Rosa Mendes was born on October 25, 1979 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as Milena Leticia Roucka. Of Czech and Costa Rican descent, she used to be a model before signing on to World Entertainment Wrestling (WWE). She works in its RAW brand, and trains at its developmental facility, Florida Championship Wrestling.
Raised by a single father and her sister, Roucka grew up being a tomboy. She studied Business at the University of British Columbia initially, but realized her interests lay elsewhere. She dropped out, later pursuing a career in modeling. This became quite a success, since she won the “Piel Dorada,” one of the biggest Latin American based modeling contests, in 2004. There, she made history by becoming the first North American to triumph. Later on, Roucka acted in commercials for Trident and Lux soap.
Her first WWE appearance was in the 2006 Diva Search, where she participated and finished fourth. This led to her being hired by the company, along with other eliminated contestants. Roucka soon found herself assigned at Ohio Valley Wrestling, and worked as a heel. Her next move was becoming a valet for Bad Kompany, but made her in-ring debut in April 2007. Later in September, she won a 6-way OVW divas match, for the OVW Women’s Championship and retained the title in December. However, she lost it in February 2008 to Katie Lea.
It was in March of that year that Roucka gradually moved on to Florida Championship Wrestling and debuted in a Diva Twist Off. She defeated Wesley Holiday, but later teamed up with her and Alicia Fox. In November, Roucka appeared on an episode of RAW as a planted number one fan of Beth Phoenix. The next month, she was introduced by Santino Marella as Rosa Mendes, who later jumped from the crowd and attacked Melina to help out Phoenix. After being banned by Stephanie McMahon, she tried to evade it and disguise herself as a paparazzo. In January the next year, Mendes returned, and became Marella and Phoenix’s intern.