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Opinion: Sable deserves to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

Paul Benson
ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

Sable delivers the match-winning TKO to Luna Vachon at Wrestlemania XIV
Sable delivers the match-winning TKO to Luna Vachon at Wrestlemania XIV

Sable may be best known in 2019 as Mrs. Brock Lesnar, but two decades ago, she was recognized as WWE Women's Champion and was one of the top five stars of WWE's famed Attitude Era. She is the woman who more than any other ushered in the era of the "Diva" and paved the way for female performers to become a focal part of WWE television.

When her husband Marc Mero was signed by WWE in early 1996, his wife Rena accompanied him to Titan Towers.

WWE staffs were open-jawed at the five-foot-eight blonde bombshell and Vince McMahon immediately wanted to put her on television with his new signing.

Rena was given the moniker of Sable and made her wrestling debut at WrestleMania XII, walking to the ring as Hunter Hearst Helmsley's (Triple H) valet in his much-hyped encounter with the returning Ultimate Warrior.

Later that night, Sable aligned herself with the debuting "Wildman" Marc Mero and began to serve as her husband's onscreen manager.

After Mero was sidelined due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Sable began to become a popular act outside of the "Wildman's" shadow.

In a piece of booking brilliance, WWE creative devised a storyline in which a returning Mero would become jealous of his spouse and intentionally shield her from the limelight, so the focus could be on himself.

The long term story led to a mixed tag team match-up in which Mero teamed with Sable versus the odd couple double act of Goldust and Luna Vachon.

That culminated in Sable's debut match at WrestleMania XIV in which she displayed dynamic punching and kicking and an impressive Powerbomb and TKO.

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Thrilled with the reaction from the live crowd and Sable's apparent natural prowess in the ring, WWE immediately made plans to make Sable a permanent wrestler.

Eliciting some of the loudest crowd responses in the company, behind only Stone Cold, The Rock and The Undertaker, Sable won the Women's Championship at the 1998 Survivor Series.

Superstardom and legendary status beckoned. However, Sable's in-ring ability had thus far been shielded in short bouts with talented workers such as Luna and Jacqueline. Pitted opposite less able Superstars, Sable was badly exposed as a limited and clumsy worker.

Worse, due to her successes outside of the ring, namely as a Playboy cover girl and a guest star in television shows such as Pacific Blue, Sable's ego greatly inflated.

Feeling she was above wrestling, an increasingly unreliable Sable made fewer and fewer wrestling appearances as she tried to force her way out of her WWE contract.

She infuriated WWE by appearing in the crowd on an episode of WCW's Monday Nitro in the spring of 1999, at the height of the Monday Night War between the two behemoth companies.

WWE Commissioner Shawn Michaels was instructed to "screw" Sable out of the Women's Championship in May 1999, when after Sable had successfully won an Evening Gown match versus Debra by tearing off her dress, Michaels changed the rules and stated that the woman who lost her clothes was the winner, making Debra the new Women's Champion.

The following month Sable sued WWE for $110 million, citing an unsafe working environment (mainly due to a backstage scuffle with Luna) and sexual harassment.

The lawsuit was later settled out of court, and the two parties went their separate ways. Four years later, Sable stunned the world by resurfacing on WWE's Smackdown show, by kissing pin-up and WWE Hall of Famer, Torrie Wilson.

Her second run in WWE was much less memorable than her first as she was mainly a personality that had feuds with Wilson and Stephanie McMahon, that were largely opening match attractions.

Sable unexpectedly returned to WWE in 2003
Sable unexpectedly returned to WWE in 2003

Most significantly perhaps, from her second run in the company was her third Playboy cover issue, in conjunction with Wilson this time, which served as part of the promotion for WrestleMania XX and was another huge financial success. After one year back in WWE Sable left on good terms this time to concentrate on family life.

Shortly after, she would divorce Mero and wed Brock Lesnar, with whom she would have two sons.

Sable's tenures in WWE total just four years and she was only a full-time wrestler for around 12 months, but her star power during the 1998-99 period was a crucial part of WWE's success in usurping the star-laden WCW as the number one wrestling promotion in the world.

There have been better female wrestlers; there have been better actors and personalities - but few women have ever cracked the mainstream like Sable. It's difficult to imagine when another woman will top her, in that respect.

Therefore, in my view, Sable is long overdue her spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. Hopefully, her time to take a bow will come in 2020.


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