My XFL Scoop Broke The Internet Friday Night
I didn’t realize I would break the internet when I reported on Twitter that WWE CEO Vince McMahon was looking to bring back the XFL, but that’s almost what happened.
On Friday evening I tweeted the following:
EXCLUSIVE: Vince McMahon is looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018.
— Brad Shepard 🤘🏻 (@TheBradShepard) December 16, 2017
The XFL was an American football league that operated for one season in 2001. It was a joint venture between NBC and WWE, and gained buzz after promoting the league would be more fun than the NFL, with light rules, no PAT kicks, and an opening scramble instead of a kick off.
My tweet, which was an accurate and properly sourced report that I decided to reveal exclusively on Twitter, quickly took on a life of its own. The New York Post, Washington Post, CBS Sports, SB Nation, Pro Football Talk and numerous other major media outlets began reporting on my story. David Bixenspan, from Deadspin, followed up on my report and asked WWE “confirm or deny” my XFL relaunch report.
WWE responded with the following statement:
“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.”
Not only did WWE fail to refute my report, they would lend credibility to it.
ESPN featured a 30 for 30 special on the XFL earlier this year, and according to a source, that’s when McMahon first developed the desire to bring the league back. McMahon told his employees to “get ready” because it is happening.
One can certainly speculate that the timing of the re-launch couldn’t be more ideal. McMahon has his own network streaming service, a live streaming deal with Facebook Live, and the NFL has experienced a noticeable loss in ratings and revenue over the kneeling controversy.