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What If The XFL Was Still Alive?


Vince McMahon, the current owner of the WWE, came out last week and relaunched the Xtreme Football League under his new entity, Alpha Entertainment. Some of the manners that were brought up during the near hour long telecast included new rules, his take on players kneeling, and the fact that players with a criminal record would not be eligible to play in the league. The announcement was somewhat expected, with McMahon selling close to $100 million worth of WWE shares in order to fund this revamp.

It bodes the question though, as to what could have been if the XFL survived? What if the XFL was still alive and heading into its eighteenth season, instead of having a second dig in 2020? Could McMahon, using his stars from the then WWF, have kept the brand going? Would the NFL have some competition? How could things be different from what they are today?

Vince McMahon during a press conference in 2001 – CBS Sports

To start off, if the XFL hypothetically was still alive, it would have been under the exact same lawsuit that the NFL came under in regards to concussions and CTE. The rules back in 2001 allowed for more ‘extreme’ play, with less rules governing what happened. There would have been the potential for more collisions during the pre-game scramble, as well as more direct collisions to the head. The NFL is still paying out of the backside in regards to this issue, and the XFL would most definitely have had the same problem.

The mix of WWE personalities within the XFL would have continued, with the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold and John Cena all hypothetically playing starring roles over the last few years, as they filter back into the forefront. As more and more WWE legends and stars filter through the system, that would also lead to the expansion of the league.

Cities such as St Louis would have probably had a team come this year to fill the gap that was left by the Rams when they moved back to Los Angeles. The city of Oakland may have received a team as well, purely due to the XFL wanting to capitalize off of a football hungry market. Other destinations like San Diego, Memphis, Portland and San Antonio probably would all have cities on top of the existing ones in the league. In perspective, the XFL probably would have double what it had back then, as well as an expanded market to target.

Dick Butkus and Vince McMahon – Charles Bennett | AP 

Depending on the quality of the league, the XFL could have rivaled the CFL in terms of being a secondary league. It would really have just started it’s second generation of football stars, and imagine seeing current wrestlers like Roman Reigns trying his hand in the league instead of going to the WWE. You would also have had to look at not only the men in the league, but the women as well, and where they would be.

With how society has progressed in the last seventeen years, one would have to think that while the cheerleaders would still be around, the days of bikini-clad women in hot tubs behind the end zone would be gone. That was a little adventurous, even in the WWF during the attitude era, so a football league in 2018 with that on their screens would not fly under any circumstances.

You really could not imagine it though, the thought of Vince McMahon and the XFL lasting more than the one blighting season it had in 2001. With incredibly poor ratings by the end, fan attendance that took a proverbial dump in the bed, and sports reporters that barely took the league seriously. McMahon and Alpha Entertainment will try again, as they are, but unless things drastically change from 2001, it will end up with the exact same result.

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