Melissa Coates – A Champion’s Fight Outside The Ring

Famed for her bodybuilding tournament triumphs, memorable fitness and modeling covers, acting roles, and appearances in WWE, Impact Wrestling, and more, Melissa Coates is that rare athlete great enough to make a name for herself in multiple fields. But right now, she’s going through her biggest fight yet.

Melissa Coates with her long-time partner, Sabu.
“The Super Genie” Melissa Coates with her long-time partner, Sabu. [Photo: @melissalcoates on Instagram]

My Friend, Melissa Coates

Melissa Coates is like a parade. Muscles rippling, long, lush, blonde flowing locks down to the bottom of her back, the 1996 IFBB Jan Tana Classic Bodybuilding Champion and former Ohio Valley Wrestling trainee doesn’t look like just any woman walking down the street.

And I’m proud to call her a friend.

So on that night, on April 2nd, 2010, when at the age of 50, I finally made a leap into marriage, I had to have Melissa there.

While my wedding was at City Hall, the after-party was at Gizzi’s, a New York City bar-restaurant where I booked talent of every genre.

Located at 16 W 8th in the ever-so-Bohemian legendary West Village, Bob Dylan, Lenny Bruce, the Beatniks, et al., all created masterpieces, and a few doors down was Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland Studio where Jimi and other musical legends created immortal art. And my artist friends, wrestlers, adult education students of every race, creed, color, and nation had all collided to make a joyful noise and create some art themselves.

So there we were. New York City Swing was jamming. Ned Massey, John Hammond, Sr’s final discovery was captivating us with his brilliant songwriting. Theresa Sareo, with her big booming voice, had us in the palm of her hand. One great talent after another, all "deserving of wider exposure," as they say, graced the stage.

We were one nation under a groove.

"It was the best wedding I’ve EVER been to," more than one person told me.

And then- suddenly- Melissa Coates hit the joint.

While the music didn’t stop, it felt like a Felliniesque moment. It was as if the attention momentarily left the stage, and in what felt like slow motion, all heads turned towards the door as Melissa strutted in.

A bundle of nervous energy, charisma, and raw power, her Rapunzel-like locks trailed behind her, and folk stared in awe and amazement.

The woman knew how to command a room.

She hugged me, and I felt her strength immediately. Explaining in her mile a minute patter some elaborate tale of woe as to why she was late, that saga’s been lost to time.

All that’s remembered now is that amazing entrance.

Shoot ahead a decade, and I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that Melissa recently had a horrific medical emergency with blood clots in her legs, threatening her very life. It resulted in the amputation of her left leg.

Melissa’s Battle Outside of the Ring

A photo of Melissa in her wheelchair post-surgery hit me hard. But I know this athlete’s heart. I know the discipline that went into becoming a champion bodybuilder. To climb the ranks in pro wrestling. To be better than all the rest and be the one asked to be on magazine covers seen around the world.

Yes, my friend Melissa will be back. And I’m sure next time her entrance will be equally spectacular.

The following details come from the GoFundMe fundraiser created to help her during this difficult time:

“The Super Genie” Melissa Coates is a trailblazer in the world of professional bodybuilding and pro-wrestling. Throughout the ’90s, she competed in the International Federation of Bodybuilding, placing highly in their Ms. Olympia and Ms. International events. Due to her success, she was ranked 9th in the world in women’s bodybuilding. Melissa was featured extensively in fitness magazines, including Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Muscle Mag, Muscular Development, and Iron Man.

After retiring from bodybuilding, Melissa Coates trained with Hall of Fame pro wrestler Killer Kowalski. She would later compete in the WWE and throughout the independents. Melissa currently performs as “The Super Genie” and manages legendary pro wrestler Sabu. They perform for various pro wrestling companies across the globe.

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, Melissa was admitted to University Medical Center Las Vegas to assess the recent onset of excruciating pain in her left leg. The doctors discovered that blood clots completely obstructed the arteries supplying blood to her left lower leg. Over the next few days, several procedures were performed to remove the clots and thus save her leg, but these operations were unsuccessful. Ultimately Melissa and her doctors had to make the agonizing choice to perform a life-saving above-knee amputation of her left leg. As a result of this medical emergency, she has incurred substantial medical bills and will be out of work for an indefinite amount of time as she rehabs her injury. She is currently still in hospital and in great pain, but she remains positive.

Therefore, we are asking for any donations to help “The Super Genie” Melissa Coates during this difficult time. Any donation is greatly appreciated!

If you wish to kindly contribute to this fund helping out my friend Melissa Coates, you can do so by clicking here. We appreciate your help in spreading the word.

If you would like to reach Melissa personally, she can be reached via the following accounts:

Facebook: RealMelissaCoates

Twitter: @realSuperGenie and @RealMelisCoates

Instagram: @melissalcoates

Watch WWE’s Bayley in Her First-Ever Match – Melissa Coates and Shannon Ballard vs. Shane Ballard and Bayley:

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Evan Ginzburg is a contributor for Pro Wrestling Stories. He was an Associate Producer on the movie "The Wrestler" and "350 Days" starring Bret Hart and Superstar Billy Graham. He is a nearly 30-year film, radio, and TV veteran, as well as co-host of the weekly Wrestling & Everything- Coast to Coast radio show with Buddy Sotello. He can be reached on Twitter @evan_ginzburg or by e-mail at