Once upon a time, WWE and Playboy went hand-in-hand with several female WWE stars gracing the magazine’s cover, so much so that Vince McMahon once tried to buy the entire adult brand.
Sable set the ball rolling on WWE’s partnership with Playboy, becoming the first WWE star to appear on the magazine’s cover and subsequently the first woman to be given two cover issues in the same year. Following Sable, Chyna, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme, Candice Michelle, Ashley Massaro, and Maria Kanellis all appeared in the magazine before WWE moved away from its edgier, adult presentation.
Speaking on his Something To Wrestle podcast, long-time WWE executive Bruce Prichard explained how at one point before WWE’s move to PG, Vince McMahon was actually trying to purchase Playboy:
“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 is still the name on everyone’s lips in regard to WWE and his name has appeared in an unusual way in advertising for WrestleMania 39.