Pro wrestling personality Melina Perez recently spoke with Memorabilia Guy for an interview. During the discussion, the former WWE Diva spoke about breaking into the business, who she was influenced by when she was younger and her thoughts on the current state of the wrestling business.
Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On getting into pro wrestling:
"It wasn't the worst experience. I was very shy, very quiet and I could see how people would probably not want to hire me because I'm not this larger than life person. But when the WWE gave me a contract it was such a blessing because they took a chance on me. And that opportunity gave me the courage and the ability to fulfill a dream. So in ways it was very great and a great experience but in other ways it was a transition, coming in when the top girls like Trish and Lita were coming out. So we were a low and people didn't want to watch as they were heartbroken about their favourite girls leaving. So we were in a weird place at that time. I think that back then there wasn't a lot of hardcore women's wrestling – we only had a limited time. But at the same time, people appreciated it in their own way. Even now we see the likes of Sasha Banks and Charlotte, and I still hear people complaining. So in my mind I think – appreciate what you've got now, because when they're gone and the new generation comes up, you're going to miss these girls."
On who inspired her growing up:
"The funny thing is that when I watched wrestling, it seemed like such an out-of-reach dream and it never occurred to me to actually do it. I just loved everything about wrestling. I loved Steamboat, Roddy Piper. Well, I was a Macho Man girl – everybody was about Hulk Hogan but I was a Macho Man girl! And then later throughout the years I loved Rey Mysterio, and then I was a fan of Jericho. I just loved all of wrestling growing up. As I was growing older, for some reason, became more partial to heels, so I loved it. And when it came to the girls, I really loved Jazz and Jacqueline. And I look at Lita and I love the fact that even though I loved Lita and Trish, what I looked at with Trish was the way she sold. It was just a certain way she sells. And you look at Trish in storylines and she'd always be the damsel in distress, and I was never big on that as a fan, but I was really into the storyline! And then I'd look at Lita, and Lita would never be the damsel in distress – she always handled stuff. All these little bits and pieces I loved about everybody."
On the current state of women's wrestling:
"I think it's amazing. It's incredible to see and it makes me so happy. It's so weird where I keep thinking of "back in my time" which wasn't really that long ago. I appreciated people in the past – back in the 60s and everything. People talk about the "women's revolution" and I'll tell them that the women's revolution started in the beginning on women's wrestling. Women have been such a minority in wrestling, and it's been a novelty. For a time, even though there were some serious wrestlers, it was still seen as a novelty back before me. And now, from my time, I felt like I was the only girl wrestling in my school. Maybe there would be another one who would come in every so often, but it was such a rare thing to see. So when I got into OVW, it was such a beautiful thing to have three girls! But now there are so many women, and it's so amazing that women can go anywhere and have people to work with."