Vince only decided to relaunch the league when the doomed entity that became the AAF made tentative overtures to purchase the XFL name and its assets for $50M. This isn’t even a bizarre reprisal of a doomed passion project: Vince simply spied competition to something he wasn’t even involved with anymore, and thought, ‘F*ck that, let’s do the XFL again!’
The cartoonish XFL, defined by gimmicks and its relatively poor quality of play, lost $70M and was widely considered an abject joke. Somehow—TV networks are seemingly desperate for more live sports content, the biggest line of defence against the rise of streaming services—XFL 2020 has secured decent TV deals with network and cable stations, albeit sans rights fees. Per the May 13 Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer claims that the entire operation might end up costing Vince $350M, in the event that it doesn’t become profitable.
Even the name of the investment vehicle is astonishingly, quintessentially wrong: ‘Alpha Entertainment’. This is essentially shorthand for “Boorish rich man pleases himself with vanity project”.
Can it work?
The XFL will recruit largely from NFL cutdown day, pilfering names that aren’t deemed adequate for the big time: to frame this in pro wrestling terms, the league will be comprised of more Joey Ryans than Brock Lesnars. Already, it is inferior to the competition, and rival leagues historically cannot compete with the established powerhouses.
Precedent struts down the ramp, too, arms flailing, with a hearty, guttural laugh.