It’s beginning to look a lot like Vince McMahon is planning to relaunch the XFL, the ill-fated competitor to the NFL that lasted for one glorious season in 2001.
The XFL aimed to bring the theatrics of pro wrestling to the world of professional football. 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.
Perhaps it was ahead of its time? That seems to be what McMahon is thinking, because following an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the league earlier this year, there’s an awful lot of evidence building the case that McMahon is planning to relaunch it.
First, there’s a trademark filed back in June discovered by Wrestling Inc. for the brand, whose description reads:
Entertainment services, namely, an ongoing series featuring wrestling exhibitions and performances by professional wrestlers and entertainers provided through broadcast media, namely, television and radio, and via the Internet or online service; Entertainment services, namely, production of sports and sports related programs provided through broadcast media, namely, television and radio, cable, satellite and via the Internet or online service; Sports entertainment, namely, conducting of sports competitions; Providing information in the fields of sports and entertainment via an online community portal; Providing a website featuring information in the fields of sports and entertainment.
And yesterday, journalist Brad Sheppard reported that McMahon “is looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it in January 25th, 2018,” just weeks before the FNL’s Super Bowl (and days before the WWE Royal Rumble).
EXCLUSIVE: Vince McMahon is looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018.
— Brad Shepard (@TheBradShepard) December 16, 2017
And adding tons of fuel to the rumor fire, when Deadspin journalist David Bixenspan asked WWE about the rumors, an official statement in reply stopped well short of denying them, and could even be read as a confirmation:
A WWE spokesperson issued the attached statement to me & @Deadspin in response to my inquiry about tonight's rumors of a soon to be announced XFL revival. They declined further comment. Whatever Vince McMahon's "Alpha Entertainment" is, it's self-funded & separate from WWE. pic.twitter.com/oT0Oxyi2fV
— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) December 16, 2017
Yes, it does indeed look like the XFL could soon live again.