Will The XFL 3.0 Succeed Where The Previous Two Didn’t?


On Saturday February 18th, 2023 the XFL will kickoff for its 2023 Season. The league has partnered with Disney and ESPN to broadcast games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and FX. The league is co-owned by former pro-wrester turned actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with his ex-wife and business partner Danny Garcia.

The XFL (Sometimes called the Xtreme Football League) is a pro football league that goes back to the year 2000 where Pro Wrestling businessman Vince McMahon decided to get into the football business. It has since gone through three iterations. 

The league was conceived in 2000 and Vince partnered with his longtime friend Dick Ebersol at NBC to broadcast the league after NBC lost their NFL broadcasting rights. The league consisted of 8 teams and was marketed as a “New breed of football”.

Despite the marketing push the quality of play was heavily criticized and folded after a single season when NBC pulled out of the deal.

Years later in 2017 the ESPM 30 for 30 documentary This Was the XFL released and was directed by Dick Epersol’s son Charlie. This documentary became the launching pad for something bigger yet to come.

Following the documentary’s release Charlie approached Vince to sell the league to him as he wanted to give it a try. Vince refused and Charlie then decided ti start his own league called the Alliance of American Football with a 2019 kickoff date and partnered with CBS.

However, Vince had his own plans and announced that the XFL aka XFL 2.0 and that it would launch in 2020 with 8 teams and partnered with Fox Sports to broadcast games.

Charlie’s dreams were quickly crushed as due to money issues the AAF shut down before finishing its first season.

The XFL 2.0 began playing in February of 2020, but the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic forced the league to “pause” after only five weeks into the season. Vince McMahon then decided to give up on football and sold the league for $15 Million to his former employee Dwayne Johnson. Rather small when competed to the $250 Million Vince spent to revive the league.

The XFL 3.0 was then crated with plans to keep a number of elements from 2.0. The original plan was to kickoff in 2020 but a failed merger/partnership with the Canadian football League lead to a one year delay to 2023.

Now with 8 teams and locations the XFL will be back after a three year hiatus, but now on a different network.

Since then the United States Football League from the 1980s has revived and is partnered with both Fox Sports and NBC. The USFL has a one year head start and are now moving into multiple hub cities.

Some think that the XFL may be cursed due to the amount of bad luck the previous iterations have had. But will this version be the one to finally break free from the pattern of past failures? Only time will tell.

What do you think? Is the XFL cursed to fail with each iteration? Or will The Rock be able to deliver a “Rock Bottom” and crush the odds? Let us know your thoughts.

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