- Ethan Miller/Getty Images
- There’s a growing amount of evidence that Vince McMahon will attempt to revive the XFL in some form in the near future.
- McMahon recently registered a number of trademarks that suggest a revival, and also sold $100 million worth of his WWE stock in order to fund a new endeavor.
- A statement from WWE did not deny the growing rumors.
This. Is. The. XFL! Again?
It’s starting to look like Vince McMahon is going to attempt to revive his radical football league and NFL rival – the XFL.
The failed league, which played its first and only season in 2001, originally attempted to compete with the NFL by branding itself as “REAL FOOTBALL,” with fewer rules, harder hits, and no fair catches. Now, evidence is building that McMahon believes the time is right for the league to make a comeback.
Talk of an XFL revival started recently when Brad Shepard reported that McMahon was considering a revival of the league and was aiming to make an announcement in late January. A WWE spokesperson told Deadspin’s David Bixenspan that McMahon “has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscape, including professional football.”
It didn’t sound like a denial.
Bixenspan also found a number of trademarks that seemed to suggest McMahon’s interest in bringing the league back – Alpha Entertainment registered both “URFL” and “UrFL” back in September, and VKM Ventures LLC, a company bearing McMahon’s initials, filed to trademark “For the Love of Football” and “United Football League” at a similar time.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that McMahon had sold $100 million worth of WWE stock, and that the filing noted that the sale was “primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC.”
Considering all of the evidence, it looks like McMahon is serious about giving professional football another try, and it’s not hard to imagine his reasoning.
The NFL’s television ratings are down, and thanks to a slew of injuries to star players, the on-the-field product is not as good as it has been in recent years.
Additionally, the prominence of player protests during the national anthem earlier in the season drew the ire of President Donald Trump and many fans. But when Trump called on owners to fire players who knelt, his critiques of the NFL included his belief that the game had become too soft.
“Because you know, today if you hit too hard – 15 yards! Throw him out of the game. They had that last week, I watched for a coupled of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom! 15 yards. The referee goes on television, his wife’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game.”
McMahon, who has a relationship with Trump, could attempt to Make Football Great Again by starting a league that advertises both hard hits and standing for the anthem.