Melina Perez is a Mexican-American model, professional wrestler, valet, and actress. She is best known for her time with World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Melina. She is a former three-time Women's Champion and a two-time WWE Divas Champion. Perez started her career as a beauty pageant contestant, winning Miss Hawiaiian Tropics Anaheim. In Perez's modelling career, she has won many modelling competitions such as the Group USA Bridal Show, Group USA Fashion Show, and Ms. California Belleza Latina. In 2000, Perez began her professional wrestling career signing with the independent circuit, where she began her training at Jesse Hernandez's School of Hard Knocks in San Bernardino, California, and made her official wrestling debut in 2002. In late 2002, Perez auditioned for World Wrestling Entertainment's reality show Tough Enough III, but was eliminated in first round, and was afterwards inspired by Al Snow to continue pursuing her wrestling career. In March 2004, Perez signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), WWE's developmental territory, where she began managing Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury, later naming the tag team MNM. In November 2004, Perez managed the team to victory to become the OVW Southern Tag Team Champions. Also in November, while still in OVW, Perez made appearances on WWE's Raw show as part of a Diva lingerie show, and in December 2004, participating in a limbo contest. Back in OVW, MNM dropped the tag titles in January 2005 after a two-month reign.