On June 23, 2021, the professional wrestling world was shocked by the death of Melissa Coates (aka Super Genie). Passing away five days after her 50th birthday, Coates is most known for her appearances in WWE, Ohio Valley Wrestling, and on the independent circuit alongside her boyfriend, Sabu. Join us today as we honor the life and career of Melissa Coates with a retrospective recap. Who is this bombshell athlete? Let’s find out.
Early Life & Bodybuilding Career
On June 18, 1971, Melissa Coates would be born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. She was the youngest of four children – having one sister and two brothers. Throughout her childhood, Coates’ mother would work as a nurse, an amateur actress, and a bodybuilder. Alternatively, Coates’ father worked as a doctor. As a child, Coates would take an interest in athletics – particularly, tennis. Taking inspiration from professional tennis player Martina Navratilova, Coates would pursue a tennis career. She began weightlifting at 15 years old and would enter her first tennis tournament at the same age. Despite making it to the finals, Coates would not walk away with the championship. However, she would walk away with a new interest in weightlifting and bodybuilding.
In the early ’90s, Coates would enter her first bodybuilding contest. Unlike her first tennis tournament, she would actually win the overall lightweight category of the Windsor Physique Contest. Due to her success, Coates would move to Los Angeles, California, to begin working for different gyms and bars in pursuit of a bodybuilding career. Throughout the next couple of years, Coates would win the first place middleweight prize in the 1992 Eastern Ontario Contest, the 1993 Ontario Contest, and the 1994 Canadian Championships. Two years afterward, Coates would win first place (overall) in the 1996 Jan Tana Classic. From 1996-1999, Coates would place in different IFBB contests, but none of them would materialize as prominent placements. This would lead to Coates taking her leave from bodybuilding and beginning to work as a model.
Entering Professional Wrestling
Throughout the next couple of years, Coates would develop a strong interest in the professional wrestling industry. This would lead to Coates training under the legendary Killer Kowalski (as well as Ultimate Pro Wrestling’s Ultimate University). On November 6, 2002, Melissa Coates would make her professional wrestling debut at UPW Home Of The Brave II in Santa Ana, California. In this match, Coates (wrestling under her real name) would compete against Savvy, Erica Porter, Looney Lane, Rio Storm, and Terri Gold in a six-way match (which she would lose). She would go on to compete in Westside Xtreme Wrestling and Carmen Electra’s Naked Women’s Wrestling League from 2003-2005 (expect an article on that last promotion soon).
In 2005, Coates would begin training in WWE’s Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental territory. She would make her first main roster on-screen appearance at WWE Backlash 2005, taking part in Chris Master’s Master Lock Challenge. Coates would take up Masters on the $3000 challenge, but she would fail to break the Master Lock. Following the event, Coates would be placed in the Bolin’s Services stable as “head of security.”
Eventually, this young upstart would go on to take a two-year break from the industry, but it was never reported why. She would eventually return to Ohio Valley Wrestling. However, she would not compete under a WWE developmental contract. She would wrestle multiple future stars including Beth Pheonix and Mickie James. Coates would serve in multiple roles – including serving as Jillian Hall’s bodyguard, managing The Blonde Bombers, and… blinding wrestlers with rubbing alcohol backstage. (Huh… I wonder why that last gimmick never got over?)
Following her attempt to blind her fellow workers, Coates would debut a new gimmick – The Bag Lady. She would lose her first match as “The Bag Lady” to Angel Williams. This gimmick would eventually lead to her exit from the promotion.
Returning to the independent scene, Coates would take on the heavy task of building a name for herself as a former WWE prospect. On May 29, 2007, Melissa Coates would face off against Daffney Unger for the GCW Women’s Championship at the GCW 3rd Anniversary Show. In this match, Coates would defeat Unger to win her first championship title in professional wrestling. She would hold this title until it was forgotten about and deactivated near the end of 2007.
Following this, Coates would go on a winning streak in the Georgia-based NWA Anarchy promotion. However, she would never manage to win championship gold in the promotion. Outside of the promotion, she would take on a managerial role under the ring name “Mile High Melissa” – a flight attendant gimmick. In July 2008, Coates would exit the NWA Anarchy promotion to pursue other ventures.
Following her exit from NWA Anarchy, Coates would make her debut in Women Superstars Uncensored. She would defeat Joey Janela in her debut match at WSU/NWS Us And Them on August 22, 2008. Soon, she would form a tag team with Trixxie Lynn (collectively known as Badass Beauties). The pairing would contend for the WSU Tag Team Championships multiple times, but would never pick up the belts during their stint.
A New Path In Wrestling
In 2010, Coates would leave WSU and finish working her final dates at Funking Conservatory. After her exit from the promotions, Coates would wrestle sporadically for the next four years. However, she would retire from active in-ring competition in October 2014. Her final match would take place on October 10, 2014, at a Big Time Wrestling event in Maryland. In this match, Sera Feeny would defeat Kacee Carlisle and Melissa Coates in a three-way match. On November 15, 2014, Coates would begin managing future boyfriend Sabu under the name “The Super Genie”.
Amputation & Death
Coates would continue to manage Sabu as he worked across the North American independent circuit. However, things would not be perfect for Coates on a personal level throughout this time. On November 12, 2020, a GoFundMe page was created on behalf of The Super Genie. After being admitted to the Emergency Department at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, doctors noticed several blood clots in her left leg (which caused her severe pain). Due to the severity of the situation, doctors were forced to amputate Melissa Coates’ left leg from above the knee. Thus, this GoFundMe would contribute toward her piling medical bills. She would attempt to rehabilitate her injury for the rest of her life, passing away on June 23, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada with no cause of death revealed at this time.
The Life & Career Of Melissa Coates
Despite being relatively unknown by casual wrestling fans, passionate professional wrestling connoisseurs have never failed to recognize and respect what Melissa Coates had brought to the table during her time in the industry. While she may have not reached the pinnacle of professional wrestling stardom, Coates made a name for herself as a tough, brutish, badass woman who could tussle with men and women of any division and any promotion. For that, we here at eWrestling News thank you, Melissa, for your sacrifices to the world of professional wrestling.