In a world where the ratings for both professional Football and professional wrestling are on the decline, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has a plan to save both industries: he's going to relaunch the XFL, an alternative football league that the WWE tried once before as a joint venture with NBC that lasted for one season, lost both companies millions of dollars, and shut down for good in 2001.
Rumors kicked into high gear last week, and WWE officially responded by admitting that McMahon had started a new business entity called Alpha Entertainment with the purpose of investment opportunities in sports and entertainment, notably including pro football. Alpha Entertainment also registered several trademarks for the XFL, both as a professional football league and to sell XFL merchandise. Now, reports on multiple news outlets reveal that McMahon sold $100 million in WWE stock in order to fund the venture, which means that if it all goes down the drain, McMahon could lose up to three times what he lost on the XFL the first time.
With eight teams (all owned by the XFL) with names that would make Rob Liefeld proud, such as the Los Angeles Xtreme and the Memphis Maniax, players such as "He Hate Me," announcers like Jesse "The Body" Ventura and "Good Ol'" Jim Ross, scantily clad cheerleaders, and pre-show hosts New York City shock jocks Opie and Anthony, it was pretty much everything you would expect from Vince McMahon's version of a football league. Ultimately, football fans decided that they preferred to keep their wrestling and their football separate, but McMahon apparently sees a new opportunity to revive the brand.
It's hard to tell why McMahon believes that the time is ripe to try to compete with the NFL again. It could be related to the NFL player protests, a favorite bugaboo of President Donald Trump. Trump and the WWE have a long association going back to WrestleMania 4 and 5, which were held in Trump's Atlantic City venue. Trump participated in the main event Battle of the Billionaires in WrestleMania 23. During the campaign, the McMahon family supported Trump with financial contributions. After the election, Trump appointed Linda McMahon head of the Small Business Administration.
So could the return of the XFL be politically motivated, a way to strike back at the NFL for failing to censor protesting players that offend the delicate sensibilities of the president? We don't have the answers to that question, but it's also worth noting that McMahon, if you had to boil him down to one single defining characteristic, is notoriously stubborn. Just because something doesn't work the first time doesn't mean he'll quit; McMahon will keep trying over and over again until the world gets sick of arguing and just accepts whatever it is he wants.
Why do you think we've spent the past several years watching Roman Reigns triumph against the odds to become the heroic babyface champion of the people, over and over again, until we god damn like it?
Wait a minute… Reigns started out in football before becoming a pro wrestler… Maybe none of this is political at all… Maybe Vince is planning to reboot the XFL… just to make Roman look strong!
Folks, we've cracked this case. Roman Reigns, WWE Universal Champion and MVP player on the Florida Hooaahs, coming to you in 2018.