Wrestler of the Day – March 10: Melina

Believe it or not I still do these. Today is Melina.

Melina tried out for Tough Enough III but didn’t make the final cut. However she was able to get a job a little over a year later and went down to OVW. After a few appearances on Raw and Smackdown in various Divas wearing little clothing segments, she made her real debut as the manager of MNM (Mercury, Nitro and Melina) in April of 2005. She would make her in ring debut a few months later on the June 30, 2005 episode of Smackdown.

Melina vs. Michelle McCool

Melina is doing the A-List gimmick and talked about all the celebrities coming to see her first match. There were even paparazzi waiting for her as she made her entrance. Michelle isn’t much yet other than a hot blonde in barely there shorts. Melina is sent to the floor and kicked through the ropes but Michelle drags her back inside.

A rollup gets two for Michelle and a kick to the face gets the same. Melina begs off and offers a handshake and the tall blonde actually goes for it. She earns that right hand to the face and Melina chokes away for awhile. An awkward looking kick to the face puts Michelle down as her shorts don’t want to stay down. Melina powerbombs Michelle out of the corner and rolls her up with feet on the ropes for the pin. Too short to rate but the outfits were better than the match.

Soon after this MNM would get into a feud with Animal/Heidenreich over the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. This led to a six person tag at No Mercy 2005 with Christy Hemme joining the alleged Legion of Doom.

MNM vs. Legion of Doom/Christy Hemme

This is Animal/Heidenreich which never worked at all. They’re the tag champions here. My goodness Christy was gorgeous. She took a Snapshot on Smackdown so she’s injured coming in. Animal has a taped up shoulder too. Heidenreich pulls Nitro in and the beating is on before he can even take the fur coat off. Heidenreich is all fired up and hits a three point clothesline for two. Off to the large gut with the Animal attached but Mercury gets in a kick to the shoulder to take over.

He keeps kicking at it and knocks Heidenreich to take draw him in. MNM hits the Snapshot on Animal very quickly but it only gets two because of the delay in getting to the cover. Mercury snaps the shoulder over the top rope to let Nitro get two. The double team continues and Animal is in trouble. Neckbreaker gets two. Mercury goes up but jumps into an almost powerslam for two. Everything breaks down and Melina tags herself in. She dives onto Animal and gets caught. Off to Christy for a bad Hart Attack and then a HORRIBLE rana. As in the legs were around Melina’s arms. Doomsday Device ends Melina.

Rating: D-. Christy Hemme is a fine example of a girl that looks good in tight pants and a black bra. She’s incredibly attractive and sexy, but but she had no business being in a wrestling ring as a competitor. It didn’t work for her at all and she was only in the ring for about 45 seconds. Again though, she’s there for her looks and those work very well.

Melina wouldn’t get in the ring much in 2006 as she was mainly used as a plot device for a feud between Mick Foley and Ric Flair. Apparently Melina and Foley were friends in real life and Foley had to degrade himself to keep her job. Melina turned on him anyway and Foley was fired. The whole thing never made a ton of sense and isn’t talked about that much. Melina would get back in the ring in early 2007 and have a Women’s Title shot February 19, 2007 on Raw.

Women’s Title: Melina vs. Mickie James

It’s amazing how much harder the girls’ sexuality was pushed at this point. Melina comes out gyrating more than the Bellas do in a year and Mickie’s skirt flies up about four times during her entrance alone. It’s so different than today and I see very little to complain about. Mickie armdrags Melina down to start but Melina comes back with a string of kicks. A running dropkick sends Melina outside but she blocks a baseball slide.

Back in and Melina takes over with some shots to the back before tossing Mickie down by the hair. Mickie gets tired of the shots to the head and takes Melina down for some right hands. A hair toss sends Melina down this time but she blocks a throw out of the corner. Mickie’s head hits the mat and Melina gets a jackknife cover for the pin and the title.

Rating: C-. The match wasn’t bad but the girls looked great and it was a nice to see them just brawling instead of trying to go through wrestling matches. I appreciate it when girls like Nikki and Brie try, but it looks awful most of the time. Why do something badly when you can do this style better?

Melina would lose and win the title back at a house show a few weeks later before defending the title against Mickie again in a few months at Backlash 2007.

Women’s Title: Melina vs. Mickie James

Melina is defending. Mickie is getting her return match here and is looking very bouncy tonight. They head to the mat to start with Mickie hitting a monkey flip for one. Off to a headlock by the challenger which is reversed into one by Melina. Mickie escapes that with ease so Melina pounds away as she can’t win a wrestling match here. Mickie mounts her (lucky) and pounds away as well.

James goes up top but gets sent out to the floor to give Melina control. She chokes Mickie in the ropes and then hooks a full nelson with her legs. Now it’s a choke in the corner but Mickie escapes. And never mind as Melina comes off with a seated senton to take over again immediately. That gets two so Mickie tries her spin kick. That fails also as Melina counters, sending Mickie down into the splits. James hooks Melina’s legs and they slug it out with both girls in a splits position.

Mickie makes her comeback with forearms and hair tosses. She’s very fired up here and it looks like a good comeback instead of the usual lame Divas offense. Mickie’s rana out of the corner is countered as Melina sends her to the apron. She pops back up and hits a top rope cross body for two. Back to the corner and Melina hits a kick to the head followed by a reverse DDT to retain.

Rating: C+. This was one of the best Divas match I’ve seen in YEARS. Mickie was awesome as was Melina, but most importantly of all: this was treated like a match between two women, rather than a Divas match if that makes sense. The match wasn’t treated like anything different, which is the best thing they could do with the Divas anymore. Also it got time, which helped a lot.

There wasn’t much else for Melina in 2007 other than getting annoyed at Ashley Massaro for being in Playboy. This was followed by Maria posing in the magazine and a tag match at Wrestlemania XXIV.

Maria/Ashley vs. Beth Phoenix/Melina

This is a Playboy lumberjill match with Snoop Dogg as master of ceremonies in a golf cart. Snoop of course comes out with all of the lumberjills because that’s what Snoop would do. Ashley is her usual self and Maria looks great. Also, her theme song continues to be ridiculously catchy. Oh and Beth is Women’s Champion and has Santino with her. Melina has uh….wings.

Ashley tries to fight Beth and is immediately thrown around. Maria tries a double hip toss with Ashley which goes as well as you would expect two talentless models to be able to do. Melina is thrown to the floor and beaten up by the good Divas and takes a bad Bronco Buster from Maria. Ashley gets a running start to climb to the middle ropes to punch Melina as this mess continues. Melina takes over and catapults Ashley into a bearhug by Beth.

Melina hits a moonsault off of Beth’s shoulders for two before we get a stupid trip from Ashley. Off to Maria for some kicks as the lights go out. They finally get a spotlight on as this continues to fall apart. Maria tries to counter the Glam Slam into a bulldog but can’t even do that right. Melina breaks up the pin and we get heel miscommunication. Maria hits a kind of top rope bulldog but Santino breaks up the pin. Lawler punches out Santino but Beth hits a fisherman’s buster for the pin on Maria.

Rating: F+. That’s ALL for Maria looking great. I forgot this match was a lumberjill match after about a minute and the rest of the girls couldn’t even be seen after that long. Maria was TERRIBLE here and she was the better worker on her team. This didn’t work at all and was the disaster to end all disasters for Divas matches.

Melina would start feuding with Beth soon after this (shocking I know) leading to a rare Divas gimmick match at One Night Stand 2008.

Beth Phoenix vs. Melina

Recaps? Context? Point to the match? Who needs those stupid things? This is an I Quit match. We get a clip from Judgment Day of Beth hitting a double backbreaker on Melina and Mickie at the same time which is rather awesome. Dang it’s fun to watch Melina gyrate. Beth backs her into the ropes immediately to intimidate her so Melina grabs a guillotine choke of all things and Beth is in trouble early.

Beth easily counters out of it but it was working for awhile. Backbreaker gives Beth control and a bow and arrow has Melina in trouble. Something resembling a face jam/tornado DDT to Beth sets up an Indian Deathlock with a bridge which is always awesome looking. Beth crawls to the floor because ropes mean nothing. That looked pretty cool at least. Over the shoulder backbreaker has Melina in trouble as there is no flow to this match at all.

The fans want Chyna which should tell you how uninteresting this is. JR and King kind of shut up for a bit as Beth puts on a chinlock. Melina manages to send her into the middle buckle and Beth’s shoulder hits the post a bit later. Headscissors sets up an armbar, almost like La Mistica. Cross Armbreaker goes on as the crowd flat out does not care. Off to an arm choke but Beth is like screw that and hits a powerbomb to break it. Seated double chickenwing goes on and Melina looks like she’s about to cry. Beth then grabs the chin and pulls back to the point where Melina’s head is touching her own feet and that’s it.

Rating: D+. Another ridiculously boring match but at least Beth was hot. Seriously, other than that there was next to nothing going on here. Also, Divas don’t need ten minutes because it doesn’t take that long to go buy a Coke. Pretty weak match overall and nothing special in the slightest.

Melina would turn face soon after this but injure her heel, putting her out of action until late November. Once she came back, Melina won a battle royal to earn a title match against Beth Phoenix at the 2009 Royal Rumble.

Women’s Title: Beth Phoenix vs. Melina

Melina is challenging and Beth has Santino with her here. Beth shoves her around to start before easily breaking out of a headlock. A LOUD Santino chant starts up as Beth throws Melina around. Melina comes back with a shot to the head but gets shoved down immediately again. The challenger hooks an armbar of all things but Beth easily stands up while Melina stands on her shoulder.

Melina gets on Beth’s shoulders again but Beth shoves her down in a crash. A running Umaga attack in the corner puts Melina down again and Beth is in full control. In a freaky looking move, Beth grabs Melina’s leg in a kind of ankle lock position and bends the leg forward to make Melina kick herself in the back of the head. FREAKING OW MAN! Melina escapes a gorilla press and fires off some forearms before getting two off a sunset flip. Two knees into Beth’s back have her staggered and a hair drag gets two. Out of nowhere, Melina grabs a spinning rollup for the pin and the title. As sudden as it sounds.

Rating: D+. Not terrible here and the girls looked good so I can’t complain much. That leg lock thing of Beth’s was SICK and it’s one of those moves that just looks painful all around. At the end of the day though, does it matter who has either of the female belts? They’re completely interchangeable and this one was retired the next year.

Melina would drop the title soon and chase the belt for a few months. Soon after she would be sent to Raw and get a title shot on her first night on the red show.

Divas Title: Jillian Hall vs. Melina

Jillian won the title literally five minutes before this. Bell, Jillian hides in the corner, sunset bomb, new champion.

Melina would defend against Alicia Fox on Raw a few weeks later on November 16, 2009.

Divas Title: Alicia Fox vs. Melina

Melina is champion and Alicia won some battle royal. Alicia says to announcer her as the next Divas Champion. He says no and it’s now a lumberjill match with the members of the Survivor Series teams as the girls on the floor. Melina does her Matrix move and gets sent to the floor where the heel chicks beat on her. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Fox. And never mind as a sunset bomb gets the pin for Melina.

Unfortunately Melina would tear her ACL a few weeks later and be out for eight months. Soon after returning she would get a Divas Title match against champion Alicia Fox at Summerslam 2010.

Divas Title: Alicia Fox vs. Melina

Alicia is champion and the flavor of the month of the division. Melina has on a headdress that makes her look like a peacock. She looks….stupid. Melina takes forever taking off her furry boots before we’re finally ready to go. After they stare at each other for a good while Melina shoves her into the corner and then they stare at each other some more. The champion takes it to the mat with a headlock before Melina comes up with forearms. Off to a kind of Indian Deathlock with a curb stomp to Fox followed by a pair of knees to Fox’s ribs.

Some more forearms have Fox in trouble but Melina lands on her bad knee which cost her eight months off. The knee is good enough for Melina to superkick Fox, only to be sent shoulder first into the post. Back in and Fox goes after the arm because she’s not that bright. Melina realizes how stupid this is and makes her comeback with a kick to the ribs. A LOUD scream sets up a kick to the back and kind of a Diamond Cutter faceplant for the pin and the title.

Rating: D-. Both girls looked great but my dear merciful goodness Fox was embarrassing out there. When Jerry Lawler is making fun of you for having a lack of psychology, it’s a bad sign for your match. The Divas division hit a black hole after Trish and Lita left and this was a great example of how bad it was getting.

Post match Josh Matthews goes in to talk to Melina but here’s Laycool to interrupt. They’re the co-women’s champions here after literally tearing the belt in two. They try to take a picture with Melina but she kicks them both in the ribs. Layla trips Melina up though, allowing Michelle to clearly not make contact on a big boot. Fox tries to join in but gets beaten down as well. The titles would be unified next month.

And here’s that unification match from Night of Champions 2010.

Women’s Titles: Michelle McCool vs. Melina

Michelle in red: DANG. Nice back shot of her as the bell rings. Layla is ticked at her for being in there as we hear about the history of the Women’s Title, which is of course mostly nonsense but whatever. Crowd is DEAD. Yes, a Chicago crowd is dead. Michelle sends her to the floor but no one sends her back in. NICE Blockbuster from Orton’s elevated DDT position by Michelle. I love the Blockbuster (jumping front flip neckbreaker) so that was sweet for me.

Faithbreaker (Styles Clash) is blocked and Melina takes over. Decent belly to belly suplex for two by the blonde. Kelly gets up on the apron marking the first time they do anything all night as Melina has her rolled up. Kelly is for Melina here but just doesn’t get it I guess. The girls all beat up Michelle and send her back in. They need to stop slapping the mat as I think it’s a referee count.

Melina does the Matrix Move but Michelle just kicks her. Again: kicking and punching people works best a lot of the time. Both girls hit the floor as the girls yell at Michelle, showing off their acting…..talent. Layla interferes and Michelle gets to hit a, wait for it, wait for it, BIG BOOT TO UNIFY THE BELTS.

Rating: C-. Surprisingly decent match here although the girls were absolutely pointless out there. Layla interfering is fine as it’s expected, but what about the heat between them allegedly? This wasn’t much but at least it gets rid of the Divas Title, or at least I hope so. Better than most Divas matches though so I’ll give it that.

That would be about it for Melina as far as matches that mattered. Here’s one last match from July 11, 2011.

Kelly Kelly vs. Melina

The Bellas are on commentary and talking about how one of them will be champion after Money in the Bank on Sunday. The evil Melina chokes away to start as the Bellas rip into Kelly on commentary. A neckbreaker gets two for Kelly and a quick K2 is enough for the pin on Melina.

Overall Melina was successful but she was much better known for those gyrations than anything else. With good reason too as she was gorgeous and could shake her hips like no one else could. She’s not the best worker in the world or anything though and her horrible attitude backstage is well known. Still though, she’s very nice to look at with the great curves and perfect black hair.

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