Sable led WWE through the Attitude Era in many ways and when she appeared in Playboy's April 1999 issue, magazines flew off shelves all over the world. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was Sable's issue of Playboy Magazine. There was a lot of negotiating before anything could take place, but it seems WWE didn't have to do much convincing to make it happen.
Bruce Prichard recently spoke about Sable in depth on Something To Wrestle With where he discussed the process it took to get Rena Mero on the cover of the famous gentlemen's magazine. It was a much different day for WWE during that time and they weren't limited to TV-PG restrictions in the slightest. Therefore, a partnership between WWE and Playboy seemed to make perfect sense.
"We were hot at the time and the product itself was hot and Rena was -- good god, Sable that character [was] one of the most downloaded females in the world," Bruce Prichard said. "Playboy as they often or at least did back in the day would often reach out to celebrities or other people who would appeal to their audience and make that offer, 'would you pose nude for Playboy?' They approached WWE about Sable and asked. There was even talk of doing the women of WWF and all that other stuff but Playboy had approached us."
"I don't know all the particulars about this but usually they approach the company and since we have the talent contract we're the ones that broker the deal and yeah the company gets a portion of that money because they're under contract to the company. So I'm sure Vince looking at it and saying, 'which of the females?' Then approached her and asked if she would even be in interested in it if it's something she'd consider doing and she interested in doing it so they went further on with the deal until finally it was actually done and everybody agreed on it."
At the time Playboy shot two photos as possible covers for Sable's issue of the magazine. One photo showed her being concealed only by a WWF Women's Title and the other was the one they eventually decided to go with showing Sable wearing a black catsuit.
"I think it was Playboy's choice looking at the two pictures and deciding which one was gonna sell more magazines," Prichard continued as he discussed why they went with the now-famous black catsuit picture for Sable. "Not just appealing to the wrestling fan with the belt and what have you. I don't know what the hell their thinking was behind it but I thought the cover they picked was a pretty good one."
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard with a H/T to Wrestling Inc for the transcription
Source: Something To Wrestle With