At age 15, Melissa began her bodybuilding career. While still in high school, at Port Arthur Collegiate Institute in Thunder Bay, Melissa was able to bench press 230 pounds. She continued her regimen while obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Lakehead University, then, in 1991, won her first bodybuilding contest at the Physique Challenge in Windsor, Ontario.
In 1994, Melissa won the Canadian Middleweight division for women's bodybuilding, a win that qualified her to turn pro under the rules of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness. She officially turned pro in 1995.
By 1996, she had won her first major international competition, the Jan Tana event in Roanoke, Virginia. That same year, she placed ninth in the Ms. Olympia competition; the equivalent of the Super Bowl in the female bodybuilding world.
Melissa Coates In Flex And Loaded
In order to become more involved in the fitness world, Melissa moved to California in 1998. She saved up enough money to do so by working jobs as a shooter girl in bars in Thunder Bay, where she earned the nicknames "Rambo" and "The Terminator" because of the way she would sling shot glasses across her muscular chest like cords of ammunition.
In 1999, Melissa participated in her last international competition, placing 13th at the Ms. International in Columbus, Ohio. Over the next few years, she was featured in many bodybuilding and fitness magazines, such as Muscle & Fitness, Flex and Loaded.
Melissa Coates Starts Wrestling
In 2002, Melissa began immersing herself into the world of professional wresting. She attended a tryout camp for the WWE, then began training with former wrestling giant, Killer Kowalski.
In 2003, she was invited to join the Ohio Valley Wrestling league, a training ground for future stars of the WWE. It was there that she began to develop her signature move, the "Coates Rack."
That same year, Melissa moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in order to make her wrestling dreams come true. She had her first exposure in the WWE in May of 2005, when she entered the ring from the crowd to take a bet from WWE star, Chris Masters. Masters manhandled her, but the fact that the WWE allowed Melissa to participate in the stunt signified that the organization saw her as a legitimate up-and-comer.
Outside the wrestling ring, Melissa signed up for a series of infomercials alongside actor David Carradine to promote the "Kung Fu Fitness System." She continues to pose for spreads in assorted bodybuilding magazines.
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