Vince McMahon has announced that the previously short-lived XFL football league will return in the year 2020.
In a conference call, McMahon announced the return of the league, which was only active in 2001 before folding. The league has been rumored to return for quite some time ever since WWE filed to trademark the XFL name a few months back.
According to McMahon, the league will feature a faster-paced, fan-friendly football experience and will have eight teams and 40-man rosters on each team. McMahon said the league will own the teams under a single entity rather than follow the franchise ownership model that many professional leagues follow today. In the press release, it was stated that many aspects of the new league are still in development such as player salary. The league did say that players will be payed to play and that they will get paid more to win.
“The new XFL is an exciting opportunity to reimagine America’s favorite sport,” said McMahon. “As we move towards kickoff, we look forward to listening and implementing innovative ideas from players, coaches, medical experts, technology executives, the media and most importantly football fans.”
For wrestling fans curious to see if WWE personalities such as John Cena or Jim Ross will crossover to the XFL in some capacity, McMahon adamantly said that there will be no such crossover between WWE and the XFL. As far as what this means for McMahon's involvement with the WWE, he said that this will not impact WWE's plans and that he will continue in his role as WWE Chairman and CEO.
As for which cities will actually take part in the XFL, the press release said the selection of cities will take place over the coming months, and a mix of major and mid-major markets in all regions of the U.S. are possibilities. The league schedule will have all eight teams play a 10-game regular season schedule with two semifinal games and a championship game.
The original XFL was launched in 2001 and featured WWF superstars such as The Rock help kickoff the new league and Ross, who has experience as a football announcer with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, working as a play-by-play announcer. The league folded after one season and was the subject of an ESPN documentary for its "30 For 30" series titled "This Was the XFL," which aired on the network in 2017.
Back in December, McMahon had sold about 3.34 million shares of WWE's stock, equating to around $100 million dollars' worth of WWE stock at the time. This was done so that McMahon can personally fund Alpha Entertainment, which has been a separate noted to Fightful at the time that it would be a separate entity from WWE.