As regular sports fans with more than just a passing interest in what happens in the crazy world of pro wrestling, we are so damn happy that ESPN decided to make a full length feature documentary on the XFL, the unbelievably brazen football league cooked up in the head of WWE owner Vince McMahon that lasted all of a single season.
The XFL was supposed to be fun and brash and violent in all the ways that the NFL was backing away from (this was well before CTE was a concern, obviously). It was marketed as a real world version of NFL Blitz, the arcade game that featured exaggerated violent hits and unbelievable plays. But the football was terrible and most fans couldn’t get over the fact that their favorite wrestling play-by-play announcers were now trying to call football games.
Despite being a colossal and expensive failure for McMahon, the XFL actually succeeded in changing the game of football. Some of their innovative broadcast techniques, including the “Spider Cam,” became common place in the NFL shortly after the league folded after it’s initial season.
Here’s a final trailer for the doc, which airs Friday night at 9:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.
— ESPN Films 30 for 30 (@30for30) January 31, 2017