Sara Marie [Roberts] Callaway was born on November 24, 1981, to Darren and Lucille Roberts. She was a very gifted child, learning to speak at the tender age of one, and reading at the age of two. With short, dark brown hair and big, beautiful brown eyes, Sara was a pretty girl. When she entered junior high school, however, she had a growth spurt. She was the tallest girl in her freshman high school class, measuring 5'9". By the time she left high school, at the young age of 16, she stood nearly six feet tall, and weighed in at a muscular 155 lbs. Although she was a girl, Sara was the biggest tomboy anyone had ever met. She played varsity basketball and varsity soccer, as well as, to everyone's amazement, junior varsity boy's football. Through sports, she was introduced to weightlifting, aerobics, and being able to take care of her body. By the time she graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Sociology, where she'd received a full academic scholarship, Sara had grown two inches and gained 35 lbs. She remained feminine by growing her hair waist length (and which was no easy task to take care of, either), wearing a little make-up, and wearing what was considered feminine clothing. Relationship-wise, Sara didn't fare too well. Every guy that she met was intimidated by her, including those she met at the college campus gym. Her only male friend was the 6'2" boxing instructor, Luke.
Professional wrestling had always been a part of Sara's life. Her father had been a top wrestler for the now-defunct National Wrestling Association (N.W.A.). Her parents divorced when she was seven years old. They had been married for almost eleven years. Lucy began dating a wrestler named Luke Jenkinson and got married to him a year later. However, Luke's Worldwide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) character, Romeo, was very popular, so he was on the road over three-quarters of the year. It was this that began to pull Sara's family apart. There was many a night when Sara would be awakened by the sounds of her mother and stepfather arguing, whether it was face-to-face or via telephone. After three years of trying to hold the family together, Lucy filed for divorce. To her surprise, Luke went along with it without much resistance.
After that second divorce, Sara developed a deep hatred for the wrestling industry. Although she was only ten years old, she was very mature for her age. Whenever her mother would watch wrestling, she would stay in her room and read, or practice her basketball shots outside. "Sara, come watch TV with me," Lucy would plead, "It's not that bad." "Mom, it destroyed our lives…twice! I remember when you and my daddy got divorced!" Sara would argue back. "It's not the business, Sara, it's just…I picked the wrong men," Lucy would respond. These arguments went on week after week for two years. Finally, when Sara entered junior high school, Lucy started to raise her daughter to be very independent, and not to have to rely on a male for anything. "If you want to be noticed, you've got to put yourself in that position," she told Sara everyday, "Don't expect anybody to give you anything. If they do, they want something in return."
In the summer of 2001, at the young age of 19, Sara met the man who would become her first husband. His name was Roderick Tombs…and he was a professional wrestler. She tried to ignore him, even when he paid for an ice cream cone she couldn't afford at the moment, but the attraction was amazing. She ended up talking to him for over four hours. They had so much in common…except for wrestling. "Why do you hate it so much? It's a very successful business," Roddy said. "That business is successful, alright," Sara hissed, "It was successful in ruining my family…twice!" Eventually, Roddy began to change Sara's perspective of wrestling. "Maybe your mother just couldn't deal with the pressure of Luke being on the road all the time. Maybe she wanted a husband who would provide a stable image for you. It takes a certain mentality to, you know, be married, engaged, or whatever to a wrestler like Luke," he told her, "I'm sure he wanted to be with you more. It's just that when you have a character as popular as Luke's was, he had to appease the needs of the fans." "Well, what about my mom and me? We had needs, too," she said quietly. "I know, Sara, and I'm sure Luke knew that, too, which is probably why he went along with the divorce so easily," Roddy added, "Maybe he didn't want to hurt you any more than he already had." "Maybe it's not so bad after all," Sara said when Roddy walked her up to her house. "It isn't, Sara," Roddy said before he left, "It isn't."
A week later, Roddy returned, and he and Sara became a couple, much to Lucy's surprise. "I never thought I'd see you date a wrestler," she said to Sara. Six months later, on Christmas Day, Roddy proposed…and Sara accepted it. While Roddy was on the road working, Lucy and Sara planned the wedding. They set the wedding date for June 4, 2002, a year after Sara had met Roddy. It took a lot of time and hard work, but Sara managed to stay focused. She spent days with her mother planning the wedding, and she spent many nights on the phone with Roddy. She couldn't believe that a man like Roddy was so interested in her that he wanted to marry her. Sara's marriage to Roddy brought her deeper into the world of wrestling. Before, Sara would only see Roddy or his friends when they were in Daytona. Now, Roddy had asked her to travel with him on the road. "Just for one month," he said, "If you don't like it, you can come back to Daytona and continue working at your job." Sara thought about it for the rest of the day before she agreed, factoring in all the positives and negatives that would come from her being away from home. To Roddy's surprise, Sara actually liked traveling with him. "It's just the rush of everything before the show," she said at a live RAW in Anaheim, California, "Besides, I've always wanted to travel." One night, during a "Smackdown!" taping in Hampton, Virginia, Sara ran into Vince McMahon for the first time. "I don't believe you belong back here, miss. Do you have a backstage pass?" he said. "I'm Sara Tombs, Roddy Tombs' wife," she said stiffening her back, "Do I need a pass?" Vince took a deep breath as he noticed the woman's amazing height. "Actually, you do, ma'am. I'll…see what I can do to get one for ya," he said walking away, trying to decide whom he would get a do a background check on her. Sara sighed as she headed the opposite way, towards the locker room.
About an hour or so later, Sara ran into Vince again. This time, he acted totally different. "Hello, Mrs. Tombs," he said extending his hand with a laminated pass on a lanyard, "I ran into you earlier tonight." "Please, call me Sara," she said returning the handshake, "Everybody else does." Vince was rather shocked by the firmness of her grip. Other females simply place their hands in his timidly, but this woman gripped his hand with an extreme amount of confidence. "I can tell by your handshake, you've got a lot of confidence," he said, as he slowly looked her over, "What kind of work do you like?" "Do you eyeball every woman you see, Mr. McMahon?" Sara snapped. "Why, of course not. I'm sorry if you thought I was 'eyeballing' you, Mrs. Tombs. I'm just captivated by your physique. I've never seen a woman of your stature," Vince replied. "Sure," Sara retorted. "If we can get back to my question, what kind of work do you like?" he repeated. Sara took a deep breath and said, "Well, I really like interacting with people, on a large or small scale; it depends on the environment. I had hoped to open my own public relations firm, but then I married Roddy. I'm traveling with him now, just for a little while, to see if I like it."
"Well, what kind of credentials do you have? What's your basic background?" Vince asked. He hadn't been able to find anyone who really knew her, and he didn't want to ask her husband directly, so he figured he'd find out from the source herself. "I graduated from Radford University, in southwest Virginia, with a Bachelor's degree in Communication and Sociology, and with a double-minor in Media Studies and English. It took five years, including three years of summer school, but I managed it," Sara said proudly. Due to the teamwork between her and her mother, Sara had given up all chances of a personal life and learned to focus solely on schoolwork. "Wow, not bad, not bad at all," Vince said putting his hands in his pockets, "Were you an involved student?" "Yeah, I was, actually. I was a Resident Assistant for four of those five years. I was involved in the Residence Hall Council for all five years. I successfully pledged for the national co-ed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, which is based solely on community service. And, I played on the women's rugby team the entire time, as well as Webmaster for the school's Office of Multicultural & International Student Services," Sara answered, "There were a few other things, but I can't recall them right now." "Since you played rugby for your university, how do you feel performing in front of an audience? And I mean a large audience." Vince asked.
"It would be easy, I guess, since I've been a performer almost my entire life. But I've never performed in front of more than 5,000 people," Sara said quietly as a sudden joy filled her body. These questions could be leading to something very prosperous. "I'm talking about crowds like this one here, 15,000 to 20,000 people, maybe more at certain events," Vince said smiling, "What I'm getting at is would you like to work for my company as a performer?" Sara's jaw dropped slightly in response. "I believe the crowd is ready for someone like you, something new and different, something other than the big, athletic males," Vince added, "I'm talking about bringing in a big, athletic female. And I believe that you are just the woman for the job." "I'm flattered, Mr. McMahon, but I want to talk to Roddy about it," she said hiding a smile, "I've never really given any thought to a career in wrestling. I don't know-." "Here's my business card. Why don't you discuss it with Roddy?" he said handing her his card, "Then, if everything's okay, call the office and we'll set up an appointment." Sara just stared at the card. "You might want to catch him before his match," Vince suggested. Sara turned and dashed for the men's locker room. When she got there, she walked in without knocking. "What the hell-?!" The sounds of angry voices shot at her. Sara gasped as Roddy quickly turned her around and hurried her out. "Sorry, guys," he said as he shut the door, "Sara, what did I tell you? This isn't high school, or even college. You can't go into a men's locker room without knocking."
Sara lowered her head and said, "I'm sorry, Roddy…. It's just that…Vince just offered me a job here." "Are you serious?!" Roddy asked before hugging her tightly. "Yep," Sara said smiling, "I didn't say 'yes', though, because I wanted to talk to you about it." "Listen, I've got to finish getting ready for my match. You start thinking about a training video, some publicity shots, and a résumé, gettin' it ready. I'll talk to Vince after my match and set up the appointment," he said opening the door. "Roddy…I'm nervous," Sara said truthfully, "I mean, what if he doesn't like what I've done." "Sara, Vince knows talent when he sees it. He wouldn't have approached you if he didn't see something there," Roddy said before going back into the locker room, "You'll do great." That Friday, Sara had her interview with the "Talent Relations Committee": Vince; his wife and CEO of the company, Linda; their son and Executive Vice President of New Media, Shane; their daughter and Executive Vice President of Creative Writing, Stephanie; and the Senior President of Talent Relations and lead announcer for RAW, Jim Ross. They discussed her training, her character, her role, and her contract. She would physically train for eight to ten months, appear in house shows for an additional four to five months (the length of additional training depending on how well she'd done in her physical training), and then, if the crowd liked her, she'd be put on television. Her character was named "Ivory", and she would have the role of Roddy's valet. She would be paid $145,000 to start. "If your character gets popular, you'll stay on TV, and you'll eventually get merchandise. If those sales are good, you get more money. That's the way it works," Vince told her at the end of the meeting, "Congratulations, Mrs. Tombs. We're glad to have you aboard."
Over the next three years, Sara remained happily married to Roddy. Her character had become very popular amongst the fans over the years. She quickly moved beyond just being Roddy's valet, to actually performing in the ring. She accomplished more than any woman ever had: being the first woman in the annual Royal Rumble, being the first woman in the annual King of the Ring, as well as becoming the first woman to hold a title only associated with males, the Intercontinental title. Sara had been a babyface, or good person, for the entire time. Sara and Roddy became involved in a huge angle with a group known as the "Corporation". It was the biggest group of heels, or bad people, in the company. The elite members were selected firsthand by Vince, for their loyalty to the company and their overall talent in the ring, requiring overall wrestling experience of four years, but the group itself was ran by Vince's right-hand man, a guy named Eric Bischoff. Eric had run World Championship Wrestling for several years, going head-to-head with Vince for a long time, before jumping over to the WWF two years ago. Vince had wanted Sara to join this group so she could have a run as a heel, but Sara felt slightly uncomfortable going against Roddy. It was this decision to go against the boss that changed her life forever.