WWE owned a piece of the XFL, after all

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The resurrection of the XFL was sold as an endeavor bought exclusively by Vince McMahon, with no involvement from his publicly-traded wrestling corporation, WWE. The wreckage of XFL 2.0 says otherwise.

Via multiple reports, WWE owned 23.5 percent of the Class B stock in the XFL, while McMahon owned the other 76.5 percent. McMahon also owned 100 percent of the Class A stock in the XFL. (Typically, Class A stock has greater voting rights than Class B stock.)

When McMahon conducted a press conference unveiling the project in 2018, he said that “there will be no crossover whatsoever” with WWE, and he specifically said that this doesn’t relate to funding.

“I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one,” McMahon told ESPN at the time. “A chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, ‘You were the one who screwed this up,’ or ‘You made this thing a success.'”

Whether the actual state of affairs creates any problems for WWE is a separate issue, but if the WWE investment was significant and if it was not disclosed in the financial information of a publicly-traded company, that could be a problem — especially if WWE ended up throwing a large chunk of change away.

9 responses to “WWE owned a piece of the XFL, after all

  1. Had tickets for a game in Mid March, still haven’t got my money back. Maybe Vince kept it to run WWE?

  2. I hope it comes back. TV ratings fell off but I think that had to do with the weather changing. After winter I didnt want to be inside on my weekends. The stadiums filled up nicely though, and yes I’m aware that most were smaller venues like the DC stadium.

  3. If you’ve ever followed McMahons career, you will find neither honesty or integrity in his dictionary.

  4. “This was never going to work let’s not kid ourselves”

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    See, people say this, but they really never have a solid argument to back it up when you ask them to identify why. The best one is “ratings were dropping”. That is true, but those falling ratings still were higher than those of the NBA or other sports leagues running at the same time. The only way that those ratings are viewed as pitiful is in comparison to the NFL, which is a league so large that it rivals international sports in comparison.

    Startups, sports or not, rarely look robust in their first year. Some don’t even look great after their fifth. McMahon was prepared to lose money, he was prepared to lose players, he was prepared to have third or fourth rate talent on teams that were secondary to NFL teams. What he was not prepared for was his players literally being banned from playing, and customers literally being banned from showing up. This league actually was prepared to deal with past failures of other leagues (like the AAFL relying on the traditional sports-owner model and outside financing, which ended up killing it when their supposed savior ended up rescinding his offer) and had one guy taking the fall for the finances. As long as McMahon had money and interest, this thing had a shot. And he’s got a lot of money.

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