By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The second chapter of Vince McMahon’s XFL appears set to eat another pin.
After canceling the remainder of their 2020 season last month with a focus on 2021, the XFL reportedly suspended operations and laid off the majority of their league staff on Friday and with no plans to return in 2021, according to ESPN.
According to ESPN’s report, the Friday announcement came on a call from XFL CEO Jeffrey Pollack, and while he wouldn’t outright say that the league was out of business, XFL staffers told ESPN that they didn’t believe the league was coming back.
Relaunched as a ‘faster’ and ‘more exciting’ product than the current NFL, as well as the XFL that lasted just one season almost two decades ago, McMahon was certainly serious about giving this league a real run this time around, as he sold over $270 million in WWE stock to help fund this venture.
But that investment proved fruitless (or anything but pandemic-proof), as the XFL 2.0, which was admittedly featured in some solid TV slots and was covered like a ‘real’ league, lasted just five weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut nearly the entire sports world down. While their fall could be blamed on COVID-19, it’s certainly worth mentioning that the league was trending downwards after its opening week, however, as they started with 3.1 million average viewers in their opening week, but were seeing viewership numbers essentially sliced in half by the end of what would be their final week of the season.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the Houston Roughnecks sat atop the league standings at a perfect 5-0.