WWE issued a statement Friday when asked about the rumor that chairman Vince McMahon is looking to reboot the failed XFL football league.
Deadspin's David Bixenspan passed along the statement, which noted McMahon is funding Alpha Entertainment in order to explore investment opportunities across multiple platforms, including professional football:
David Bixenspan @davidbix
A WWE spokesperson issued the attached statement to me & @Deadspin in response to my inquiry about tonight's rumors of a soon to be announced XFL revival. They declined further comment. Whatever Vince McMahon's "Alpha Entertainment" is, it's self-funded & separate from WWE. https://t.co/oT0Oxyi2fV
Earlier in the day, Brad Shepard of Nation One News reported that McMahon is looking to bring back the XFL and may announce its return Jan. 25.
McMahon announced the founding of the XFL in February 2000, and its only season took place during the winter and spring of 2001.
The league featured eight teams that played 10 games each, and the Los Angeles Xtreme defeated the San Francisco Demons to win the inaugural title.
L.A. was led by league MVP Tommy Maddox, who went on to enjoy some success as a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
People also remember the XFL for running back Rod Smart, who wore "He Hate Me" on the back of his jersey. Smart later played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.
XFL games aired on NBC, UPN and TNN, and while ratings were initially strong, they waned, leading to the league's closure.
The XFL recently returned to pop culture prominence after ESPN aired a 30 for 30 documentary entitled This Was the XFL.
Although other professional football leagues exist—most notably the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League—the NFL has been the unquestioned king of the sport since the USFL ended in 1986.
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