Vince McMahon’s Post-XFL Forays Into Other Sports
In 2001, NBC teamed up with WWE’s Vince McMahon to bring a new style of football to television. The “XFL” differed from the NFL — it was more exciting, fast-paced, and offered an in-your-FACE attitude that only McMahon could deliver. He really did try to mix it up, introducing things like a game-starting scramble (instead of a coin toss) and a two-point post-touchdown run (instead of an extra point kick), as well as the most sexualized cheerleaders in sports history. Somehow, the XFL flopped and died after one season. McMahon moved on, seeking to bring WWE’s brand of ruthless aggression into a handful of other sports.
Majorly xTreme Baseball (2002)
The “MxB” brought some much-needed sizzle to the staid national pastime. First, McMahon moved the pitcher’s mound to just 10 feet from home plate and doubled the size of the bats. Then, if players got on base, they were required to steal. Oh, and no more “tag outs” by fielders — throw a ball at a runner in motion, hit him, and he was out. After that rule resulted in 10 player deaths in spring training, the league was scrapped having never played an official game.
xTreme Synchronized Swimming (2003)
McMahon thought he could get people to pay attention to this quirky, obscure sport between Olympics by appealing to their basic instincts. The rules required at least four underwater nut-punches per team per routine, for example. But nobody paid much attention to the swimmers because of the XSS cheerleaders, who walked around the pool completely nude and occasionally slipped during cheer routines, resulting in devastating injuries.
The xTreme Fencing Alliance (2004)
The Boss announced this league, the first to professionalize the gentlemanly art of weapons combat, with a press conference. And that’s as far as the xTreme Fencing Alliance ever got. McMahon walked into the room, grabbed the mic, and shouted. “It’s simple, folks. Real swords. Real blood. No masks. No mercy.” Then he dropped the mic and walked away. While Congress passed an injunction banning this violent bloodsport, what really stopped the XFA was an unresolvable, intra-league dispute. All six teams wanted to be named “The Dashing Rogues.”
Volleyball xTreme (2005)
The balls weighed more than 50 pounds each, and McMahon encouraged players to grab them out of the air and throw them at each other. Yeah, it was basically dodgeball with old-timey medicine balls. Also, anytime a player spiked the ball for a point, the game paused for four minutes while the guy who did it strutted around the court to the strains of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”Every. Time.
XWP: xTreme Water Polo (2005)
Sports and business analysts speculated that McMahon hadn’t done much research on water polo before he announced his intention to start this league. Primarily because the most notable aspect of his iteration was that players had to remain on horseback at all times.
xTreme Yachting (2006)
Vince McMahon required that every boat be on fire. There were no survivors.