What if I told you that, despite plummeting NFL viewership, health concerns for players, and racist owners, Vince McMahon is still down with his alternative pro football league?
Well, today, ESPN’s Darren Rovell is reporting that the WWE founder is planning to bring back the XFL.
After 19 years and a short one-season stint in 2001, it appears that Vince sees the potential the once-controversial league could have today.
According to PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc.com’s Joshua Gagnon), McMahon wants to take his time in order to have a “proper foundation” in place.
This explains why last month WWE filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell about $100 million in stock to fund McMahon’s company, Alpha Entertainment, which makes investments (like professional football).
The XFL started off very popular and even had players go on to compete in the NFL like Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox and running back Rod “He Hate Me” Smart.
The league did not last due to heavy criticism from NFL loyalists as well as the poor quality of play, but it seems that McMahon thinks he’s learned from his past mistakes.
PWInsider also added that McMahon wants to focus on building rosters and finding coaches before progressing too far with plans for the new XFL, meaning it could take the league until 2020 until it sees the light of day.
Perhaps McMahon was inspired by Ice Cube’s success with his alternative professional basketball league Big3.
Cube managed to round up some retired ex-basketball players who still wanted to compete and completed a full season last year. Big3 was marketable enough that they’ve already re-upped their contract with Fox Sports 1 and plan to be back next summer.
The XFL recently returned to the forefront of our conciseness thanks to ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary This Was the XFL.
The 2017 documentary highlighted the rise and fall of the league and once again got people talking about McMahon’s creation.
McMahon has announced the return of the league at a news conference at 3 p.m. ET. There will be no ‘politics,’ no cheerleaders, or players who have previously been arrested. In this sense, McMahon is veering far away from the old XFL model.
Vince McMahon says his XFL will have nothing to do with politics or social issues.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 25, 2018
XFL will be Trumped up, making football great again apparently pic.twitter.com/gXlhTM7Kyx
— A Plus (@a_plus) January 25, 2018
Looks like Johnny Manziel is all aboard the XFL train.
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 25, 2018