From the first reports Vince McMahon would be reviving his XFL football league, WWE stressed it would be distinct from the publicly traded sports entertainment company. McMahon was “personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football,” they said back in Dec. 2017.
At the press conference announcing the launch of XFL 2.0 a month later, McMahon told the press there would be “no crossover whatsoever” with WWE.
Insert CM Punk “yeah, OK pal” GIF here.
Fans, reporters, and industry observers quickly noticed a lot of marketing materials looking similar to WWE’s, and sources said the company’s employees and resources were used for XFL-related activities. The company’s May 2018 SEC filing then revealed WWE was in fact a minority owner in the league. Which is why, when announcing their deals to broadcast the XFL’s games when they start in February of next year, Fox and ESPN executives specifically mentioned WWE involvement as a selling point.
All of which is to say that nothing about the reveal of XFL 2.0’s eight team names and logos was surprising. From the similar logo designs, to the video packages, to the over-the-top scripts for the narration on those videos, to WWE promoting them on their YouTube channel...
or official website...
All of which is to say, brace yourself for more XFL mentions as we get closer to the “reimagined” league’s kickoff in six months - especially on Fox’s SmackDown, which will want to promote games airing on their network in the days after the blue brand’s broadcast.
Oh, and about those team names?
- Deep in the heart of Texas... beats a different kind of pulse. A spirit untamed. A swagger that can’t be denied. Where big meets bold meets badass. This is outlaw country, inside the lines. This is hell on wheels, between hash marks. This is their home on the range. The Dallas Renegades. Raising hell.
- On the shoulders of giants, they stand tall. Unconquerable. Unyielding. Marching ever forward, a force united. One quest. One purpose. One resolve. Seeking glory through grit. Victory through valor. The DC Defenders. Taking their stand.
- Resolute. Rippling with heat. Railing against fatigue. Unceasing and often unseen, they labor deep in the trenches. Mercenaries in the muck. Brawlers in blackened dirt. Not just for three hours. Not just when the lights are bright. These are the scratching, grinding, never-bending few. The Houston Roughnecks. Going to work for you.
- In the land of bright lights. Far from the flash and fame. They’ve already begun to prowl. Enter their den and be dominated. Run away and be ripped apart. This is prime time meets primal instinct. This is showtime with a snarl. This is our time to roar. The L.A. Wildcats. Unleashed.
- Sentries carved of stone. Watchdogs over the metropolis. A prehistoric predator. A beast evolves, turned loose in a new kind of jungle. All teeth and talons, eyes unblinking. They know fear, because they feed off it. They are your first line of defense, and there is no need for a second. The New York Guardians. On duty.
- Rising from the turbulent sea. Beneath the darkening skies of their weather-hardened home. Relentless, ruthless, ravenous. Not of mythology, but of muscle and might. Not of folklore, but of football. This is your darkest fantasy…in cleats. The Seattle Dragons. Breathing fire.
- Winged warriors. Preparing for flight. Preparing to fight. They await their orders. Then attack as one. Diving, dodging, swooping, striking. Their mission: create chaos. Their mandate: Win at all costs. The St. Louis BattleHawks. Cleared to engage.
- In the shadows they wait. Demons, born in darkness. Hunters by instinct. Cold-blooded by nature. Their bite, unavoidable. Their grip, inescapable. They slither and stalk their competition. Luring all who challenge them... into the jaws of defeat. The Tampa Bay Vipers. Ready to strike.
They’re pretty pro wrestling.