Vince McMahon may be bringing back the XFL and his actions on Thursday made it seem like it’s closer than ever to being a reality.
What? Why would he do that? Is this a joke? Those were the questions I had when the news was broken last Friday. Here we are nearly a week later and there’s plenty more news out there with indications that it’s actually going to happen.
The story was originally posted on Twitter by a reporter named Brad Shepard, who not only knew of Vince McMahon’s XFL plans but also believed to know the date of when it might be announced.
EXCLUSIVE: Vince McMahon is looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018.
— Brad Shepard ?? (@TheBradShepard) December 16, 2017
Credit to Brad for that. It came out of nowhere and stunned people. WWE followed up with this statement to Deadspin’s David Bixenspan where they gave us more info about Vince McMahon’s new project.
“Vince McMahon has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has nothing further to announce at this time.”
After those two bits of information were out there, the sports and wrestling media went wild with the story.
There wasn’t much to add to it until late Thursday afternoon when ESPN’s Darren Rovell wrote about how McMahon sold $100 million worth of his WWE stock to fund this new project of his. Rovell added that McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment applied for five XFL trademarks on December 16 according to the US Trademark and Patent Office.
Here’s a WWE statement on the trademark filings from PWInsider:
On December 21, 2017, Vincent K. McMahon (“Mr. McMahon”), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”), sold 3,340,000 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock in a block trade made in accordance with the provisions of Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Mr. McMahon executed the sale primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC, which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.
Mr. McMahon has informed the Company that he has no current plan to sell additional shares of the Company’s stock and that he intends to continue in his capacity as the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the foreseeable future.
The shares sold by Mr. McMahon represent approximately 4.3% of the Company’s total outstanding shares of Class A and Class B common stock. After the sale, Mr. McMahon beneficially owns 32,193,375 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock, which represents approximately 82.8% of the Company’s total voting power and approximately 41.8% of the Company’s total outstanding shares of common stock.
He only sold 4% of the stock and has plenty left, so it’s an amount that isn’t going to hurt him.
If you don’t know your XFL history, it was a big money loser for WWE and NBC in 2001. Both WWE and NBC each lost about $35 million after taxes at a time when WWE business was stronger than ever. There was an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the XFL earlier this year with McMahon making it clear that he didn’t want the league to die and there are reports that suggest that doing that documentary helped fuel the fire for Vince to restart the XFL possibly next year.
TJR Thoughts: I don’t think it’s a great idea to start the XFL up again. I’m an NFL and college football fan. I don’t watch the CFL even though I’m in Canada. I didn’t watch the original XFL for more than about one quarter and other leagues have failed too. The product just isn’t as good as the NFL.
It is Vince McMahon’s money and he’s going to do what he wants. There is obviously going to be more to this story in the weeks and months ahead.
IN OTHER NEWS
– There was a report in the recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter where Dave Meltzer wrote that Batista is interested in doing one final run with WWE possibly for a year and to work live events too. That’s not a huge surprise because Batista said as much on Jim Ross’ podcast last month, which I wrote about here. It may be tough for him to do with the busy movie schedule he has, but Batista is obviously in great shape. The concern is that Batista is 49 years old in January, so there is that age issue. If he wants it, though, more power to him. He certainly has the star power that would help WWE since his popularity from movies like Gurdians of the Galaxy 1 and 2 could bring some casual fans back to WWE.
– The first hour of next week’s Christmas Raw and Smackdown the following night will air commercial-free according to WWE. A good way to keep people tuned in, but I don’t expect either show to be that great next week because they know they will have smaller audiences watching.
THE VIDEO SECTION
Braun Strowman and Drew Gulak starred in a WWE parody video of the movie Elf that they are calling “Elf Among Men.” There was already a WWE movie parody of The Christmas Story with The Miz and Maryse.
I don’t think it was that funny. Guess I’m not a huge fan of the “Elf” film. Five out of ten.
WWE likes bragging about having 20 million Youtube subscribers, so they put together this video featuring their superstars to thank us for the support.
The most recent video of “List This” looks at six stunning records that were broken in 2017.
Here’s Jeff Hardy in a 10-minute video answering questions for about ten minutes. He loves shrimp cocktail.
THE PLUG ZONE
Check out Kurt Zamora’s NXT review for this week. He thinks it was the best NXT show this year and I agree with him. Like I said yesterday, Dunne vs. Bate was incredible. The Tag Team Title match was very good too.
With Christmas coming on Monday, I thought it would be a good time to share a Christmas video related. Here’s Steve Austin hitting a Stone Cold Stunner on Santa. It’s a classic moment that took place 20 years ago on this day on Raw.
That’s it for this week. I’m not sure if I’ll have a news post on Monday for Christmas, but I do plan on reviewing Raw and Smackdown next week as well as doing the news updates.
Remember, my 9th annual WWE Johnny Awards will be posted next Thursday, December 28 as well. Thanks for reading. Merry Christmas to all those celebrating. I’m looking forward to it. Have a great weekend and stay safe.