There’s a scene at the end of ESPN’s “This Was The XFL” documentary where WWE chairman Vince McMahon and legendary TV executive Dick Ebersol reminisce about their ill-fated football league.
Ebersol asks McMahon if he has thoughts about trying to restart his football league at some point.
“Yes I do,” McMahon quickly answers. “I don’t know what it would be. I don’t know if it’s gonna be another XFL or what it may be or how different I would make it. It seems like in some way it would tie in either with the NFL itself or the owners.”
Well, it didn’t take long for McMahon to start putting those plans into place. His desire to resurrect the XFL — or some variation of the football league — has been a poorly kept secret in recent months, and now PWInsider.com reports McMahon is targeting 2020 for the rebirth of the XFL.
According to the report, WWE’s production team is already working on gathering video assets to promote the league, and plans are in place to “build a proper infrastructure, including hiring coaches and players.”
That second part is the most important and most noteworthy. As documented in “This Was The XFL,” the WWE and NBC rushed into starting the league, and there were clear issues, not only in terms of the actual football administration but also in how the league was distributed on TV. The XFL wasn’t formally introduced until early 2000, and the league’s first game was played a year later. That first season ended up being the only season.
And as McMahon noted to Ebersol, perhaps the NFL would be involved this time. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appeared in that documentary, and McMahon even mentioned the possibility of being a minor league for the NFL.
McMahon and the WWE presumably have numerous business relationships with owners across the NFL. WWE’s biggest show, “WrestleMania,” has become a yearly spectacle, nine different NFL stadiums have hosted the event since 2007: Mercedes-Benz SuperDome (New Orleans), AT&T Stadium (Dallas), Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco), MetLife Stadium (New York), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami), Georgia Dome (Atlanta), University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona), NRG Stadium (Houston) and Ford Field (Detroit).
UPDATE (10:40 a.m. ET): Apparently, McMahon’s announcement is coming soon. Like, very soon.