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WWE News: ESPN Films to release documentary on the XFL

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Documentary to showcase the rise and fall of the XFL.

Vince McMahon in a press-conference for the XFL

Just three days before the Super Bowl LI, ESPN will be premiering their ‘ 30 for 30’ documentary, "This Was the XFL" on February 2nd. The documentary will chronicle the creation, and eventual end of the WWE-NBC partnered football league.

Here’s what ESPN tweeted out, concerning the documentary:

Charlie Ebersol, the director of the documentary and son of NBC executive and ex-chairman of NBC Sports, Dick Ebersol, said the following:

“I grew up on the sidelines watching my father and Vince enjoy incredible success with just about everything they touched, and then, along came the XFL, I saw them take bold creative risks, face unparalleled success and failure with dignity, but most importantly they maintained and celebrated a friendship where most would have cut and run."

Ebersol added that he learnt more about "integrity and character", in the months leading up to the creation of the XFL than any other time in his life. So, when ESPN Films gave him the opportunity to make this documentary, he jumped at it because he felt that the real story is not just about the XFL, but that of an unbreakable friendship. 

The XFL was an attempt to combine Football with the Kayfabe and action found in the WWE. The league was hyped as real Football with fewer rules and no penalties. In the nascent stages, the XFL was seen as just another football league, trying to compete with the NFL.

In its first season, the marketing prowess of WWE-NBC captured headlines and, created public interest for the product. 

Unfortunately, the XFL was unable to find an audience and ceased to exist after its debut season in 2001. The XFL was universally panned and Vince McMahon, dubbed it a "colossal failure". 

Coming back to the documentary, John Dahl, Vice-President and Executive Producer of ESPN Films said:

“We felt that the colorful personalities and storylines featured throughout the rise and fall of the XFL deserved a more detailed examination, and as Dick Ebersol’s son, Charlie provided a personal understanding of it all. The XFL was a gamble, and even though the league didn’t ultimately succeed, we think audiences will really enjoy this tale of risk and ambition.”

Although the documentary will air on TV in February, it will make its debut at the DOC NYC Film Festival tomorrow in Manhattan.

The video below is by the WWE explaining fans about the XFL:


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