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By Mike Johnson on 2022-01-27 22:42:00

Former WWE Womens Champion and WWE Divas Champion Melina Perez is in St. Louis in advance of competing as a surprise in the 2022 Women's Royal Rumble World, has confirmed. first reported Perez was being brought in for the Rumble for Elite subscribers back on 1/11.

Perez debuted in 2002 after training at Jesse Hernandez' school in California.  She was signed to a WWE developmental deal in 2004 and made her main roster debut a year later, initially managing before shifting into a full-time singles competitor in 2006.   She held the WWE Divas Championship and was a two-time WWE Women's Champion, feuding with the likes of Michelle McCool, Jillian Hall, Layla El and Natalya, among others. 

Perez was released from WWE in August 2011 and after taking time off, began working regular independent dates in 2015.  She made cameos on WWE programming in recent years, including the July 2019 Raw Reunion edition of Monday Night Raw.

There had been interest in Perez for the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble, but at the time, she was under an agreement with the NWA.  Later that year, after her NWA deal expired, WWE also looked to bring her in for the WWE NXT brand with the idea that she would be managed by Robert Stone.  The plan was for Perez to work in a veteran role, working with younger talents to help prepare them for the main roster.  A start date was agreed upon but then Perez never debuted.  There was talk that a knee issue may have prevented her from coming in at the time, but there was never any official acknowledgement of what led to the run being scratched.  

Perez has mostly competed for the NWA in recent years and made several appearances for Impact Wrestling last year.

The Rumble match would be Melina's first time back inside a WWE ring since 2011, when she competed in a Battle Royal on a January episode of Monday Night Raw.


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