On the most recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed the upcoming XFL relaunch which is set to launch its 2020 season next weekend. J.R. also talked about the 2001 failure. Below are the highlights.
“Fighting chance. It’s got a fighting chance because of the TV deals they have in place with FOX and ESPN. Fighting chance because they’ve been preparing for the launch for two years, not 90 days. Fighting chance because they’ve got some of the best coaches that were available, including my friend Bob Stoops coaching the Dallas franchise. Former Oklahoma coach for almost 20 years. So yeah, it’s got a fighting chance.”
“We didn’t know it, we didn’t want want to be told, but we didn’t have a fighting chance when we started the other, the original XFL. You can’t put teams together with any kind of chemistry, without playing ample scrimmages or exhibition games, or whatever the hell you want to call them. And for a team to build chemistry and teamwork continuity in 90 days. Because you’re putting everything together. Hell, you’re still checking out uniforms, man, the week of the show, week of the game.”
“I had the first meeting with Vince after the XFL went belly-up. I was on his calendar, might have been one of our normal meeting times. And I talked with [McMahon’s personal assistant] Beth Zazza, ‘Is the boss gonna want to meet today?’ She said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah. He’s fine.’ He just lost $50 million, I think it was, something like that. Some ridiculous amount of money that I’d have walked out on a ledge [over]. I said basically the same thing. ‘What could we have done differently?’ He said, ‘Not a goddamned thing, JR. The way it was laid out, we did the best we could with what we had, but I wouldn’t change a thing.’ And he lost a lot of money, but he said, ‘It was a calculated risk. And I would do it all over again. Because I believe in the concept.’
“So here we all, all these years later with the same dream he had about he believes in the concept. But he went about it a whole different way. He got real football people to run the XFL. We’ll see how good the game is. The quality of football will be better. I have not read all the rule changes and the amendments to the rules. As long as they don’t get too hokey, I’m okay with it. But if they’re gonna get too far away fro basic football, I’m not interested. I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”