Archive for the ‘XFL’ Category

Bret Hart worked for Vince McMahon and Company for thirteen years before leaving after the Montreal Screwjob in 1997. He comes from a famous pro wrestling family, so Hart knows how pro wrestlers are treated when compared to other athletes and employees in the office. Hart recently spoke to CBS’ In This Corner podcast about how he believes WWE should treat their Superstars.

“Employees who work for WWF they have better benefits than the wrestlers do. The ones they should take care of is the wrestlers. They still don’t take care of the wrestlers the way they should. I think that’s a real shame.”

Hart then compared another business Vince McMahon has a hand in with how WWE treats their Superstars. While comparing them to cattle, The Hitman said the XFL is being paid for by the pro wrestling industry before saying XFL players are likely to get taken care of much better than WWE Superstars.

“They’re gonna put millions of dollars into the XFL, another one,” Hart continued. “We all know that’s being paid for by the wrestlers, by the wrestling industry. But none of that is gonna filter down to any of the wrestlers. That’s gonna filter down to a bunch of football players being padded with football contracts and they’re gonna have special doctors and they’ll get all the things the wrestlers never got.

“They will be treated like the finest cattle you know animals, you know the treatment they will get is heads and tails above what the wrestlers will get. The wrestlers will get chicken feed at the bottom. If they get injured, they get sent off. It’s a very cut and dry world in pro wrestling.”

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Before launching his own professional football league, WWE chairman Vince McMahon was apparently interested in purchasing an NFL team.

On a recent episode of the “Something To Wrestle With” podcast, former WWE producer Bruce Pritchard discussed rumors that McMahon considered buying the Minnesota Vikings when the team was put up for sale in 1998.

“We didn’t know what the hell he was talking about really at first,” Prichard said (starts at the 35-minute mark of the podcast). “More than anything it was a publicity stunt, because they were floating out there that the Vikings were up for sale and Vince floated it out there that he was interested in it.

“And I dare say that had the price been right, he might’ve even bought the damn thing for publicity purposes to say, ‘OK, the WWF just bought the Minnesota Vikings and Vince McMahon is now entering the football arena.’ So it worked, got people talking.”

McMahon launched the XFL in 1999, which led to the league’s lone season in 2001. The second iteration of the XFL is set to begin play in February 2020, and will reportedly cost McMahon close to $500 million over the first three years.

It appears the new version of the XFL is going to be an expensive venture for Vince McMahon, as according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the WWE chairman has told insiders he expects to spend close to $500 million in the league’s first three seasons.

McMahon sold $100 million in WWE stock to begin the funding of the league through his company Alpha Entertainment, but it appears his investment in the XFL will be much higher than that.

“People were focused on the $100 million, but the truth is that doesn’t even get us to the 20-yard line,” XFL commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck told ESPN.

The average salaries for the 40-man rosters will be approximately $75,000, with top names making significantly more than that. That’s much higher than the $45,000 average McMahon and NBC paid players in his first version of the XFL.

One of the reasons for the high costs is the league insurance policy to cover player injury, something Luck said McMahon secured before he announced the target date for the new league.

The XFL is slated to begin play in February 2020.

XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said Tuesday the league will make players stand for the Star Spangled Banner, reinforcing the message founder Vince McMahon conveyed in January.

“We respect individual freedoms, but we will require our players to stand for the national anthem,” Luck told Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report shortly after he was announced as the league’s new commissioner and chief operating officer.

The XFL, which existed for one season in 2001, is set to relaunch in 2020. Upon announcing the league’s revival on Jan. 25, McMahon said its employees wouldn’t be permitted to make political statements while on the job.

“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” he said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”

At the time, McMahon refrained from guaranteeing players would be forced to stand for the anthem. He did, however, note that standing for the anthem “would be appropriate.”

Oliver Luck, the father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, will be the first commissioner and CEO of the rebooted XFL.

Luck, who currently works for the NCAA in its eligibility department, will vacate his post and relocate from Indianapolis to Connecticut for the new job.

“The XFL will be a labor of love as I get to combine my experiences as a player and executive,” Luck wrote in an email to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I’m thrilled to have this unique opportunity to reimagine the game that has been a constant in my life for 40 years.”

The XFL is set for relaunch in 2020. Its founder, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, tried to get the league off the ground in 2001 but it folded after one season.

Luck has a wealth of executive experience in the sports industry and previously served as president of the now-defunct NFL Europe.

“Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football,” McMahon said in a statement. “His experience as both an athlete and executive will ensure the long-term success of the XFL.”

The 58-year-old Luck had a short playing career in the NFL, suiting up for the Houston Oilers from 1982-86.

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Could WWE Chairman Vince McMahon be ready to throw down the gauntlet against Florida Gators legend Steve Spurrier? That could be the case.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, McMahon has proposed putting an XFL team inside Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, which comes on the heels of the announcement that an Alliance of American Football team, coached by Spurrier, will be put in UCF’s Spectrum Stadium.

While there will be a roughly one-year gap in between the launch of the Alliance and the XFL, John Saboor, WWE’s senior vice president of special events and former CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission, is aware of The Alliance and is confident that the Orlando area could support two teams, despite critics’ claims to the contrary.

WWE’s chairman and chief executive Vince McMahon already has an opponent in drawing away NFL’s football fans, and it comes from a surprising name: Charlie Ebersol. Not only did Charlie’s father, and longtime NBC executive, Dick help Vince launch the original XFL 17 years ago, but the younger Ebersol directed the recent ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the original failed launch of the XFL. Today, Ebersol announced the formation of the Alliance of American Football.

After political protests by NFL players and concussion injuries gained recent attention, ratings for the league fell by 17 percent. Perhaps seizing on this environment, McMahon announced this past January that he’d revive the XFL (backed by $100 million in stock he sold). He emphasized a more family-friendly stance than the previous XFL, downplaying the sexy cheerleaders and violence of the original league and adhering more to the current PG-era of the WWE. He also stressed nonpolitical actions during games and employing players without criminal backgrounds.

Ebersol’s announcement of his Alliance for American Football league also might mean McMahon’s plan will come too late. Whereas Vince wants to revamp the XFL in in early 2020, his rival scheduled his launch for February 9, 2019 on CBS, soon after the next Super Bowl.

Ebersol’s father and Vince’s former partner Dick will serve on a board of directors that will also feature former NFL stars Hines Ward, Justin Tuck, and Jared Allen. The stated goals are similar to McMahon’s reboot of the XFL, such as shorter games and utilizing top-level talent from college football who don’t make it into the NFL. In addition, Ebersol wants games to be affordable, with good seats available at $35.

“I wanted to build a team of people who were significantly more accomplished and smarter than I was and let them build what they thought the future of the sport was going to be,” Ebersol said in press announcement.

Ebersol emphasized the AAF is in it for the long haul.

“We’re not looking for out-of-box, rocket-ship success,” he said. “The XFL, USFL as a live event were successful businesses, but expectations were so high. We want to manage expectations, because we’re built for a long-term model.”