If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Vince McMahon is doing exactly that.
The 72-year-old executive announced Thursday that the XFL is returning. The league, which will begin January 2020, will feature eight 40-man teams playing a 10-game season. Games will last two hours or less, and players with criminal records won’t be allowed to play – nor will they be allowed to take social or political stances.
What should fans make of McMahon’s announcement?
“I was encouraged by it,” WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross said on Taz & The Moose. “I was a big proponent of it. I’m a football fanatic, so I was excited about the first go-around because I got to call some football, which was kind of a cool thing for me. But I thought he had some interesting things to say about the philosophy of the league and who can play and who’s not going to be playing and what they’re going to stand for and so forth. And the fact that they got two years to get their teams ready is a huge difference-maker. The last time around, they had no exhibition game that I can recall. The teams had no time to really gel (or) develop any chemistry. So I like the fact that they got two years to get their house in order.”
Taz knows McMahon well, and Ross knows him even better. Both can attest that McMahon is someone who is bothered by failures and who learns from his mistakes. The XFL lasted just one season, as its gimmicks and mostly no-name players failed to captivate audiences.
“I was the first guy to meet with him in his office after the XFL went belly-up, and I think he lost $50 million,” Ross said. “But I think the direction they’re going in, it may give them a chance. There’s a lot of people needing content, and content is king. I think it’s got a heartbeat. I really do.”
McMahon, of course, is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, one whose successes far outnumber his failures.
“I have a lot of respect for Vince,” Ross said. “We’ve not always agreed, but I’ve always remembered who the boss is. (After the XFL failed), he said, ‘Well, JR, it was a calculated risk, and I would do it all over again. I believe in the concept.’ He took it in stride. I would have been under my desk in the fetal position soiling the sheets. Fifty million? Are you kidding me? That’s just him. But Taz is right. He’s very competitive in everything he does – everything he does. And so, this is just another one of those situations that he’s going to try to right what some perceive would be a wrong back in the day.”