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DECEMBER 2017 WRESTLING DISCUSSION


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The T.V. landscape is different but it's different in a way that encourages

 

1) expensive boutique shows that drive subscribers toward a platform like netflix and Hulu but probably don't make much profit (Handmaid's Tale, American Gods, etc.)

2) inexpensive innovative niche shows that reach a small audience with enough loyalty to keep them profitable for a few years (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Atlanta)

I can't think of anything in entertainment that would be more expensive to start, that would bring less critical prestige to any service or network, and that has less potential upside and a smaller potential niche audience, than a fucking football league. The expectations for production values and team/network staffing are so high to even look "professional" and the requirement for regional fanbases so essential and impossible to cultivate without massive investment.  It's literally the most insane thing anyone could try. If you told me 20 years ago that a guy trying to start a passenger service to outer space would seem less insance and closer to his goal than a guy trying to start a football league I would not have believed that then. But today, it is actually true.

In short, it's perfect evidence that Vince McMahon can no longer be trusted to dress himself.

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I’d rather watch the roster play weekly 2-on-2 foosball. 

Make it TV-MA and let Gallows and Anderson host it while getting tanked, doing running commentary like on Talkin’ Shop/Jericho and Austin’s podcasts. 

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3 hours ago, evilwaldo said:

Vince will do whatever he thinks will make him money.  He knows Kaep will bring in disaffected NFL viewers so you can bet he will be signed.

It all hinges on Vince being able to get a TV deal.  Meltzer is right in that the TV landscape is much different this time around.  There are more channels and opportunities.

But that also leads to the one difference for the NFL landscape now, and how it's a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, contractually the NFL is in a very different landscape from the XFL's days. Before, the XFL had to compete with players the NFL didn't want, and they still have that- but on the opposite side, if the new XFL were willing to offer guaranteed contracts, the fact that the NFL's are all one year deals, no matter how long they say they are COULD conceivably lead to NFL players choosing the XFL instead.

However, the big problrem will be the TV landscape, which is worse for the XFL right now. The landscape has more channels, but it's almost a catch-22: Any channel with any interest in the XFL would have enough hope to get the NFL, and so they'd never dream of putting on the XFL.

There may be more options, but at the same time:

NBC has the NFL.

CBS has the NFL.

Fox has the NFL.

ABC has ESPN, and ESPN has the NFL. 

The only potential landing spot with some legs to it would be TNT/TBS/TruTV with their sports coverage...and at last check, hell has not frozen over yet, so Vince McMahon wouldn't give Turner networks the product.

Go to the Internet, and it's the same problem. Yahoo has the NFL. Facebook hasn't proven if it'd have the legs to sustain football for WWE , and we'd likely know by the views of Mixed Match Challenge. Jinder Mahal's push being a bomb has proven to WWE that strong Youtube views can't really be monetized to equal a big-money star, so Youtube would be a bad choice. And if the XFL on the WWE Network had any chance of success, there'd be XFL games from 2001 on the WWE Network.

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I don't watch football, but if you're going to try and bring up an alternative product to a popular sport, then you've got to put out something completely original if you expect people to have an interest.  Do something like Lucha Underground but license Mutant League Football and have some completely over the top gimmicky arena league football every week.

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Look, Vince is like my Dad in this way. They'll never not want to be working and will never retire. If this alpha whatever   is the thing he wants to work on as he lets HHH eventually run things,  then fine. 

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If Vince is really going to give it another shot, he's definitely going to target reactionaries as his core audience, up to and including using his access to others' political capital to do so. The only thing that could stop him would be Paul and Steph convincing him it's not worth the bad publicity and embarrassment that would ensue. 

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The idea of Vince McMahon starting a football league because there are people who think the NFL isn't violent enough and isn't politically reactionary enough for their tastes is the most Starship Troopers thing to happen in real life since Paul Verhoeven made Starship Troopers.

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1 hour ago, piranesi said:

The idea of Vince McMahon starting a football league because there are people who think the NFL isn't violent enough and isn't politically reactionary enough for their tastes is the most Starship Troopers thing to happen in real life since Paul Verhoeven made Starship Troopers.

Fuck, Vince should launch a league playing that hand ball/football/murder hybrid from Starship Troopers.

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1 hour ago, (BP) said:

If Vince is really going to give it another shot, he's definitely going to target reactionaries as his core audience, up to and including using his access to others' political capital to do so. The only thing that could stop him would be Paul and Steph convincing him it's not worth the bad publicity and embarrassment that would ensue. 

This is what I think will happen.  Master P talked about starting a league.  If Vince can get access to cash like below (you just know he is going to run this through the SBA) and people sympathetic to Kaep then he has his base capital.  

Maybe he goes for a street product like 7 on 7 with three linemen to save roster costs.

Vince is crazy enough that I think he will give it one more try only because it is Vince.

1 hour ago, odessasteps said:

Maybe he can get a small business loan to start this league. 

 

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Damn, I don't want to rain all over this parade of speculation, but this simply isn't going to happen. First of all, you need to have cities to host teams, that means finding a metropolitan area large enough to provide an audience for the games so you don't wind up broadcasting the embarrassing spectacle of half a stadium filled with people who came dressed as empty chairs. There's a lot of negative things that one can say about the NFL, but being stupid when it comes to carving out marketable territories is not one of those things, in fact, the only two metropolitan areas that are likely to support a football team and don't have one are probably Las Vegas and Hawaii and there are lots of good reasons why neither area have NFL teams.

So, we can agree that launching this product in today's environment is going to cost a phenomenal amount of money. Where exactly is this money supposed to come from? The WWE coffers? The McMahon family fortune? A Nigerian businessman named Papa Oommaumau? No publicly traded company is going to throw money at such an ill-advised venture. Vince is a millionaire,  not a billionaire, he's also married and lives in a community-property State. I really don't see Linda signing off on this particular bit of jousting with windmills. 

And lastly, the talent pool... Who is going to play in this league? With the exception of one pretty decent player who seems to have been blacklisted by the NFL, the most talented players are in the NFL making great money. Your next most talented guys are in the CFL and doing okay. Next level down are playing Arena Football and they aren't starving to death even if they're unlikely to become millionaires. When you get below that level, you'e looking at guys that are playing Australian rules football or working as bouncers at sleazy strip clubs. Not exactly a group that people will spend good money to watch play but likely the only group that would be affordable for a start-up like this. The idea that the funds would be available to raid the top players from the NFL, CFL, or even the cream of the Arena League is just ridiculous.

To summarize, you have a product with no worthwhile places to play,  not enough money to fund launching the product and no worthwhile players to participate in this new league. No, I'm afraid that a body-building league would have a better chance of succeeding...

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30 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Damn, I don't want to rain all over this parade of speculation, but this simply isn't going to happen.

Yeah, it will. It'll fail, again, but it's going to happen. Vince has to see an idea through to completion before he just gives up on it. We've seen this, time and time again, that he'll sink millions and millions of dollars into things that any sane person could see won't work out well. Bodybuilding, the original XFL, Linda's political campaigns (which I guess did pay off eventually...), etc.

Also - there's no way Colin Kaepernick joins this league. This will 100% have the approval of someone we can't talk about, and that probably won't sit well with Kaepernick. He has a lot of avenues to explore now that he's becoming a bigger "name" than he ever was in the NFL if he never did what he did.

Hell, just base it in the South, be ultra patriotic and violent, and let That Guy in the White House attend or promote a few games, and there ya go. Short of basing it in the South, that's what I see happening. He's going to advertise this towards those fans. And if you think those fans don't exist, the ones that have stopped watching because of the protests or because there's "too many rules", you're flat out wrong.

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6 minutes ago, Casey said:

Yeah, it will. It'll fail, again, but it's going to happen. Vince has to see an idea through to completion before he just gives up on it. We've seen this, time and time again, that he'll sink millions and millions of dollars into things that any sane person could see won't work out well. Bodybuilding, the original XFL, Linda's political campaigns (which I guess did pay off eventually...), etc.

Also - there's no way Colin Kaepernick joins this league. This will 100% have the approval of someone we can't talk about, and that probably won't sit well with Kaepernick. He has a lot of avenues to explore now that he's becoming a bigger "name" than he ever was in the NFL if he never did what he did.

Hell, just base it in the South, be ultra patriotic and violent, and let That Guy in the White House attend or promote a few games, and there ya go. Short of basing it in the South, that's what I see happening. He's going to advertise this towards those fans. And if you think those fans don't exist, the ones that have stopped watching because of the protests or because there's "too many rules", you're flat out wrong.

It doesn't even need to be based in the South.  There are plenty of areas in the North that will flock to it if you get someone on Breitbart to write "that Vince's league is the Patriotic league and watch that instead of that Unamerican NFL" and there's a audience right there.

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49 minutes ago, OSJ said:

There's a lot of negative things that one can say about the NFL, but being stupid when it comes to carving out marketable territories is not one of those things, in fact, the only two metropolitan areas that are likely to support a football team and don't have one are probably Las Vegas and Hawaii and there are lots of good reasons why neither area have NFL teams.

Fwiw, the Raiders are already moving to Vegas.

Regardless, this is all phenomenally stupid, and will be received as such. Maybe a right wing football league could work, but the XFL is still linguistic shorthand for a hilarious failure. No one wants to be attached to that.

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2 minutes ago, Beech27 said:

but the XFL is still linguistic shorthand for a hilarious failure. No one wants to be attached to that.

Probably the exact reason that it'll be re-branded as a previous failed brand in the UFL.

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48 minutes ago, Raziel403 said:

I dunno, People stopped watching NFL for politics, several in my family.

 

3 hours ago, Beech27 said:

Fwiw, the Raiders are already moving to Vegas.

Regardless, this is all phenomenally stupid, and will be received as such. Maybe a right wing football league could work, but the XFL is still linguistic shorthand for a hilarious failure. No one wants to be attached to that.

 

3 hours ago, Casey said:

Hell, just base it in the South, be ultra patriotic and violent, and let That Guy in the White House attend or promote a few games, and there ya go. Short of basing it in the South, that's what I see happening. He's going to advertise this towards those fans. And if you think those fans don't exist, the ones that have stopped watching because of the protests or because there's "too many rules", you're flat out wrong.

There is an irony here of a football league based in the South appealing to liberal Kaep fans who are turned off by the NFL's politics.

Now I really want to see this startup for the resulting firestorm.  Get your popcorn kids, this is gonna be good.

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3 hours ago, Raziel403 said:

It doesn't even need to be based in the South.  There are plenty of areas in the North that will flock to it if you get someone on Breitbart to write "that Vince's league is the Patriotic league and watch that instead of that Unamerican NFL" and there's a audience right there.

That audience is pretty small and most of them want their football teams to look like the early 1960's Washington Redskins. The XFL2 will most likely be wrapped up in the flag but it's still going to be predominately African-Americans playing the games, that's the biggest issue the Breitbart crowd has with the NFL when you start peeling back the "un-American" onion.

If Vince puts out a similar product to the first XFL no network broadcast or cable will pick it up and they'll have issues finding players. If Vince does some sort of 8 on 8 version of football with a ton of scoring and a pretty straight forward presentation someone might take a chance on it.

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7 or 8 to a side is the best way to keep salaries low.  3-4 players per side plus backups shaves 12-16 people off the rosters.  That can be a good chunk of salary.  20-30% of a 53 man roster which is not small change.

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