The A-Train (@TheATrainShow) stopped by Girl Chat Sports (@GirlChatSports) w/ Mo Threats (@aicenom) and Melissa Ferris (@seattle4_life) this past week talking the pigskin. More importantly, the Alliance of American Football and the XFL. The A-Train shares the current status of the AAF, the standouts in the league, the league rules, players on the rise and attendance. In addition, he shares his excitement for the XFL, bringing football back to St. Louis, where he resides, and the anticipation of their opening in 2020. In addition, the girls welcomed former Miami Dolphins LB Channing Crowder; he gives his thoughts on the NFL Combine and the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vince McMahon knows how to get the attention.
The chairman of the WWE couldn’t have picked a better week to get the national attention in sports.
There was RAW’s 25th anniversary show on Monday night that featured great memories and nostalgic moments. (Aside from the following Tuesday’s Smackdown and Wednesday’s NXT events) Not to mention having the anniversary show in not one, but TWO venues with the Barclays Center and the original home of “Monday Night RAW,” the Manhattan Center. The eyes were on Vince.
Then on Thursday afternoon, the long-awaited announcement from Vince on the return of the XFL, or as I previously stated, “The Rebirth.” Maybe it wasn’t that long (it was made in November), but it damn sure felt that way. Again Vince had the eyes for that one because pro football is a little vulnerable right now with the fallout of politics being entered into the game. Vince gave a basic overview on what to look forward to in the new league. NO GIMMICKS, NO POLITICS, JUST FOOTBALL. Again, the eyes were on Vince.
Then last night, WWE began another weekend of action with its brand NXT and its “Takeover” in Philadelphia. 5 stellar matches including the brand’s top championship match in which the champion Andrade “Cien” Almas retained against challenger Johnny Gargano. I must say that was one helluva match. It entertained from the start of the match to the end of it. I have watched a couple of these NXT pay-per-views and each time I enjoyed it. I need to start watching more of the brand. Again, eyes were on Vince.
Then Sunday night, WWE capped it off in Philadelphia with the 2018 Royal Rumble with a history-in-the-making match. For the 1st time, a Rumble had 30 women compete and one of them (Asuka was the winner) will get the opportunity for a Women’s Title shot at Wrestlemania in April. Along with 8 other matches, that included the Men’s Royal Rumble match (Shinsuke Nakamura won and announced that he would fight AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania)…once again the eyes were on Vince.
NOW, I understand that the Grammys took place at the same time but that did not stop Vince from banking in on the ones that truly watch his promotion. Especially when his promotion grabbed MAJOR news headlines when UFC fighter Ronda Rousey showed up at the end of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view which then prompted “The Worldwide Leader In Sports” to announce that she had signed with Vince’s promotion and participate full-time.
Vince couldn’t have planned this past week any better.
NOTE: If you read this and notice that I have used McMahon’s first name, it’s only for the sake of this piece.
8 teams. 10 games. 40 players. 2020.
What does these numbers equate to?
It’s the rebirth of the XFL.
Yes, folks. It’s coming back. And this time it looks completely legit. At least that is what it looked like from the formal press conference that Vince McMahon put out at Thursday afternoon at 3pm Eastern standard time. My interests for the revival, or reboot, have truly piqued.
Now, I don’t know who the teams are, or where they will play, or who’s going to be in it. Because it’s really starting from scratch. With this formal announcement, this is going to be a different product from the one that McMahon put out in 2001.
I must say, McMahon is really going for the “fan approach.” He wants to hear the thoughts and ideas from the fans so the league can prosper.
I happened to watch the presser and he dismissed that there will be no WWE crossovers. XFL 2 and WWE are separate entities and will not coexist. So no Jim Ross, which really stinks, because he loves football and he can announce a football game like he did with XFL 1 back in ‘01. None of your favorite wrestlers, past or present. NO WWE in this rebirth. McMahon also said that he won’t even be the frontman for the league, which gives indication that will be a new face this time running the show. McMahon is the founder but will be behind the scenes. That’s a plus. Because back in 2001, he looked like he didn’t know what he was doing and the product was rushed.
McMahon also said that politics will NOT be in this league and that players WILL stand for the anthem. Along with, former players that have had criminal records can NOT play in XFL 2. I found that to be extreme, maybe a zero tolerance policy and give players a second chance, but those are his rules and regulations. He wants a clean-cut league. He also did not mention anything about being a competitor to the NFL.
As of now, no media outlets have been announced, but McMahon said that some outlets have taken interest in the new league. That’s a given. He gave the year 2020 because he believes that it will take 2 years to get everything needed for it.
What got me is that when the announcement was made in November 2017 (Brad Shepard was the first who broke the story), he had put down $100 million (round or about) into this new league (the entity is Alpha Entertainment, LLC) and just let the rumors fly. He also got the people’s attention significantly. Instantly, abandoned NFL cities began to talk about the potential of a team being located within XFL 2, especially St. Louis. As of now, the city of St. Louis has filed a lawsuit against Stan Kroenke in federal court over relocation. Other cities like San Diego and Oakland (Raiders will be in Las Vegas by the year 2020) will be possibly looked as an XFL city. However, all of the teams will be owned and ran by McMahon because of it being a single-entity league.
I had been looking forward to this day, and honestly, he didn’t disappoint me. He gave generalized answers during his Q&A portion, but it didn’t matter. He looks at it as: No gimmicks, no politics, just football. There will be a lot of questions surrounding the league in the upcoming weeks and months up until 2020. Our team will do our best to cover the angles as best as possible.
In case you missed it, you can check out the official presser at the link below.