As expected this evening, WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon has announced that his NFL alternative league, the XFL will make it's return in 2020.
Rumours of the XFL's return started late last year when it emerged that Vince had taken $100 million of his own money out of WWE and put it into a new venture, the parent company of the new XFL "Alpha Entertainment". Those rumours were confirmed immediately tonight with Vince's advertised announcement beginning with the letters "XFL" popping up on the screen and a full promo for the relaunch of the league playing.
McMahon went straight into promotion mode, as anyone who is a WWE fan will be familiar with straight away, with pre-prepared buzzwords and marketing slogans coming from all angles. The first thing McMahon said was that the "new" XFL will looks to "give the game of football back to fans".
What would you do if you could reimagine the game of football? Would you get rid of halftime? Want to see less commercials? We want to give you more of what you like to see and less of what you don't want to see.
He even ended his preamble portion of the press conference by issuing a call to action to fans by actually saying "any ideas you may have, send them to us because we'll be listening." The big push for the new American Football league seems to be all driven towards making the viewer feel like they'll be in charge.
Another point McMahon seemed to want to drive home was that they want a "faster game", which seems to be the biggest complaint Irish and UK sports fans have about American sports. When asked more specifically about the faster game angle McMahon said:
Maybe there might not be a halftime. The intent is to make a faster game. Sitting watching a three hour game of can be sometimes laborious!
Of course the XFL has a cult status in the annals of popular culture, with ESPN making a 30 for 30 about the league last year and the film being widely well receive McMahon was asked did the positive reaction play a part in his decision to bring the XFL back. "No, we've been thinking about bringing the XFL back for many years."
Wrestling fans of course will be keen to know how the "new" XFL will affect business in the WWE. Vince insists he will still remain CEO and Chairman of the company and that the relaunched football league "won't affect [WWE] at all". Interesting McMahon said that there will be "no crossover whatsoever from WWE", considering that the "old" XFL had WWE commentators and featured appearances from many WWE Superstars and McMahon.
The 72 year old will this time be hiring "football experts" to plan the league and that "this is probably the last you'll see of me out front". He also noted that maybe they didn't give themselves enough planning time when they launched the league last time and that this time they have 2 years and that should be plenty of time.
Lastly, Vince was asked about bringing politics into the game, his wife Linda is currently the Ambassador for small businesses under the Trump Administration. Vince correctly assumed the question was directed towards the National Anthem and said:
This will have nothing to do with politics or social issues. We're dealing with really good football.
The National Anthem is a time honoured tradition. Whatever our rules are that's what [the players] will go by.
As of yet no cities have been announced as to where the teams will be, or even looked into, it seems all the work, bar the announcement, needs to be done but Vince added, "Every city is on my radar!"