Jim Ross says Sable became a huge star in WWF but it all started with a fundamental idea of making her relatable to the viewing audience.
Ross spoke about the rise of Sable in the mid-90s on his Grilling JR podcast, talking about her beginnings as a valet with Triple H before aligning on-air with real-life husband Marc Mero. Sable and Mero soon split up on TV due to ‘Marvelous’ Marc’s jealousy, and it’s something that Ross says was easy to do because everyone can relate to the ‘seven deadly sins’ and they make for easy booking
“Business picked up when she got the rub from The Rock. That was magic on camera, that was big-time business on screen right there. But yeah, people could relate to a jealous husband. Again with the ‘seven deadly sins’—if you’re a booker, talent and you don’t know what [they] are, you’ll never be a great worker, or as great as you could be if you didn’t understand those emotions. We’ve all got them. We all have them, unless you’re some sort of sociopath and you’re stuck in a prison cell somewhere,” Ross quipped, “all of those ‘seven deadly sins’ are prevalent in all of our lives. So the great bookers, the Eddie Grahams, Bill Watts, all these cats over the years, basically played off of human emotions as the foundation for their booking. That’s where the term ‘personal issues’ came from. Personal issues are utilized to highlight the basic human condition that people could relate to, and the wrestlers just amplified it.
Ross went on to explain how you don’t want to see your friends or loved ones in jeopardy and said that’s just human nature, and said Sable prospered in this respect but then she became a star in every storyline she was in.
“It’s simple booking, and sometimes those little traits are overlooked because the younger generation thinks that’s too simple. But millenials, by and large but not all of them, a lot of them don’t understand the seven deadly sins and how that affects basic human nature and how that is affected by the viewer. It’s an interesting scenario, to say the least,” Ross said, “but there was no way to hide Rena. Every scenario that she was booked in, in that era, every match she was in, she was the focal point.”
In another exchange during the show, Ross also talked about how well-produced and planned out vignettes go a long way to get talent over instead of just writing things on the fly.
“I am a firm believer that creatively-produced, episodic vignettes do more to get a talent over than just having a cold match on TV. I truly believe that. I believe that if a company could commit to getting talents over, if they have a systematic program that has a beginning, a middle and an end, and when you get to the end of the vignettes,” Ross explained, “you’ve preconditioned the audience for this individual and he or she steps right into their first storyline, and that’s all got to be planned as well. You can’t do it [on the fly], ‘Well who are they going to work with?’ and ‘Well, let’s get these vignettes done, let’s figure it out.’ That’s bullshit. That’s lazy booking. It’s just not the way you launch for a debut. Austin, all of those guys, had something special. Austin, as it worked out, had the most special traits out of anybody there. Vince quickly caught on to that when he saw how organically over Austin was getting.”
Check out the full episode below: