Body Building Jan Tana Classic 1996 winner
Placed 9th in IFBB Ms. Olympia contest in 1996
1997 IFBB Ms. International – 6th
1997 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 11th
1999 IFBB Ms. International – 13th
2 Seasons on Extreme Dodgeball
Trained: Killer Kowaski, Ultimate Pro Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling
WWE Developmental 2005-2006
Appearance on WWE backlash 2005 in a Master Lock Challenge
Worked for Ohio Valley Wrestling, Ultimate Pro Wrestling, Deep South Wrestling, World Xtreme Wrestling, & First State Championship Wrestling, Women Extreme Wrestling, Women Superstar Uncensored, !Bang!,
---#41 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated top 50 Women of Wrestling in 2010
JM: Were you ever a fan of Pro wrestling growing up, if yes, who were some of your favorites?
MC: Yes definitely was a fan...I watched women's matches on TV when I was growing up, honestly didn’t study hard enough to know their names but I am sure Madusa Micelli and Wendi Richter were 2 of the girls I admired. Then I really got into the Hulk Hogan/Miss Elizabeth/Randy Savage love triangle during the early/mid 90s,...being a girl, you know, gotta love that love story and the knight on the white horse! Absolutely loved it, and of course Hulk's image was amazing, tan, muscular, blonde hair. And admirable and ethical as well. His image also fed into my love for bodybuilding. I am a professional bodybuilder as well as a professional bodybuilder. I did pro bodybuilding first and was ranked 9th in the world at one time, did the Olympia twice (which is the Wrestlemania of Women's pro bodybuilding). Ive also been very successful as a fitness model - been featured in all the fitness mags, in calendars, swimsuit videos, centerfolds, posters, and covers and training articles of Muscle&Fitness, Flex Magazine, Ironman, Muscular Development, MuscleMag (which also launched the career of Trish Stratus and Torrie Wilson) among others. Books as well, sociology oddly enough lol and fitness books.
JM: You started off in the world of Bodybuilding, what are some of your highlights during your run in competition?
MC: Yes I won my professional debut, the Jan Tana and then later that year got 9th place in the Ms Olympia contest, which is the biggest contest in all of women's pro bodybuilding. I also was lucky to be a high ranking competitor but also used extensively as a model as well. It’s often hard to combine the two worlds. 9th in the world was my highest rank! Very proud of that. One year I also was 5th runner up in the Ms International Contest, which is a part of the Arnold Schwarzenegger weekend.
JM: You were trained by Killer Kowalski wrestling school, what was the training like?
MC: The training changed a bit, as the original trainer moved on to start another school called Chaotic, and the training was very strenuous and regimented when Mike Hollow was training us. Walter would watch and contribute his knowledge and funny stories - what a beautiful man he was! He liked girls with muscle, and the first day I went past the school he had me pop a bicep pose for him, he loved it! Training after Mike left was still fairly good, just more laid back. Really depends on what you respond best to.
JM: You also were trained by UPW, is this where WWE discovered you and offer you a deal?
MC: I trained at UPW for a short while, and Rick Bassman did have some great connections at the time into the WWE. Dr Tom came out to the school and saw me there. In 1999 was when I first met VIPs from the WWE. At the time the WWE was thinking of starting up a women's show, and so I went to a try out at UPW then. This was unfortunately right after the Ms International contest and I was in the middle of photo shoots, so I didn't have the chance to follow up the way I should have. After I joined with UPW a year later after I had my mind made up on wrestling was when Rick Bassman told me I had made an impact.
JM: What was the experience like to be the only woman to challenge Chris Master in his Master lock challenge and on a WWE Pay per view?
MC: It was an exciting experience! It’s always good to be a woman with spunk, the crowd gets into the occasional spat between a woman and a man wrestler.
JM: Name Association Game? (One or two words that come to mind)
Beth Phoenix- STRONG!
Melina- hair, fierce
Mickey James- spunky
Jillian Hall- lips and boobs!
Angelina Love- catlike
Trixxie Lynn- Badass Beauty (we formed a tag team for a brief while)
Tammy Lynn Synch- Hall of Famer!
Chris Master- poppn pecs!
Evil Zebra- dorko! lol j/k, cool guy
Malia Hosaka- underrated
Tom Brandi- GO USA!
JM: Whatever happened with your relationship with the WWE?
MC: Nothing really "happened" per se; just my look is a specialized look, and trends change within the business. Sometimes they don’t mind a muscular girl look, but the powers that be can be very up and down about how lean they want you to be. Very changeable business, so you just learn to go with the flow.
JM: Will we see you in the WWE or perhaps the TNA in the future?
JM: Any interesting road/locker room stories you can share?
MC: Nothing I can repeat! LOL. The best one is a funny story bout Tommy Dreamer during show day at OVW giving Chad Gaspar sex education advice. Chad had been signed and as part of the regulations, the WWE gives the athlete a complete physical. Well apparently Beast (what we all called him at OVW) asked for additional STD screening! Which of course got back to the Office, and Tommy worked in the Office! So in front of everyone Tommy brought this up, and advised Chad to invest in condoms...double bag it if he must! lol That’s the best one, though if I sat and thought about it I could think of a ton more
JM: What have you been up to lately?
MC: "Whew! What haven’t I been up to? LOL. Right now I do a lot of different things, modelling, acting, and wrestling of course!
I did a film called Ultimate Death Match 2: Someone Will Die about a year and a half ago that is available on Amazon and at various Walmarts and Kmarts and other stores. It also stars me, Al Snow, Kevin Nash, Raven, The Sandman, Shane Douglas, UFC legend Dan Severn, Brutus Beefcake, Jimmy Valiant, Kid Kash, Johnny Swinger, Lodi and many more pro wrestlers, and also actors Chuck Williams, Michael Fox, Shawn Cain (who wrote and directed the film series UDM), and actor/pro wrestler/talent coordinator Josh "The Krazed One" Turner who I met back in my OVW days. Really great film with a great message which is explained in the film by aged wrestler Jimmy Valiant. Of course there is lots of brutal action too, as you can tell by the title of the film. The idea is to take young and hungry fighters/wrestlers who haven't got their break yet, or wrestlers who have had their heyday, aren't on TV anymore and are a bit past their prime, but are looking get a shot at glory again by wrestling through a series of rounds till only 2 are left. The final 2 wrestle to the death: the winner gets 10 million dollars, the loser ends up 6 feet under. I play the bad girl girlfriend of Jake Reed (Shawn Cain) who is the man behind the underground operation. Its a great film and was a lot of fun.
I also did a cameo in an independent film called "A Story about Ian" which is going to hit all the film festivals. Dawn Marie also has a cameo in the film. Both our clips are very funny. The film is about an aspiring photographer who feels trapped by the daily grind he feels he has to lower himself to pay the bills, while really he's like to have the freedom to be the next Andy Warhol. I think a lot of us feel this way, feel like we aren't able to reach our potential because of obstacles in the way. So its a very inspiring film as well. It will be ready in the next few months.
Today (Wed Mar 30) I'm modeling for a Russian beer label and the end of the week of course is Wrestlemania! So I have a lot going on this weekend, including working Kevin Nash's WM party in Atlanta on Friday Night.
And besides wrestling around the US and Canada, I've also been to Puerto Rico the past few months for Carlos Colon and WWC. I had such a great time in PR! Its beautiful there, and the champion Black Rose is a very athletic girl, so it was one of my most physical matches ever! Wonderful fans as well. I have so many people from PR contact me now on facebook, asking me when I will be back. I hope so because I really enjoyed it! Really had a great time working for Carlos Colon, and its so funny because his wife is Canadian and has the last name Coates! When I trained at OVW, Carlito was there at the same time, and one day we went for breakfast with a few other people after one of our typical grueling 8 am workouts courtesy of Rip Rogers, and he pulled out his driver's license or birth certificate, can't remember which, and he showed me his last name was really Colon Coates! LOL. Kevin Thorn was one of the people sitting there with us and he commented to Carly "Well, looks like you could do the CoatesWrack too" LOL! The CoatesWrack (which is also my nickname since my OVW days, I love it when I bump into Mickey James and she calls out CoatesWrack!!!!, and Carly still calls me CoatesWrack) was my original finisher, the Torture Rack. I named it the CoatesWrack because at the time Trish Stratus was the top girl in the WWE and her moves were named after her last name, like the Stratusphere and Stratusfaction. I thought they were so funny that I came up with "The CoatesHanger" submission and the "CoatesWrack" lol . Of course that led to people at OVW coming up with all kinds of other funny moves with the word "Coat" or "Coates" in it. OVW was great back in 2003 to 2005 when I trained there. I really miss those days.
And my most recent and most at-the-end-of-the-earth tour I just did from Feb 23 to March 6th, I was wrestling in the 3rd World Asian Country Nepal! And what an experience that was! Absolutely AMAZING! 20 000 fans for our show in Kathmandu, and then 10 000 for the show in Pokhara. I feel truly honored that I was one of 8 wrestlers invited on this tour, and it really was a beautiful trip. Big Vito was there (last year he was the cause of HUGE riots in Nepal that made world wide news), The Great Cheyenne and The Great Malachi from Chicago, Faith Lehaine from England, Fugo from Japan, Dan Beaumont and Hartley Jacko Jackson from Australia, and of course Nepal native, war hero, and Johnny Rodz graduate The Himalayan Tiger were my fellow workers on this trip. With my blond hair and tanned skin I ended up being very popular with the fans, and I can say I have never felt more like Hulk Hogan! It was such an experience running out to my music Motley Cru's Hell on High Heels, and hearing 20 000 people cheer! Wow, I was laughing at myself getting such a reaction. I'm usually a heel, so to have that many people cheer was really a pleasant shock! All of us got huge pops from the Himalayhan crowd, and it really was one of the time of my life I will also think of with a smile. We met Nepalian dignitaries, military, and had a parades in our honor where we were driven up and down the streets of Pokhara. We were treated like HUGE superstars!
But let me tell you, it wasn't ALL easy...life in a 3rd World Country is rough, not at all like what we are used to living in the United States. The first few days I was very hungry, it took some time to get used to the food. I have my suspicions that what they call chicken in Nepal is really pigeon (!), and my first hotel I stayed in in Kathmandu, didn't have hot water! The shower is an open shower: basically the bathroom has a sink on one side, a toilet on the other, and a shower head stuck in the middle of the wall between the 2! So everything gets soaked, including your toilet paper! The beds were quite hard, and there was no vacuum cleaning of the rugs! Pokhara is a resort city, so there things were a lot more like what we are accustomed to. Ahhhh! A hot shower! :). The worst part of course was the over 25 hours of flight travel, distributed among 5 different flights!!! Plus the day I left I managed to step on glass and gash my foot quite deep...it took over 20 min to stop bleeding, but I had no time to get to the doctor so I did my best to fish for glass in my foot and took off to the airport. There were mechanical problems with the plane in Atlanta, so I ended up missing the connection in JFK, and arriving in Kathmandu a day later than everyone else! And just in time for the show! LOL. Hungry, tired, body sore from sleeping in the Dehli India airport the night before on a 10 hour layover! Great conditions to do a show, but at this point in my career I'm pretty used to doing matches under less than idea conditions so I got that old adrenaline rush going, and went out there and did what I do best! ENTERTAIN!!
P.S. a month later I finally got the piece of glass out of my foot!
JM: Any advice for fan who want to follow their dreams?
MC: Believe in yourself, and stay true to yourself.
JM: Closing thoughts?
MC: Thanks for having me! Please support women wrestling, we girls work HARD! My website is www.melissacoates.com , I have 2 facebook pages, I have a yahoo fanclub, and a twitter page at melissalcoates. You can join these by going to the front page of www.melissacoates.com. I post my appearances and shows. And will have dates in CA, IN, PA, MD, NV, Toronto, KY, IL, OH all coming up in the next few months! As well I'll be working at Kevin Nash's Wrestlemania party in Atlanta on Fri April 1st. Hope to see you there! All info is posted on my fb, website and twitter pages! Thank you!