Vince McMahon sells $100 million of WWE stock as XFL reboot plan continues

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Rumors that Vince McMahon wants to reboot the XFL are officially more than just rumors.

Today the WWE revealed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that McMahon has sold about $100 million worth of stock, and that he did so “primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC, which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.”

Translation: McMahon wants to try to create a rival pro football league again. And now he has enough cash on hand to give it a go.

There had already been plenty of smoke around McMahon wanting to reboot the XFL, which crashed and burned after one season in 2001. Most of that smoke was about McMahon securing trademarks related to the XFL, trademarks that he previously abandoned because he thought he was out of the pro football business.

But securing a trademark is a far cry from selling off a huge amount of stock in the business McMahon has spent a lifetime building. This is a move that indicates McMahon very much wants to run a pro football league again, and will spend a lot of his own money to make it happen.

McMahon has said nothing publicly about his plans for a new league or when it could start play. He announced his plans for the first version of the XFL in early 2000, and that league began play in early 2001. So perhaps McMahon will announce XFL 2.0 in early 2018, and play will begin in early 2019.

91 responses to “Vince McMahon sells $100 million of WWE stock as XFL reboot plan continues

  1. Good luck. But It will never rival,compete with the NFL. Just settle to making a development league like NFL Europe or the NBA’s version of the CBA.

  2. I, for one, am quite excited for this. They’ve had over 15 years to think about their mistakes. And don’t forget they innovated a lot of things the NFL relies on in their broadcasts today.

  3. I will be paying attention. NFL is a shell of its former self. No hitting, announcers (Monday Night Football) sound defensive and apologetic everytime there is a hard collision. The refs dictate the direction games go for one team or the other. Lets see what you can get up and running Vince! I will watch and attend if it’s a decent product.

  4. Start paying playing straight out of high school to also COMPETE with the billion dollar college monopoly. Still trying to figure out how a kid who can barely READ can get a college education.

  5. A sports franchise is only as good as it’s television contract. Generating revenue is no longer tied to filling stadiums, that’s a minority audience at best.

    Have a television contract in place or you have nothing.

  6. There is a way to make it work. If it were my league, I’d try having teams with players who played collegiately in that region. For example a guy like Ohio State QB J.T Barrett might be my QB on a team located in the Big Ten region. Manziel might be my Southwestern QB. Tim Tebow might be my Southeast QB. Then you just need a TV contract. This won’t be a rival for the NFL, but it could be a minor league, and it will provide jobs. If there is local flavor, people will watch.

  7. skol55 says:
    December 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm
    can we put steel cages around the field?
    ————
    The only sport with no out of bounds is HOCKEY.

  8. Like it worked so well the first time. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  9. No fair catches, no late hits, this will give all those old school football fans something to get off on. Seeing as how there won’t be any high profile talent, there shouldn’t be any problem with losing players to injury.

  10. Keep the non-political correctness with cheerleaders getting more TV coverage than in the NFL, who get virtually no coverage. Don’t have ridiculous looking uniforms. Keep the same field dimensions. Use the 1975 NFL rule book.

  11. If he doesn’t try to take the NFL head on and presents a strong developmental product in the off season he could be very successful.

  12. Michael E says:

    Keep the non-political correctness with cheerleaders getting more TV coverage than in the NFL, who get virtually no coverage. Don’t have ridiculous looking uniforms. Keep the same field dimensions. Use the 1975 NFL rule book.
    ==================================================

    And to add to that, don’t let players dance after a touchdown. Have the cheerleaders run into the end zone and dance. I don’t want to see dudes gyrating their hips and shaking their butt. I want to see girls doing that.

  13. Vince McMahon is cheap. He won’t pay enough for the best talent. He’s already losing his best Superstar’s to independent promotions because they actually make more money than they did in the WWE. Didn’t the team that won the only XFL title have to split 1 million dollars between everyone? Yeah, this new league will work out real well.

  14. People aren’t clamoring for more football but better football. How employing players who can’t get jobs in the NFL is going to fix that is a strange business model to be pursuing, especially when you see how spectacularly it failed last time when people had less viewing choices. Also, the people whining about the safety concerns are horrible people. Wah, you can’t watch guys die on the field anymore. Get over it.

  15. When it’s summer and nfl season is over, I need more football til the NFL season starts next year.

  16. This just might work. No gimmicks just get hungry young players who are more interested in playing football than protesting social issues. The NFL might implode during the next CBA negotiations.

  17. Hey, the Chargers could be the first team in! They have only a trickle of fans and they play in a good ‘starter’ venue in Carson, near L-a-L-a-Land. The won’t have to worry about Rams popularity because their not in the NFL anymore!

  18. Having been under contract with the XFL (like how I shoe-horned that in there) this is a great time to bring this back if he does a few things:
    1. No dumb gimmicks. The race for the opening possession was fun to watch but it was an injurt nightmare. Make it quality football with less stringent rules, dont try to turn it into theatrics.
    2. Different time of the year. I thinka few weeks after the SuperBowl until the spring would be a perfect time. Besides March Madness the sports landscape is pretty barren then. NBA and NHL are in the middle of their marathon seasons, baseball hasnt gotten going etc.
    3. Stay a while. I think another pro football league could work but it will take some time to build a fan base and the league / owners need to stick it out for more than a couple years.

  19. mmack66 says:
    December 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm
    The next time an alternate football league competes with, or alongside the NFL, will be first.

    The AFL (American Football League) did pretty well going up against the NFL…So good in fact that it was the NFL that started the merger proceedings that is today’s NFL!

  20. If the XFL wants become a developmental league for the NFL then there is a chance that they succeed even though others have not. However, there is no chance that they will go head to head with the NFL and come out the victor.

  21. People actually think two huge losers like Manziel and Tebow would be major draws. Both were wretched players. And even if they should manage to put up some decent numbers, remember they would be playing against mediocre talent.

  22. Michael Fergus says:
    December 21, 2017 at 8:13 pm
    You put an XFL game in primetime with the two starting QBs being Manziel and Tebow and WATCH the ratings spike
    _______________________

    What? Two teams are going to start two horrible starting QB’s from the NFL and ratings will spike? Maybe for the first game solely because of curiosity, but long term it won’t happen.

  23. Maybe if his competition is college ball… get kids to make some money straight outta school or one or two years into college. Could work.

  24. Not joking, this could be a relegation league. Or at the very least, exhibition games between the leagues could be fun.

  25. Follow along: Vince and Trump are buddies (Vince’s wife serves Trump in cabinet position, for small business nonetheless)..Trump goes out of his way to rip the NFL (anthem/penalties for roughness,ratings) every chance he gets, hoping viewership goes down (he’s always right, believe him!!)…buddy Vince re-starts new league to compete, and will get a nice tax break with money in new “pass-thru” company, conveniently started after tax bill is passed…Trump will tout new league (no, he’d never have a conflict of interest, would he?), put money in pockets of friends, and eventually will become an investment partner with McMahons (if he is not dead or in prison). Mark it down.

  26. I’m not a wrestling fan, but I sure do miss football. The replies made here are encouraging. Let the NFL swim in their political toilet alone.

  27. I have no idea if it will work this time around, but things ARE different now.
    The biggest difference is the internet and being in the age of social media.
    The internet is what will help him succeed this time around.

  28. The timing is perfect. Fans are disenchanted with the NFL for one reason or another.

    Vince has gradually let the control of day-to-day operations within WWE go to others, notably Triple H, so he could use a new venture.

    McMahon is also a visionary who isn’t scared to try things (Ico-PRO, World Bodybuilding Federation, WWE Studios, XFL1, WWE Network, etc).

    His wife was somehow such a knowledgeable person on small business, she has a Cabinet position, on the staff of a president who has hated the NFL for 30 years.

    A president that is a Hall of Fame member in the WWE, by the way.

    ESPN has been bleeding money from its most recent NFL contract, I’m sure other networks are starting to wonder if their dollars spent are getting enough on the return. Given the tense labor situation, the lower ratings, constant litigation, confusion over the rulebook, isn’t it worth it to the networks to look for other options?

  29. A $100 million has a nice flushing sound as it makes it way down the toilet.
    Wow the xfl coming back…..cannot wait.
    The return of he hate me, I hate him, and we hate everything.
    The nfl has its boring moments, so the xfl can legalize body slamming, neck grabs and choking, tag team defensive changes, and flying wedge kickoffs.
    The xfl can have fantastic half time shows like cage fighting between hens, pigeons flying over the crowd and doing their thing, and other great ideas.
    To find a tv network the xfl will probably sign with true tv and maybe Fox News.
    We cant want for their return—-do we have to wait until 2019?

  30. They won’t need or want a TV contract. Will be either a deal with an existing streaming service, or they will create their own, or even stream free with ads embedded in the game experience

    They have learned a lot in the past 15 years about how and why people tune in. Imagine watching a game that starts and ends in under 90 minutes, because there are no commercial breaks. Like NRL in Australia.

    The smart play is to have the player’s association own 49% of the league and revenues, no salary caps or contracts with teams but contracts with the league, players are paid according to their value to the league, as determined by the 49% share owners. Imbalances in talent are addressed by offering more money to players willing to go to losing teams in poor markets, again determined by the players association, which is interested in making money for all. Popular players won’t have a reason to chase dollars in another city, just because their current team mismanaged the salary cap. Talented newcomers will want to go to the teams that need them the most, as that will offer them the best earnings potential.

    No individual owners, just shares in the 51% league stake. If a team moves it isn’t for one man’s quickie cash grab; it is for the betterment of the league as a whole. No billion dollar luxury suite stadiums, no cities being held hostage over public money stickups. Believe me, they are very in-tune with what is turning fans off about the NFL, and they will play those notes to perfection.

    They need to lose the wrestling, fake, showtime baloney this time though. That’s the reason fans didn’t buy in the first time, because it seemed like it was just a football version of the WWE. Also, the X-treme thing was beyond lame even before it was played out, which it officially was in 1994 with the commencement of espn’s X-Games (eXtreme-Games at the time).

  31. Who doesn’t want to see a sack via a chair shot?

    To the poster, above, who paraphrased “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”

    That’s also the definition of practice… 🙂

  32. Anything that Vince McMahon is involved in will always be crooked in some way. He is the Don King of professional wrestling. He has never cared that the athletes in his wrestling programs are all juiced up, and many of them have died young because of that. In fact, during the Hulk Hogan And it amazed me when Chris Benoit, one of his WWE wrestlers, killed his wife, strangled his 7 year old son, then hanged himself and there was very little made of it by the media. When Jovan Belcher of the Chiefs killed his girlfriend and himself in 2012, it made national news and I saw many people questioning the NFL’s methods and the way they treat their players.
    During the 1994 WWF Steroid trial, Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) admitted he had been taking massive doses of steroids for years He said he started using them when he was about 24 years old) and said just about everyone in the WWF was doing them. He said Vince McMahon knew it and in fact, McMahon began taking them too in 1988 while filming “No Holds Barred”.
    In short, McMahon is the worst example of someone using athletes to make millions. He couldn’t care less about them.
    I hope McMahon loses all that 100 million dollars he supposedly got.

  33. Give it time…the “talking head” shows on the NFL’s partner networks will ridicule and poo-poo the idea. There will be soundbites of Vince being Vince all in an effort to create a negative perception of a new league. Meanwhile, football fan (the people) are speaking out and want something different. Wonder how the news networks would treat an outside presidential candidate that the people wanted…..hmmmmmmmmmmm

  34. There are 1 of 2 fatal mistakes that other leagues have made that ensured their inability to succeed. The first mistake was to try and compete with the NFL right out of the gate. That is what the XFL and USFL did right away. I have no clue why anyone would think you could do that. The 2nd mistake was to play in the spring/ summer on Saturdays. Who in the hell is going to watch second rate football on a Saturday in the spring / summer, especially in the afternoon. That was what NFL Europe was doing. The best way to start off is to play in the spring but play during the week, preferably Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Obviously Monday night makes the most sense as people are used to watching football on Monday nights. The other issue is talent availability. It might be a good idea to get players out of high school and compete with colleges for talent. It would engage interest because the players could be considered future NFL talent, rather than NFL castoffs. Getting guys like Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, Colin Kaepernick could also help to give the league some QB star power. Those guys would be really good against lesser talent and bring their multitude of fans along. At this point, the way the NFL is, there is a chance a new league can work, but it has to do the right things and avoid the obvious pitfalls of previous leagues.

  35. Perfect timing to take down the imploding left wing NFL…his theme…our players stand for their country….Bravo. the NFL created it’s competition.

  36. 1974a says:
    December 21, 2017 at 11:47 pm
    The first 3 franchises should be San Diego, Oakland and St.Louis.

    ————————————-

    What about Detroit? We haven’t had a team there in decades. 😦

  37. Deion Primetyme says:
    December 21, 2017 at 9:20 pm
    Follow along: Vince and Trump are buddies (Vince’s wife serves Trump in cabinet position, for small business nonetheless)..Trump goes out of his way to rip the NFL (anthem/penalties for roughness,ratings) every chance he gets, hoping viewership goes down (he’s always right, believe him!!)…buddy Vince re-starts new league to compete, and will get a nice tax break with money in new “pass-thru” company, conveniently started after tax bill is passed…Trump will tout new league (no, he’d never have a conflict of interest, would he?), put money in pockets of friends, and eventually will become an investment partner with McMahons (if he is not dead or in prison). Mark it down.

    I think you are 100% correct

  38. To fans people who don’t know, Yes, although it’s true Vince McMahon wants to start a new Football organization, we don’t know if it will be called XFL

  39. Sorry I pressed Enter, anyways this new XFL will have NOTHING to do with old one, it will have 0 to do with pro wrestling. It will be successful. Vince has to plans on competing against NFL right away. But with the new XFL players will be able to wear sponsors on their pants plus XFL is going to have real good pay. So they are going to get some big time names. Also the rules of XFL WILL BE THE SAME AS NFL WAS IN THE 80’s..So no NEW rules, just the ones fans of the NFL wish still existed..

  40. Last time Vince was smart enough to primarily lose massive amounts of NBC money while he soaked up cheap publicity. Hope his head isn’t so swollen from the HGH that he blows massive amounts of his own money on this doomed venture.

  41. I’ll watch it. Anything is better than the garbage the NFL has served up over the last few years. The window of opportunity to take down the NFL is now.

  42. I can see it now:

    – players trash talking each other on pre-game shows with their agents by their side
    – 5 yard automatic bonus for the offense if the QB takes a body slam after the throw (no flag needed)
    – 10 yard bonus for the defense if the QB is body slammed on a sack.
    – flying dropkick tackles allowed
    – players showboating after a TD (wait….we already have that)
    – horse-collar tackles (regardless of whether or not the player has the ball) are encouraged
    – ropes around the sides and end of the end zone – 2 point ‘conversion’ if someone from the scoring team smashes the head of an opponent into the turnbuckle

    that’s just a start

  43. I think the smart play would be to put teams in places that don’t have a shot at an NFL team but has at least 200-500K residents or so. NFL is smart though they have games on 3 different days, smart way to saturate the market with your product. Plus college on Saturday. McMahon probably doesn’t have a play but he knows entertainment. So I wouldn’t automatically count him out.

  44. For people who hate the NFL so much, some of you sure comment here a lot. The XFL sucked and will again because they won’t get good players. It’s a horrible idea. We need less teams and less spreading thin of the product, not more avenues, especially not one with notoriously bad labor practices toward their workers like the WWWE head subscribes to. But what do you expect from this crowd. You actually hate the players you watch.

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