What started as speculation last week on Twitter has gathered momentum around the possibility of the defunct XFL being revived in some format.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who self funds Alpha Entertainment, is believed to be interested in another foray into the American Football market.
Alpha has recently registered trademarks for United Football League, UFL,URFL and the phrase “For the love of football.”
Many believe this is a clear sign of intent from Mr McMahon who once upon a time had considered purchasing the Canadian Football League.
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A WWE press-conference scheduled next month on January 25th has increased speculation it could be related to a possible XFL reboot.
What is the XFL?
What in the hell is the XFL is a question many may be asking. The XFL was a professional American Football League that lasted one season in 2001 losing over $70 million in the process.
The league was a joint venture with NBC and the WWE and while the initial contract was for two years NBC pulled the pin after declining ratings during the season with many question marks on the overall quality of the product.
The XFL was certainly marketed towards disgruntled NFL fans. With WWE involvement and a focus on sports entertainment it was hoped the product would appeal to the masses much like pro-wrestling based on unpredictability and excitement.
The above was reflected in some of the rules that existed in the XFL with plenty of tough physical interaction.
A prime example was the coin toss being replaced with a scramble for the ball between two opposition players with the winner being who got the ball first to determine possession.
The Donald Trump factor
The relationship between the McMahon’s and Donald Trump is a positive one both personally and professionally.
Trump Casino previously hosted multiple WWE events including Wrestlemania in the 1980’s. And the President has previously appeared in WWE programming. Most notably in a feud with Vince McMahon billed as “Battle of the Billionaires” at Wrestlemania 23.
Linda McMahon (Vince’s wife) currently works as Administrator of the Small Business Administration under Donald Trump.
Mr Trump has been in an on-going feud with the NFL with players kneeling during the National Anthem. So not surprisingly, he took to Twitter again to criticise the NFL last week.
At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017
Maybe this NFL feud is part of a conspiracy and Donald Trump is secretly helping Vince McMahon? Or maybe I have been watching too much WWE.
A long shot
The XFL has largely been forgotten since it’s demise but it was back in the mainstream media when ESPN ran a documentary a few months ago as part of the 30 for 30 series: “This Was the XFL.”
When McMahon was quizzed if he would like to be involved in football again it was clear the fire still burned.
“Yes I do. I don’t know what it would be. I don’t know if it’s going to be another XFL, or what it may be, or how different. It seems like in some way it would tie into the NFL itself or the owners.”
An XFL reboot seems to make little financial sense. It is also difficult to envisage how it could succeed in the current environment with the popularity of the NFL and College football.
But Vince McMahon does not always follow the conventional path. And taking risks is something the Billionaire has done for a long time despite public opinion, so stay tuned!