After leaving WCW, he immediately signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he began competing under his real name because WCW acquired the rights to the Johnny B. Badd name. He debuted in WWF as a fan favorite at WrestleMania XII , on March 31, 1996, where he rescued his wife, Rena "Sable" Mero from Hunter Hearst Helmsley .  Mero made his in-ring debut, the following night on Monday Night Raw , where he defeated Isaac Yankem DDS . Beginning with the April 15 episode of Raw , Sable began accompanying Mero to the ring during his matches and he adopted the nickname "Wildman".  Mero defeated Helmsley in his pay-per-view debut at In Your House 8 .  Mero qualified for the King of the Ring tournament by defeating Skip on the June 10 episode of Raw . He defeated Owen Hart in the quarter-final, the following week on Raw ,  but lost to eventual winner Stone Cold Steve Austin in the semi-final at King of the Ring .  Mero began a rivalry with Goldust after Goldust won a match between the pair on the July 1 episode of Raw .  Mero faced Goldust in a losing effort at the SummerSlam pay-per-view.