Jim Ross has praised an Attitude Era star for being easy to work with despite knowing her star power.
Sable debuted in WWE in 1996, briefly working as Triple H‘s valet before moving on to an alliance with her then-real-life husband Marc Mero. The pair were a favourite couple among fans until Mero was sidelined with a knee injury in 1997.
Sable continued to appear onscreen despite Mero’s absence and became a hugely popular part of the Attitude Era in her own right, as well as helping WWE’s mainstream appeal with appearances in magazines including TV Guide and even Playboy.
However, in 1999 the star walked out of the company and filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions. The lawsuit was settled out of court that August.
In 2003, Sable made an unexpected return to the company on the April 3rd edition of SmackDown. She immediately entered a feud with Torrie Wilson and then Stephanie McMahon.
The star remained in the company until 2004, when she left again, this time to spend more time with her family.
Jim Ross Praises Sable’s Attitude On WWE Return
On the latest edition of Grilling JR, Ross recalled that he was concerned about negotiating with Sable when she was making her return to the company as she “knew what she was worth”. However, everything went smoothly and the star was “a hit.”
“I was kind of concerned about how well we would be able to negotiate a deal and what her demands were, because she knew what she was worth. She knew what she was worth. And we knew that from a merchandise standpoint, we could probably get a return on the investment on that merch.
“She was a great cameo person. She was great to do a walk-on, a recurring role on television. Because she still has that great appeal. She was a beautiful woman. She had great charisma and had that animal magnetism, shall we say? Because she was a hit.
“She was a keeper. And I for one was glad that she came back.”
JR compared her to Chyna, who had more “far-fetched” demands when re-negotiating her deal.
“You know, to me, I never had, I had a lot of issues trying to negotiate a contract with Chyna. Chyna was demanding that she make the same money that Austin was making. I thought that might be a little bit far-fetched. That was what ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back, if you will.
“It’s just, you’re not going to get a million-dollar guarantee, and she didn’t understand why. She thought she was a bigger star actually than Austin, because she was female, and had that advantage, uniqueness, one-of-a-kind, one-off type deal.”
For her part, Sable – whose real name is Rena Lesnar – was “never hard” to do business with. JR believes she came back because she wanted to make things right after how she left the company in 1999.
“Rena was never hard for me to do business with. You know, I remember meeting with her in my office, and she just, she wanted to come back and make things right. I think she had second thoughts about how she left. And, you know, I just thought it was not a bad thing.
“Sometimes, look, you gotta have a short memory in wrestling. I’ve had plenty of talents I booked that I didn’t like, I wish they weren’t there, because they’re a pain in the ass. But, you know, you got to do what’s best for the company.
“That’s why I tell everybody, it’s not about your personal issues or your conflicts. You know, get your s**t settled. I’ll help you if I can, but you gotta want to help me too. Because at the end of the day, if we can’t solve your problem, we have to eliminate it. It’s real simple.
“But she was fine. She had a little different approach than Chyna. So I relayed that to Vince. [He asked] How did your meeting go? ‘It went great. She wants to get a fresh start. She wants to erase how she left. And I think I for one am all in favour of hiring her back.’ He agreed, and we did, and it seemed like it worked out okay.”
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