These are words that I never thought I would put down on virtual paper, but in the year 2020, the XFL returns! Today, Vince McMahon, the behind the driving force that is WWE, announced through his new venture Alpha Entertainment that The XFL would return.
The question that has to be asked in this case is if this is the right decision? And did Vince learn from those mistakes in 2001 that caused the newly formed league to fade away just as quick as it started? In the press conference, he did touch on a few things, and I am going to touch on the highlights.
First and foremost, Vince believes that this is the right time to relaunch the league. And not to discuss the idea of what is happening between NFL fans and politics, he has a point. If there is one thing that I have learned from being a wrestling fan all of these years is that Vince McMahon is a businessman. He sees a market where fans feel jaded and slighted against. And I honestly think, the relaunch of this league will be to cater to fans of football, but more importantly the fans that feel jaded.
The XFL will be a faster game than the one played now. Major League Baseball has dealt with this problem the last few years. Baseball has tried to speed the game up, and it sometimes will work. Football may be a tad bit more tough to do so. Vince talked about the game is three hours long, but the goal will be to see games at around the two-hour mark. An interesting idea. College Basketball games are roughly two hours in length and have some of the best ratings in the country. So, it’s possible, but I am not sure if this one will work or not.
No distribution as of yet, but it does feel that Vince may use all platforms to be able to get games to the public. Streaming services wanting to boost numbers may honestly pounce on the idea of showing live sports to the people who pay for those services, which is something to consider moving forward.
No cities have been picked for teams.
One of the things that people still remember about the original run of the XFL was the nicknames on the back of the jerseys. A concept that has not been tried again by any league, but it did give the players their own personality.
No WWE Crossovers. In the original run of the league, the XFL also used talent from the WWE, whether it was to promote a game, or even commentate, the XFL and WWE felt the same at times. No crossover this time means that we will not see Vince as the figure of the league, which is something he said during the conference.
Quality and Safety of the game is something they are going to work hard on. Vince even went on record to not allow players to have any sort of criminal record.
With all of that being said, the XFL may honestly work the second time around, but not as a competitor to the NFL. No matter what happens, it is going to be difficult to take down the juggernaut that is the NFL regarding ratings and fans. However, what the XFL can do, is be a great secondary league to the NFL. Fans of football will watch to see football. It is a simple formula. But this time execution is what is going to matter. As long as it does not turn into WWE on the gridiron, the XFL will have a place in the sports world. The best analogy to use for the XFL is that it will become the WCW of football. And that is not a bad thing.