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Will Vince McMahon’s Role With WWE Change After XFL Relaunch?

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Sports fans and the professional wrestling world knew it was coming – WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon announced the return of the XFL.

During a press conference streamed on Alpha Entertainment, McMahon announced the XFL will return in January 2020. Although the WWE owner is funding the football league, things will be different this go around – no crossover with WWE, no flashy characters or gimmicks behind the league, just good old fashioned football that will go back to the football fans. It’s akin to Tommy Dreamer’s motto for his House of Hardcore promotion – “No politics, no BS, just wrestling.”

It’s a 180-degree from McMahon’s first foray into football in 2001.

The basics of the revamped XFL include eight teams to start each with 40 man rosters. There will be a 10-game season beginning in January.

The game will also feature a goal of only two hours – with the potential of eliminating halftime. Players won’t get to take a stance on issues on the field and any athlete with a criminal record will not play. McMahon is friends with Donald Trump, who is a WWE Hall of Famer and also criticized the NFL and players for sitting and kneeling during the National Anthem.

According to ESPN, the initial outlay is expected to be around $100 million, which is the same amount of WWE stock McMahon sold in December and funneled into Alpha Entertainment.

Of course there’s speculation as McMahon’s role with WWE going forward. McMahon said it will be two years before the XFL plays its first game, which he is time to get everything right.

McMahon also noted his duties with WWE will not change when the XFL launches. The WWE chairman said the press conference is most likely the last time he will be up front for the league. He said he would hire executives who know what they are doing.

It sounds like McMahon is learning his lesson in not spreading himself too thin when it comes to building the XFL and his duties in WWE. However, fans may not buy the idea of McMahon simple sitting back and letting a company play with his investment.

McMahon is has his fingers on the pulse when it comes to WWE – to borrow a phrase form Freddie Prinze Jr., the WWE is McMahon’s toybox and he doesn’t necessarily like others playing with his toys.

Sure McMahon will hire executives who know the game of football, but it’s highly unlikely he will sit back and let someone else have the final say with the XFL – especially when it’s $100 million he is investing.

Some folks are hoping McMahon’s newest venture results in him taking time away from WWE so that Triple H can step in and have sole booking power with the promotion. This would result in more long-term booking, similar to what fans see in NXT.

This also could change if McMahon decides to sell WWE or if the promotion decides to leave the USA Network and move to a new broadcast channel.

The only person who really knows all of this is McMahon himself. 

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Triple H Promoted to Chief Content Officer

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Triple H

WWE formally announced today that Paul “Triple H” Levesque has been elevated to Chief Content Officer. Additionally, the company has promoted Frank A. Riddick III to President & Chief Financial Officer.

Triple H has had stellar reviews since taking over creative for WWE in the wake of Vince McMahon’s retirement and legal issues, with a 15% boost in viewership on Monday Night RAW and double-digit boosts in social media engagement.

Now, Levesque will oversee Creative Writing, Talent Relations, Live Events, Talent Development and Creative Services. The role will report to WWE co-CEO Nick Khan.

Here is the official statement from WWE: “WWE is one of the most prolific producers of premium content in the world and I look forward to this amazing opportunity,” said Levesque. “Having spent my entire career in this business, I’m confident that we have the right pieces in place to continue to grow our audience and deliver for our fans around the world.”

Riddick joined WWE as Chief Financial Officer last year, after serving on the company’s Board of Directors for more than 13 years and previously holding the role of interim CFO. During that time, WWE has announced annual and quarterly records for Revenue and Adjusted OIBDA. As President & CFO, Riddick will oversee Financial Planning & Analysis, Strategy, Controllership, Investor Relations, Tax, Data Analytics, Technology, Event Travel and Facilities. He will jointly report to WWE Chairwoman & co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and co-CEO Nick Khan.

“I’ve had the great fortune of working closely with the talented people at WWE in a variety of capacities over the past 15 years,” said Riddick. “Along with Steph, Nick and Paul, we look forward to executing our ambitious plans and delivering for our shareholders.”

“We are excited to announce expanded roles for Paul and Frank, which will enhance WWE’s ability to create premium content for our partners around the world and, ultimately, drive our business forward,” said McMahon and Khan.

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Swerve Strickland Talks Hit Row’s Return to WWE

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Hit Row

AEW superstar Swerve Strickland shared his thoughts on his former faction Hit Row, making their return to WWE. Since Strickland is currently in AEW, and one half of the tag team champions with Keith Lee, he is unable to join them.

“I’m happy for those guys and I’m happy they got their second chance, I really am” Strickland said during an appearance on the Grapsody podcast.

“Some people were like, ‘Are you upset about this? They’re back.’ Good, they deserve to be on TV. Now, this is their chance to be them and do what they do or however they want to do. There were times when I would discuss things and they wanted to do it this way, and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s try to mesh this together.’ It was a lot of teamwork and effort and family-type vibes to put these promos together. I don’t think I brought them up to the main roster, I think we did it together. A lot of people with these comments are trying to separate us and do the dividing thing. No, you’re not going to divide me from my friends. You’re not going to divide me from people that I was really grinding with at the PC [Performance Center] and every week on TV, trying to do something really special and being, literally, probably one of the most creative people in the entire PC because nobody was telling us what to do. We were literally coming up with it ourselves. We did that together to get to the main roster.” (quote courtesy of Fightful.com)

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Braun Strowman Returns to WWE

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After over a year since his release from WWE, Braun Strowman made his surprise return to the company during Monday Night RAW,  during the Fatal-Four Way Number One Contenders tag team match between The New Day, Alpha Academy, Los Lotharios, and The Street Profits.

Now we have more information has come out regarding where Strowman will find himself on the main roster.

According to PWInsider, despite making his return on RAW Strowman will be a member of the SmackDown Live roster, and is slated to be used as a babyface.

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