And Another Thing: Exit Sable
Posted by Hyatte on 01.01.2000
Meet the first “Diva” who really thought she transcended the business.
This would be the very first installment of “AAT”. It’s not bad, just not as good as the column would actually get. Which is the routine for me, as anyone who read my first few Mop-Ups will testify.
(originally presented Summer, 1999: Scoops)
Hello, I’m Chris and this is NOT the Mop-Up. It’s something else. Not sure what the name is, but I’m leaning towards “And Another thing...” or something catchy like that...perhaps “Hyatte’s bid for serious writing cred”.
For the two of you who never check out anything below Al’s news in the “News and Results” section and you NEVER travel to other web sites...allow me to introduce myself. I am Hyatte, and I am the Internet. This bi-weekly (but don’t hold me to this) column is more or less a supplement to my wildly popular and oh-so-juvenile Mop-Up recaps that have set the world on fire. It’s a serious, in-depth, hopefully interesting look at the Sports Entertainment fiasco known as wrestling. Basically, it allows me an opportunity to speak in length about a subject that I always wanted to comment on, but not having the time to in my recaps. I know, I know....those overblown columns of mine can hardly be called “fast paced”...but I cover a WIDE variety of subjects in those things. This will be a one topic show. I promise you, there will NEVER be a “Random Topics” column here. I won’t be writing a bullcrap column just for the sake of putting something out. If it takes a week, two weeks, or a month...I’ll wait until I have something that I really want to discuss. All you have to do is show up and read it. Cool?
Good. The first thing I want to talk about is Sable, in what I hope is the final Internet say on Rena Mero. After this, since Rena Mero’s association with Pro Wrestling is over and done with for at least three years, I highly doubt anybody will want to, or really have anything to say about her again. Yet, I chose this topic to open the new column with because there is another angle about all this that nobody has discussed yet. Nobody has even come close. It’s a very important angle, as you will soon see.
Her second Playboy issue is on the shelves, or just days away from being placed on them. As a result, she’s been making the talk show rounds again, combining the hawking of her magazine spread with tales of the vile, sexist, Neanderthal-like evil that is the WWF. This past Summer, we’ve seen her on Conan, Leno, Stern, The Daily Show, a string of Entertainment Magazine shows and probably more radio morning “zoos” than even the toughest Marine could stomach. She’s been through it all, and she’s done everything she could to discuss how criminally mistreated she was in Titan. She was abused. She was harassed. She was pushed into doing things that she didn’t want to do. She was ordered to strip in front of millions of rabid WWF fans and show off her nipples in a bit of choreographed “accidental nudity”. She was forced to WRESTLE! She is NOT a wrestler! She is a girl. A woman. A human being. She should NOT have been treated like that.
You know. She’s right. Dead on balls right. NOBODY should be forced to do ANYTHING they don’t want to do. It is a crime that Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, Paul Heyman, and a whole slew of Independent promoters are guilty of. Forcing wrestlers to do stuff they don’t want to do is as big a part of the business as learning how to Piledrive someone without ramming their head into the mat. Do you think Matt Bourne wanted to dress up as a Clown? Or Reese wanted to wrap himself in cloth and call himself the Yeti? Juventud Guerrera and Rey Mysterio Jr demanded HUGE raises before allowing WCW to take their masks off. Randy Savage and Ric Flair are currently on strike because of the direction their characters are going. Hell, the biggest assault on a man’s dignity still has to be when Vince McMahon sat Adrian Adonis down and told him that he suddenly was to become wrestling first openly gay transvestite. It’s been happening since the dawn of time people. Rena simply fought back, refused to do it anymore, and demanded to be fired. Her lawsuit was basically ONLY geared to allow her to keep the name “Sable” for promotional use; and probably to pocket a few bucks too, but only if her lawyers could finagle a few bucks. The name was the most important thing. The name and her life free from the evil McMahon dynasty. There is nothing wrong with that...not really.
But the Internet reacted....vehemently. Everyone screamed about what an unfair, manipulative, ungrateful bitch she was. Dave Scherer is as objective as it gets (about wrestling at least), and HE was pissed. Al Isaacs was torn because he is friendly with the Meros. Marc even wrote for SCOOPS for a month’s worth of columns or so, yet Al felt betrayed at the most, disappointed at the very least. Rena wanted out of wrestling, at a time in her life when she was totally over with the crowd. Nobody could understand it. Why leave wrestling? Wrestling RULES!!! Vince RULES! The WWF is a GOOD company! They wouldn’t DARE treat their women like dirt! Professional Wrestling is an OPEN MINDED, FAIR, GENDER FRIENDLY SPORT WHERE EVERYONE, BIG AND SMALL, MALE AND FEMALE ARE TREATED EXACTLY THE SAME!!!
Well...not quite. Wrestling is a MAN’S sport, appealing to MAN’S TASTES, and ruled by MAN’S LAWS. Women are allowed in, but only as sideshow attractions. A gratuitous aside where they can flop their boobs around the ring and engage in Fan Boy Fantasy Cat fights. One magazine under the “Pro Wrestling Illustrated” umbrella used to have a lengthy column called “Apartment Wrestling” which featured two women fighting in a set made to look like a small Apartment. The women would get into these provocative, damn near pornographic poses for the cameraman, then some horny writer would concoct a story behind it. How they were able to sell this soft core to young teenage boys without getting in deep trouble for so long is amazing. This is a Soap Opera for Men. Girls were allowed, but only as eye candy...not exactly tolerated for wanting anything else out of this career path.
But what about Chyna, you ask? She’s in there fighting and BEATING men on THEIR terms...and looking DAMN good in the process. Does she factor into your equating? Well, yes. She does factor in. She is certainly doing stuff that a woman has NEVER done before, that being a serious contender for any and ALL WWF titles, and she doesn’t even seem to care about the Women’s title. Yes, she is entering new territory as a woman. But is she a trailblazer? Hell no.
That honor belongs to Sable. Not Rena...SABLE. That’s what is so damn sad about this whole ordeal. That is also probably why a good chunk of the fans were so pissed at her for bailing out of wrestling. While Chyna was content just to stand behind Triple H and glower at everyone, with her masculine features and overbuffed body, Sable was doing things previously unheard of in wrestling Sure, it all was scripted and worked out; but that was merely a reflection that the WWF’s willingness to finally explore the strength of a fully realized Independent woman with skill and ability...as well as a gorgeous body and the prettiest face. Remember, Sable is the woman who challenged Marc Mero to a “Loser Leave Wrestling Match” in order to free herself from his jealous character. She lost, but she had to be conned into it. When she was re-hired by Vince, she was told that her Independent spirit would no longer be tolerated in the company. Art imitates life as Vince publicly tried to squash her desire to be something more than a ring ornament. Sable’s response? A Double Middle Finger to Vince’s back and the words, “F**K YOUUUUU” screamed for all to hear. This was the new Generation of Women Wrestlers....no more just sitting back and taking whatever scraps they give her. She’ll put up a fight. Let’s not forget those workout clips of her pumping iron. Sure, Sable was pretty much the biggest reason why Bret Hart put his kids to bed early on Monday nights, but once you looked beyond those big boobs working up a sweat on the weights; you saw a fire, a determination in her eyes. Ready to give as much as she took!
I must make a quick detour to say that I may be unfair to ECW, which featured the involvement of women in men’s matches LOOONG before Sable showed up, but Sable was given her opportunity to re-define the female role on a National scale. It was only until a couple of days ago that ECW was able to showcase it’s talents to the entire country on something other than a semi-regular PPV system. There was also Jacqueline’s yearlong work in WCW where she beat several wrestlers outside the ring as well as Disco Inferno in a match, but that was more of a punishment to Disco rather than the advancement of Jacqueline, which is why she promptly jumped over to the WWF; she saw what Sable was doing over there, she wanted to be a part of it.
Sable Bombs, Sable-Caranas, mixed tag team matches with Edge as her partner. The crowds were popping huge, but not just for the sex appeal. They were cheering for the underdog, the good guy, the last true “face” that the WWF allowed in this new era of mixing black and white and coming up with gray. She was more of a hero than Hulk Hogan could EVER be. She was fighting for respect. God Bless her for it. This is what I’ll always remember her for. She cleared a path. It’s a tough path to follow, and the WWF is carefully walking down it, still having their ladies doing more “womanly” stuff. But the path is there...and it wasn’t there before Marc Mero blew into town with his wife.
Then she wanted out. Just like that. Oh, she kicked up a fuss at first...and they made her a Heel champion to compensate for her backstage attitude. Her first Playboy sales broke major records which helped her realize that perhaps she had something beyond this wrestling career. Of course, she had the greatest press on Earth the first time around with a 5 minute segment on RAW that had Jerry Lawler going above and beyond the call of good taste by literally having an on-air orgasm over her first pics. Lawler made you think they were the sexiest pictures ever taken. He won’t be around to promote her this time around, nor will the whole WWF promotion machine be around to work us into a frenzy over it. I think it’ll be a much lighter sell this time around. Maybe she can take a front row seat at Nitro again? Maybe she can discreetly hold up the magazine as Eric Bischoff giggles about how it’s “on”. I mean, the last time she tried that, it didn’t cost her anything other than 110 million and the rights to the name “Sable” after this latest Playboy spread (oh trust me people, that had a LOT to do with her final settlement; which, from all reports, had her on the losing side).
No, she won’t have the publicity she had before. So now she has to go on all these talk shows and talk about how she found excrement in her gym bag by those backwards assed WWF MALES. The same men who made Chyna get her faced re-shaped so she can take Rena’s place as the resident “Women Doing It in the Boy’s Club”.
The good news is that Rena has been talking about doing a series based on “Red Sonja”. A series about a rough and tough woman fighting in a Male Warrior’s world.
Doesn’t Xena do that already? Why yes, she does.
Which means that Rena left a trail she blazed for Chyna to follow so she can follow a trail blazed by Xena.
How’s that for irony?
I’ll miss Sable. I don’t think I’ll miss Rena all that much.
This is Hyatte too.