The 8 Ups and Downs of the XFL

Vince McMahon’s over-inflated ego

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Pride cometh before a fall.

As mentioned previously, Vince was on top of the world in 2001. When the XFL was in the middle of being middling, McMahon appeared on HBO’s Costas Tonight with Bob Costas for a notorious interview segment that showed Vince with his back against the wall. This frustration started to leak into the WWE product, and even the ratings started to lull on the flagship show RAW. Hubris had finally come home to McMahon.

Players Not Playing and Serious Injuries

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This has nothing to do with my point; I just love everything about this photo.

Many compared the XFL to junior varsity high school football, and for good reasons. Most of the players seemed more adamant on working on their personas and attitudes than that of actually committing to the sport in general. Plays were sloppy, and there was hardly any coordination on the field. Part of that can be blamed on the athletes themselves, but it’s also the league’s fault.

The XFL opted out of a boring coin flip, and instead used a scramble of two opposing players to run to the ball marked on the 50 yard line — a scramble in week one led to a player separating his shoulder. One of the promises the XFL made was no artificial turfs, which sounds good until you remember soil is frozen in winters that span half the supposed season. Many teams in colder regions were at a dangerous disadvantage.

Wrestlers Breaking Kayfabe (Or Did They?)

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Why am I looking up XFL memorabilia on eBay?

In case you’re unaware, kayfabe is an act or persona a wrestler emits to help push an angle or rivalry in professional wrestling. For instance, WWE wrestler Xavier Woods (Austin Creed) of the tag team group The New Day loves talking trash and attacking other tag teams; however it’s evident from his gaming YouTube channel that he’s friendly and well-liked by other tag team groups. That is an example of breaking kayfabe.

The XFL recruited WWE wrestlers to appear during both commercial breaks and live tapings to talk about how good the XFL was, and it was only the best-of-the-best wrestlers talking about it, like The Rock, Biker Undertaker, and even Stone Cold Steve Austin. But you see, at the time of the XFL, Austin was in a storyline where he hated Vince McMahon: hated his business, and hated just about everything about him. Why would he endorse a McMahon product? Think about that. Also, think about why Biker Undertaker would even care about football; he’s a merciless undead Limp Bizkit-listening biker menace.

It Was Shameless

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Is it a good thing for a running back to “blow up on you?”

Seriously. It was embarrassing to watch at a time when everything was embarrassing. At a time when FOX reality shows were about tempting relationships with needless affairs, when pop singers enabled preteen girls to dress and act in promiscuous ways, when Jackass inspired kids to film themselves getting injured doing stupid stunts, the XFL was right smack dab in the middle of it all.

The names of the eight teams had no regional theme, but instead had names of things that either kill or are just “edgy.” The Chicago Enforcers, the Memphis Maniax (actual spelling) and the Orlando Rage… Who would associate the city of Orlando with rage? But this was nothing compared to the cheerleader locker room camera segment, lowering the bar to the point of no return.

XFL, pros, cons, players, teams, Vince McMahon, highlights, Los Angeles Xtreme, memorabilia, merch, cheerleaders, skycam

I was going to put the cheerleaders here, but it’s pretty much porn, so here’s some puppies instead.

The XFL has long been forgotten by just about everyone, and for good reason. It sucked. A lot. But apparently every single XFL game is available on YouTube, and clearly NBC, Spike (used to be TNN), and CW (used to be UPN) don’t care enough to shut it down. So if you find yourself interested in not liking something that you think you would like, enjoy.

Article by contributor Aaron Chados.

5 thoughts on “The 8 Ups and Downs of the XFL

  1. Good Job, this was a fun read about something that was almost a cool thing but quickly burned out. The level of play was much better than your average high school football teams but I get that overall the league was more of a farce than a true pro football alternative.

  2. Excellent read. I was hoping the cheerleaders thing would be addressed. I recall reading a magazine in the XFL’s heyday and it was just an featuring a cheerleader doing a vertical standing split with the caption, “We’ll give you a reason to watch”.
    God, it was so slimey.

  3. When I read the headline my first thought was “there were ups?” but then again if you throw THAT MUCH money at something, someone somewhere is bound to benefit I guess.

  4. LOL. Right now as we speak, I have an XFL football on my shelf and four or the eight team’s jersey’s in my closet. I’m something of an alternative football fan. I love Arena Football and catch a CFL game when I can. I only caught a few XFL games at the time. They tried way too hard to make the league edgy. But as the season went on, the games actually got pretty good.

    Fun fact: look up the uniforms for the San Francisco Demons, then compare them to the Tampa Bay Bucaneer’s new uniforms that were introduced a couple years ago. They are practically identical.

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