Long before WWE became the PG-themed product that it is today, Vince McMahon held discussions over adding a completely different business to his portfolio.
Between 1999 and 2008 a total of seven female WWE Superstars posed for Playboy Magazine, with Torrie Wilson and Chyna appearing twice, (Chyna’s second appearance came after leaving WWE) and Sable appearing three times. Maria Kanellis was the final star to pose for the magazine in 2008, with WWE going on to present a more family-friendly product.
During this period, WWE’s female stars were presented very differently from how they are today, with a greater emphasis on the sexualisation of their characters.
Speaking on a recent episode of his podcast, Something To Wrestle, long-time McMahon associate and WWE Executive, Bruce Prichard confirmed that Vince McMahon once attempted to purchase the adult brand.
“We were winding down the Playboy association And again, we were in transition. We were transitioning to a more PG-themed product. But there was a point in time where we were negotiating to actually purchase Playboy. That was an interesting time as well.
I think that anytime that you can be on newsstands in front of the public, whether they bought it or not.
When you would walk by a newsstand, you would see your stars on the cover. Whether they bought it or not, they saw those stars on the cover of Playboy and that was like ‘Oh hey — wow, that’s a huge celebrity.’”
Vince McMahon Back With WWE
Vince McMahon might be back with WWE as Executive Chairman, but he is not back running creative. At least according to the most recent report on the speculation. Instead, McMahon continues to work on a deal to sell the company. WWE CEO Nick Khan has previously stated that he expects this to be a quick process.
H/t to Atletifo