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What The Announcement Of The XFL Could Mean For The WWE

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As you’ve probably already seen, Vince McMahon will be announcing the return of the XFL at 3pm today. As Nate said earlier, it’ll be the MAGA Football league based around the concept that everybody will have to stand for the national anthem, followed by horrible football and that’s something that just doesn’t interest me. What DOES interest me is what this means for the WWE.

The WWE’s upcoming television negotiations are a good place to start. Currently, they have a deal with NBC Universal to host both RAW and SmackDown on the USA Network, and that deal expires on September 30, 2019. Their goal as of late last year was to start negotiations at the beginning of this year, then announce what’s going on between May 2018 and September 2018. The timing of this XFL announcement/RAW’s 25th Anniversary show/the Royal Rumble/possibly Ronda Rousey’s debut is no coincidence. You think TMZ, who WWE is infamously known for feeding all it’s stories to, just happened to see Ronda and Triple H having dinner the other night? Don’t think they were tipped off at all? Of course they were. They’re fueling negotiations, which Fox is apparently now involved in somehow. They have a ton of money tied up in the deal with Disney, but with Vince selling off $100 million in WWE stock and now opening the new XFL via funding from ‘Alpha Entertainment, LLC’ (his new entity completely separate from WWE), I don’t think it’s outrageous to suggest Fox may be interested in more than just TV rights. I think Vince may sell them (or another big media company) the WWE.

I’d spoken to very well-respected, knowledgable people in mid-late 2017 that told me he’d sell the company within 18 months, and I thought they were crazy. I noted it, didn’t necessarily laugh it off, but didn’t think it’d come to fruition, and definitely not so soon. Now I realize the writing was on the wall since Trump won the Presidency, put Linda McMahon in his cabinet, and started trashing the NFL. That was the seed. It opened the door for Vince to give his horrendously failed football league another shot, and sell off the WWE, who’s ratings have been in a downward spiral recently, genuinely the worst they’ve ever been.

If this happens, there’s clear pros and cons right away. The big pro is this: Vince McMahon gets his hands off the product he lost touch with a LONG time ago. The difference between NXT’s storytelling and star building and the main roster’s is one of the most jarring jumps of programming any one company has ever had. They’re capable of creating such compelling stories and making their audience care about specific personalities in their “developmental” brand, and do nothing but set them up for failure and misuse them on their flagship shows. This is largely Vince’s doing, as he’s told writers that he’s not concerned about long term storytelling anymore, he’s only concerned about moments. You can’t run an engaging wrestling program and create the next generation of Stone Cold’s or Rock’s with “moments”. You need to tell a story, and use that story to capitalize on moments. I could go on and on, but I won’t for the sake of SOME brevity. Vince McMahon isn’t the devil entirely. He’s run a successful mainstream wrestling promotion for over 30 years, something nobody has ever come close to replicating. It’s a daunting task, especially for a big network like Fox who’s never done it before. You need to have it run by people who understand the business and it’s fans thoroughly, but is willing to change and adapt to the times WAY more than Vince. I think the man for the job is Triple H, and I think Vince should promote him to Chairman and CEO before he sells, if he sells, with Stephanie McMahon by his side obviously. It’d be very interesting to see where it went from there.

These suggestions are all apart of a big hypothetical that may NEVER happen, but I’m starting to believe it will happen, and it’s something to keep your eyes and ears open for. Hope this provided some insight, or at least gave you something to think about other than He Hate Me today.