt to have you murdered, or try herself!
  • 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.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With ex-boyfriend Jeremiah Crane.
  • Big Bad: Catrina served as this during part of season 2 of Lucha Underground, having taken control of the Temple after Dario Cueto fled and enforced her rule with Mil Muertes and the Disciples of Death.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: She and Mil Muertes seemed to be in some kind of twisted relationship. Her relationship with Fenix was equally twisted.
  • Bridezilla: Oh so much leading up to her wedding on the NXT 100th episode special.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Catrina's resurrection to full life seemed to have caused this, as she wasn't able to teleport while falling to her death.
  • 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.
    • On an Absolute Intense Wrestling show, Karlee Pérez teamed up with Ethan Carter III against Candice LeRae and her boyfriend Johnny Gargano, in reference to Maxine and Derrick dating.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Played for both laughs and horror at AIW's Hell On Earth XII, where she was more interested in "playing" with(read:attempting to molest) Space Monkey than she was winning the match.
  • 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.
  • Dead All Along: Catrina dropped plenty of hints toward being this, but who knew what she really was? It was later revealed that she wasn't dead...not entirely, anyway.
  • 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.
  • Divide and Conquer: When The Son Of Havoc, Ivelisse Vélez and Angelico successfully passed her test and "proved" themselves worthy of a title shot Catrina didn't give them the rematch they wanted with The Disciples Of Death but pit them in a three way dance to decide who would face Lucha Underground Champion Mil Muertes, further weakening whoever would fight him(ended up being Ivelisse) and ensuring the Disciples Of Death would have an easier time beating down all three if the match with Muertes started to go South for him(he won but Catrina had them beat up anyway)
  • Drunk with Power: When she took over the Temple of Lucha Underground she made it clear she would not be granting former champions automatic rematches, which in most combat sport enterprises are obligatory to some degree, in order to prolong the reigns of The Disciples of Death and Mil Muertes.
  • 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 Is Sexy: She certainly dressed the part. And Vampiro seemed to think so, mentioning he wouldn't mind if she gave him The Lick of Death.
  • Evil Slinks: She comes to the ring this way as Catrina.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Her animosity with Dario Cueto was very much this.
  • Fanservice Pack: As of Season 4, Catrina started wearing her ridiculously sexy ring gear as her default outfit. Her outfits gradually got skimpier over the Seasons, as well.
  • 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.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Catrina has Fenix, who she manipulated as part of her quest to strengthen Mil Muertes but genuinely felt bad about doing it, despite him becoming her enemy and consistent obstacle. And Jeremiah Crane, who is not just a rival on the front of artifact theft but also outright stated to be an ex boyfriend who wants her back bad. Then a one sided example with Ivelisse Vélez, who she initially only wanted the title belt of with no personal interest but then decided Velez tasted better than anyone else in the temple she had licked and thus continued pursuing her out of pleasure.
  • Foreshadowing: Season 2 had her say to Fenix that he could bring her back to life. Come Season 4, this was quite literally true, as she stole his life force to resurrect herself.
  • 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?
  • Graceful Loser
    • When she was eliminated from NXT Season 3, she gave a very classy farewell speech.
    • After being pinned by Space Monkey, she kissed him. She wasn't that interested in "winning" their match in the first place so this doesn't get her as much credit.
  • 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. She's done more face work on the independent circuit, but it is usually one off.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Subverted: she apparently did a face turn in Fenix's favor against Mil Muertes, but in episode 26, she herself was the one who brought Mil Muertes back to life, and then she confronted Fenix and revealed that it had been her plan all along for Fenix to beat Mil Muertes in order for him to come back stronger than ever before.
    • Later, however, she would express regret towards Fenix for her actions.
  • I Have Many Names: Liviana in FCW, Maxine in WWE, Catrina in Lucha Underground and her own name in TNA. She's also gone by "Gia" and "Candy Girl" in Florida.
  • Insult Backfire: Her response to Alicia Fox's "on your back" comment? "I prefer to be on top."
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Most of Catrina's time in Lucha Underground not related to theft or manipulating minions were Kick the Dog moments of this manner until Ivelisse Vélez challenged her to a fight in season 3.
  • Kiss of Death: Well lick of death, which she did to Mil Muertes's opponents before their matches.
  • Lady in Red: After absorbing Fenix's life force, she abandoned her signature black for red.
  • Leotard of Power: Her default attire on NXT Redemption.
  • Lick of Death: Symbolic version of the latter trope, she did it to fallen foes her men just took down, however she also did this on occasion to upcoming enemies backstage to send a message.
  • 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.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: Catrina's specialty, which allows her to steal from, ambush and generally harass whoever she wants while escaping any consequences
  • Love Triangle:
    • Ivelisse Velez loved Jeremiah Crane, Jeremiah Crane loved Catrina, Catrina had an interest in Velez. Subverted in that Catrina's only interest in Velez was a sadistic desire to hurt in any way she could. Among other things, this lead Catrina to cause a messy breakup between Crane and Velez.
    • She commanded the loyalty and love of Mil Muertes, but admitted she didn't really love him. Despite manipulating him for her own ends, she still had residual feelings of genuine affection for Fenix, even admitting her love for him way after the fact, although he was done with her after she betrayed him and later moved on to Melissa Santos.
  • Loophole Abuse: NXT Season 3 had a 'Kissing Contest' with Cody Rhodes. She made him kiss her hand.
  • MacGuffin: Catrina possessed half of an ancient Aztec amulet, the Piedra Immortal, which was used to partially resurrect her. She later passed it to Melissa Santos after using Fenix's life force to completely resurrect herself.
  • Manipulative Bitch:
    • Tricked Fenix into aiding her and used him as a way to bring Mil Muertes not only back to life, but stronger than ever.
    • Had Mil Muertes completely snowed over until the very end, using him for her own ends.
    • Had Jeremiah Crane wrapped around her finger, doing her bidding and possibly giving him to Kobra Moon when she was done with him.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Her relationship with Derrick Bateman. Not so much with Johnny Curtis.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name evoked La Calavera Catrina, La Muerte herself; the glamourous, skull-faced female icon of Dia de Los Muertos in Mexican folk art and culture.
  • 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.
  • Neck Snap: How she did away with Siniestro de la Muerte.
  • Non-Action Girl: Did not participate in any matches until Ultima Lucha Tres, but would interfere if she had to. Her willingness to get involved was demonstrated fully at Ultima Lucha when she got into a fight with Ivelisse, securing the win and the Trios championship for the Disciples of Death in the process.
    • Dark Action Girl: She briefly sparred with Pentagon early in Season 2 and held her own. She first appeared in (extremely sexy) ring gear when she ambushed Ivelisse during her match with Taya at Ultima Lucha Dos, hitting her with a Barbie Crusher. Definitively became this at Ultima Lucha Tres, accepting a challenge to an actual match with Ivelisse, which got extremely brutal despite her eventual defeat.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Catrina was the very personification of this. Personal space just did not exist for her.
  • Nothing Personal: Had her eyes on the titles, both the Lucha Underground title and the Trios titles, but it was less about beating the people holding them and more about just getting the belts.
  • Nude-Colored Clothes: One of set of her ring gear consists of a striped leotard and a striped sports bra. The leotard's "stripes" are "black" and transparent. The bra's stripes are "black" and "Pérez's skin tone".
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Catrina possessed this ability, as she had a tendency to appear and disappear backstage and eventually in the Temple proper whenever she felt the need to do so.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nothing more was really needed to get Matanza over as a nightmarish threat than the look of shocked horror on Catrina's face when Dario Cueto showed up at the end of Aztec Warfare II and announced he was entering his brother as the 21st entrant. Especially since she had previously bragged to Cueto that Muertes was more powerful than Matanza!
  • Older than They Look: Catrina was at least 197 years old, or so she said. Considering her mother was much older than that, it's entirely possible she was being truthful in that regard.
  • Perky Female Minion: Liviana in this case is more perky by comparison but she managed the famous Puerto Rican monster Black Pain when he was repackaged as the Lighter and Softer Sweet Papi Sánchez and when that was done Monster Pain would get a much more brutal valet in Mistress Glenda Lee as he much more successfully ascended the ranks of the World Wrestling League. Two years later Catrina herself would avert this with Mil Muertes in Lucha Underground and in fact prove to be even more brutal than Lee.
  • 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.
    • In Lucha Underground she lead a pseudo stable of herself, Mil Muertes and The Disciples of Death Barrio Negro, El Siniestro de la Muerte and Trece.
  • Sadist: Where Catrina stands out from all her other gimmicks(aside from being a murderous revenant commanding ghost). She's had issues with entitlement before, bullied people, let lechery get in the way of winning, raged over petty slights, but had never been so pointlessly cruel. Moreover, she might hurt people just because she doesn't like them or to get what she wants, but she's did seem to be acting out of disdain where as Catrina seems to be enjoying herself.
  • 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 play 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.
  • Summon Magic: Demonstrated the ability to summon Mil Muertes and the Disciples of Death (until their demise) by using Muertes' stone.
  • 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.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Pretty much any hint Catrina dropped regarding just what in the heck she was could be taken with an entire salt shaker.
  • Villainous Breakdown: For practically the entire first season of Lucha Underground and the start of the second she was imperturbable, almost never showing signs of weakness or humanity, even when her plans were foiled. But when Pentagon ambushed Mil from behind during Aztec Warfare II, causing him to be eliminated the instant he was shoved into the ring and foiling her plan to retake the Championship, she completely lost it, blaming Vampiro for Pentagon's actions, hysterically screaming at him to get the hell out of the Temple, and slapping him in the face. It got even worse when Dario Cueto showed up almost immediately afterward, unleashing Matanza and reclaiming ownership of the Temple from her.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Both towards Derrick Bateman and Johnny Curtis.
  • Wedding Episode: 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.
  • The Woman Behind the Man: From the way they acted initially, the impression was that Mil Muertes was the leader and Catrina the follower, but in fact, the opposite was true.
  • Worthy Opponent: In contrast to Aksana, who said she should have won NXT, Maxine honestly stated that Naomi deserved to win Season 3.
  • You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: Subverted with Mil Muertes, whom Catrina has a tendency to agitate in various ways in the belief it will make him stronger, which includes seemingly abandoning him only to "make up" with him. Played straight with Disciple of Death El Siniestro de la Muerte, whom she broke the neck of. It came back to bite her when Muertes got tired of her games and decided she was no longer useful.