We lost one of our own CAC family members yesterday in Melissa Coates who'd attended many CAC/Vegas events in the last 20 years. And more importantly, was one of the nicest people in the biz. Melissa/Super Genie was at our last one in 2019 both working on the Monday night wrestling show at the Gold Coast as well as seeing many of her friends with longtime partner Sabu at our Baloney Blowout and Wednesday night Awards Banquet. Since they became a team in and out of the ring over the years, she'd become Sabu's modern-day tribute version of his Aunt Joyce (Sheik's early 60's valet and real wife "Princess Salima")who'd throw Sabu chairs and foreign objects while interfering. And always by his side and caring for him at home when he went through his own hip and knee difficulties. He was equally with her yesterday plus 24/7 during her clotting and leg scares.
I'd been friends with Melissa since she transitioned from body-building to getting trained in pro wrestling . She appeared on several Northern California BTW shows for example, and was one of the very first opponents for a young "Davina Rose" in Newark, California. Pam aka Davina would later finesse in Shimmer and Shine global women's promotions before becoming WWE star and champion Bailey.
Melissa often mentioned during her appearances on my various radio shows over the last 26 years about "how theatrical my mom always was. She was primarily a nurse caring for others, but also a frustrated amateur actress and bodybuilder. She just loved performing in front of others to entertain them. If she could've done that full time, she would've gone that route. That's where I got the entertainment bug from and my mom was a huge help and booster when I got into bodybuilding and weight-lifting. My dad was a doctor who also lifted a bit. I also wanted for a long time as a kid to go into medicine, probably helping animals as a pet vet. And I was such a mark for Martina and Chris Evert in tennis and even tried doing that as an amateur! I won several amateur girls titles in Canadian golf. So you could say I had a lot of varied interests so my childhood was never boring." Melissa was also a very serious academic student she said while also working as a lifeguard to pay bills. She graduated pre-med with honors at Lakeland University getting a Bachelor of Sciences in Biology. But soon shifting back to her love of weights and body-building as a career sideline. She moved from her beloved Canada to Los Angeles after winning several Physique Competitions in Windsor, Ontario, Canada to gain pro status. She helped run two gyms as well as two bars to pay her bills, besides earning paychecks modeling. "It was hard work all the time, little sleep but it all helped give me more confidence and discipline. Moving from my hometown to California was very stressful and working helped me cope."
Melissa was initially trained by Killer Kowalski and came out with him at our CAC 2003 event where he and many of the best wrestler/coaches put on an all-day clinic for young green wrestlers. Names like Ross and Bruce Hart, Harley Race, Les Thatcher, Buddy Rose, Ed Wiskowski and others. Melissa wanted her picture taken with all those legends. She finessed at CAC'er Rick Bassman's UPW in Southern California, with Les Thatcher at WWE's then farm systems of OVW as well as Deep South with Buddy Lee Parker. And even with our Wild Samoans, Afa and Sika at their Academy. She wrestled all over Canada and the U.S early on in her wrestling career in 2002, working in WWE developmental from 2005-7, in NWA Anarchy, Women Superstars, double CAC-honoree(1995, 2019)Dory Funk Jr's Funkin' Dojo and Academy, of course whenever Sabu went back to Impact Wrestling plus all over the indies. Her list of fitness modeling and acting is long, like her work in the first two seasons of Game Show Network's cable tv show Extreme Dodgeball as a standout. Our web editor and legendary trainer Ron Hutchison was longtime friends, also working with Melissa and he had a nice mention of her in his book.
Last November, many helped Melissa when she "overnight developed nonstop crippling pain in my left leg for no reason. I was rushed to Emergency here in Vegas where Sabu and I live and they discovered blood clots in that leg. They tried everything, then told me the clots could spread to occlude other arteries and veins and were lift-threatening. So they had to save my life by amputating my leg from the knee down to save my life. This all happened during Covid when there were no shows, no work and I want to thank everyone who helped during this time, she told me last January on one of my radio shows. We're going to do a full two-hour tribute show celebrating Melissa's life this weekend. She was an incredible friend to anyone who knew her, both in and out of the locker room.
Sending our love to Sabu, Melissa's family and friends. Melissa Coates just turned 50 on June 18th, and this is a tough loss for all of us.