Last Manager Standing: Melina's Next Step In The WWE Is MNM
April 14, 2005
A day I will never forget.
It was Carlito's Cabana, and Rey Mysterio was running the tag team division with the late, great Eddie Guerrero.
That's when it all began.
With the strum of the first dazzling chord, paparazzi hit the scene and the now-infamous red carpet was laid. Melina, Johnny Nitro, and Joey Mercury graced us all with their presence, profoundly strutting to the ring like it was nobody's business. "Who are these three clowns?!" thought the audience as they watched in awe.
"What are they doing here?"
"Are they good or bad?"
All questions ceased when the gorgeous lady in the middle did something never seen anywhere before--she entered the ring with a split! Wow! Just like that the trio made the audience putty in their hands. The girl grabbed the mic. She introduced herself and her tag team partners, etching a never-forgotten quote into our heads, "We are M-N-M. The IT team, on the scene."
And boy were they ever! Melina proceeded to work the crowd like an expert, finally ending the segment by crushing a lone Rey Mysterio. The next week MNM did the unthinkable: they toppled two of WWE's biggest stars to win the Tag Team Championships! Could it be? Could the fans' biggest heroes be taken down so swiftly? And to add insult to injury, it was Melina who caused the loss!
How could a woman do that? It was uncanny.
MNM would go on to solidify themselves as the best tag team in years, rivaling such teams as Team Extreme, Christian and Edge, and many others. They had the look, the mic ability, and the in-ring skills. They were the total package in an era where tag team wrestling was no longer important, and they rejuvenated it in North America. The fans were once again reacting to tag team bouts, and MNM was at the forefront.
For over a year MNM dominated the Tag Team scene, contesting in high-profile feuds with Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Batista, Road Warrior Animal, Heidenreich, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme, Trish Stratus, and Jillian Hall. They brought everyone they worked with to a new level, and while they were helping others to improve, so were they.
Namely the Latina Lovely, Melina.
The Paparazzi Queen honed her skills in the ring while she polished her mic skills. Combined with the look WWE was after, Melina became the epitome of the word "Diva."
She had sass, flair, and a whole lot of talent.
May 21, 2006
This day would spark the beginning of Melina's rise as a singles competitor.
It was Judgment Day.
MNM had been toppled by the team of London and Kendrick for weeks on end, with a side of Jillian Hall. That night MNM dropped their third Tag Team Title to London and Kendrick.
Melina was livid.
She blamed the loss on Mercury, and ended up being the catalyst for the wildest tag team break-up seen in years. Referees were involved, fists flew, and balls were smashed. Later in the night, Melina lost to her then-foe Jillian Hall in a momentous one-on-one bout.
The crowd loved to see the two beat the crap out of each other, especially the hated Melina. After the loss, Melina self-destructed, slapping then-General Manager Theodore Long. This led to her dismissal, but it was ultimately for the best.
May 29, 2006
Just a week later, Nitro and Melina made their Raw debut, proving that WWE saw them as valuable assets to the company.
The duo feuded with John Cena, Jeff Hardy, Carlito, Mick Foley, and Supercrazy for many months to come. Both were being slowly integrated into singles competition independent of the other, and the straw that broke the camel's back came when Melina won her first Women's Championship.
February 19, 2007
After proving to be a great feud, Mickie James and Melina faced off once more for the Women's Title. Both were incredibly over with the crowd, and not since the times of Trish and Lita had the crowd been into Divas matches as much as they were. The two had massive chemistry in the ring, providing some of the best post-Golden Era matches we've seen, including their epic match at Backlash.
Melina became an integral part of the WWE Women's Division for many years to come, feuding with the likes of Mickie James, Candice Michelle, Ashley Massarro, Maria Kanellis, Alicia Fox, Beth Phoenix, and Michelle McCool. Melina brought all the ladies to new heights inside the ring, putting forth the best Divas matches of the era, bar none.
Her match at Backlash with Mickie James, I Quit Match with Beth Phoenix, and Women's Championship match at Night of Champions with Michelle McCool are all in the conversation for the number one match of the post-Golden Era.
Fast-forward to the present, and Melina is being buried by Michelle McCool in a two-minute match, as well as playing "Diva Twister" backstage with Pee Wee Herman.
I think it's safe to say Melina has fallen from the top of the totem pole. She's no longer in the Women's Championship scene, and isn't doing anything, really.
So what's her next move? I think if WWE isn't complete buffoonish, it'll reunite the IWC's beloved team, MNM. I don't think there's a better time to do so, now that Melina has been reduced to backstage fodder, Morrison (then-Nitro) isn't doing much as a singles competitor, and Mercury has been sidelined with an injury.
Should MNM reunite?
Initially, MNM was broken up because Morrison and Mercury did not get along backstage. But I'm certain that if given the opportunity, the two would overcome their personal problems, because, to be honest, it'd probably be their last opportunity to break out and become main-event level superstars. Back when Melina was sidelined, this is exactly what the fans wanted to see.
Let's look at the facts.
Since all three have gone their separate ways, Morrison and Melina have grown immense fanbases, including an unrivaled following in the IWC. All have further grown as in-ring competitors, and have only gotten even more experience. Besides, who doesn't love a reunion?! Back in 2007, MNM was prepped to reunite, but Mercury became addicted to painkillers and was released. The "IT Team" was feuding with another reuniting team-- The Hardy Boyz.
Fans were eating up all of their encounters, and this could only be better with another go-round. MNM always had a signature look that distinguished them from the rest, so everyone would recognize the team if they got back together. And the prospect of a face MNM would no doubt stir up interest from fans worldwide.
Melina has gone on record to say that MNM was her family, and the best time of her career, so why not reunite them? I'm sure it would motivate all three to up their games even more, if that's possible.
In a way this needs to happen, because if not, I don't see a pretty future ahead of Melina.
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