Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Tay Melo
Tay Melo has been a prominent feature of AEW’s women’s division since her debut in the company in 2020. The Brazilian was born in Rio de Janeiro and is never afraid to proudly represent her heritage. She’s flown the Brazilian flag and worn flag-colored face paint to the ring. She also routinely travels back to Brazil. Her black belt in Judo and blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu set her apart from others.
In 2016, Tay was signed by WWE and sent to the Performance Center in Florida. She made her official professional wrestling debut at WrestleMania Axxess on April 1st, 2017, as Taynara Conti. She took part in the first ever Mae Young Classic but lost in the first round to Lacey Evans. Her first appearance on NXT was in October 2017 when she interfered in a match between Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, and Liv Morgan on behalf of the Undisputed Era who didn’t want Cross to pick up a victory. She appeared on NXT sparingly after this incident.
Tay made history at WrestleMania 34 when she fought in the Woman’s Battle Royal pre-show, becoming the first Brazilian to compete on WrestleMania night. She also competed in the second Mae Young Classic. She defeated Jessie Elabon in the first round but lost to Lacey Lane in the second round.
Tay was released from her WWE contract in April 2020 due to budget cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tay Conti debuted for AEW on August 4, 2020. TayJay won the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament with Anna Jay. TayJay beat Nyla Rose and Ariane Andrew in the quarterfinals but lost to Diamante and Ivelisse in the semifinal.
She was officially announced as a member of the AEW roster on September 9, 2020. One of Tay’s greatest feuds came when her and Anna Jay were having issues with Penelope Ford and the Bunny. The two teams had their rivalry culminate in a fantastic street fight at New Year’s Smash 2021. Tay has competed against Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. for the AEW Women’s Championship at Full Gear 2021 and Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship at Revolution in 2022. Both losses showed Tay’s improvement in AEW.
Tay turned heel when she joined her real-life partner Sammy Guevara on-screen. The crowd loves to despise the pair since they always demonstrate PDA on screen. They joined the Jericho Appreciation Society recently and have been excelling in their roles of being an obnoxious couple.
On August 12, 2022, Tay’s name was changed to Tay Melo when she married Sammy Guevara and no longer wanted to use her ex-last husband’s name. AEW is the sole business Tay plays for. She made her AAA debut on April 20, 2022, when she and Sammy won the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championships.
Tay has a bright future ahead of her. She has accomplished quite a bit in her relatively short time in the wrestling business and it is only a matter of time, in my opinion, before she becomes the AEW Women’s Champion or the TBS Champion.
Tay has proved that she is a superstar whether fans love her or hate her, and she performs in both roles very well. I am very interested to see what the next year or two bring for Tay Melo, and I have a feeling she could be a top name in AEW sooner rather than later.