XFL Returns: WWE's Vince McMahon Just Relaunched His NFL Competitor

Hopefully, Rod "He Hate Me" Smart will be a coach.


In 1999, WWE's Vince McMahon founded his own football league as an alternative to the NFL. This league promised to be more fun, tougher, and harder hitting than it's rival, which he dubbed the "No Fun League." This league was the XFL, and while it originally only lasted one season, today, McMahon announced it's coming back.

Alpha Entertainment, a company founded by WWE's Vince McMahon, announced it will be reviving the XFL--an alternative football league founded in '99 that ran for one season in '01. During a press conference on Twitter (starts at 26:00), Vince McMahon revealed that indeed the XFL would be coming back to television in 2020.

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McMahon stated that he'll be listening to fans, players, coaches, and medical professionals. He wants to redesign the XFL. "The new XFL will be fan-cenric," he stated. "It will be shorter, faster-paced, and easier to understand game."

Details were sparse about specifics about the game, but McMahon did state that the league will be made up of eight teams, each with a 49-player roster. At this point in time, no cities were announced as the XFL is still looking into that. He plans on having a quicker game with a runtime of two hours. McMahon mentioned getting rid of halftime to help keep each contest running, as well as simplifying the rules.

"Reimagining the game of football means reimagining on all levels," explained McMahon. He wants to give football fans what they want and plans on listening to not only fans but players, coaches, and medical experts to see what they want for this league.

McMahon stated that there will be no crossover between WWE and the XFL, and he stressed the point numerous times during the press conference that both will be separate entities. As of this moment, there are no broadcast contracts in place, and McMahon said that games could stream on mobile devices in addition to being on television.

Many who remember the XFL have one question on their minds: "Will nicknames be on the back of the jerseys instead of last names?" The most memorable name from the original '01 season came from runningback Rod Smart, who had "He Hate Me" on his jersey. McMahon said he's not sure about that yet, but he'll be listening to fans to see what they want.

While Vince McMahon does have a connection and past business partnership to President Trump, the XFL will stay politic-neutral. "As far as our league is considered, it will have nothing to do with politics," explained McMahon. "We're here to play football."

In 1999, WWE founded the XFL, which started and ended its only season in 2001. This new football league was a departure from the NFL, as there were a few rule changes like no point after touchdown kicks, and a player scramble for the ball rather than kickoff for the start of the game. Players received a larger paycheck each week if they won their game, and touchdown celebrations were encouraged--something the NFL got lenient on during the 2017-18 season, as the league cut back on penalties for excessive celebration. ESPN's 30 for 30 series covered the rise and fall of McMahon's football league in 2017's This Was The XFL.

The XFL will return in 2020 and will run during the off-season of the NFL.

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