W.C.W. was a wrestling promotion that famously butted heads in the 90s with the W.W.E. The two brought out the best in each other by encouraging each other to push the envelope, creatively and technically. Only one could dominate, and due to W.W.E.’s inventive use … Continue reading Ready to Rumble (2000)
The Wrestling boom of the turn of infected everywhere, from young to old. Especially on the playground where the costumed theatrics captured the imaginations of all ages. Taking the excitement to said playgrounds was a desirable proposition, one that many wrestling promotions were willing to … Continue reading ECW Hardcore Revolution GBC (2000)
There is an underlying certainty in sports, things change; players get better or retire, change teams. In professional wrestling, this is exemplified, with expanding gimmicks, or long-lasting injuries, so a yearly upgrade is to be expected. In 2000, right after the release of their debut … Continue reading ECW Anarchy Rulz (2000)
E.C.W. the three letters that would get the blood pumping to any fan of hardcore Professional Wrestling. The promotion was noted for the stars who would take the barbaric physicality of the sport to near inhuman until it was acquired by the W.W.E. In the … Continue reading ECW Hardcore Revolution (2000)
The spectacle of Professional Wrestling has thrilled generations for decades, to maintain this streak of inventiveness, characters, storylines must be reimagined, reworked, and reinvited constantly. Innovation is key, especially in their media products, with so many games over the years, this can be especially challenging. … Continue reading WWE 2K20 (2019)
When a new year dawns, it can become common practice to look behind and ponder “what could have been done differently?” (one of the main reasons why I started this blog was as a response to that question.) This is doubly so with a new century. That is what W.W.E. C.E.O Vince McMahon did to the N.F.L. and the landscape of professional football when he unleashed his new dog in the ring, The X.F.L.
McMahon came from impressive circumstances, managing to defeat his TV rivals W.C.W. in the dawn of the millennium. He did so by embracing aggression, anti-heroes, and the allure X.F.L. is his attempt at applying these principles to professional league football.
While not a complete renovation, the X.F.L. adapts from professional Gridiron football in several ways. Professional skills determine the starting possession of the ball as opposed to the luck of a coin toss, with both teams trying to catch and possess a football on the field, just to determine ownership. While touchdown scoring remains the same, kicks for points after touchdown are also revamped. Even the games themselves were sped up with removals of valuable seconds off the game clock. These changes combined were a valiant attempt at injecting some much-needed action into each match. That ultimately led to more scrimmages and collisions, but really liven up the night.
The changes go beyond just the rules, as McMahon added an extra dose of his patented attitude to the proceedings. Players could have emblazoned nicknames on their jerseys. Sky cameras, capturing the details from up high, with various off-camera segments with the cheerleaders and the players themselves, really help sell the “attitude” personality that Vince McMahon tried to impart into Professional Wrestling. Even the team’s names screamed defiance with teams like The Las Vegas Outlaws, The San Francisco Demons, and The Orlando Rage. In short, this isn’t your every Monday-night N.F.L., but something that’s fresh and ready to embrace the heady future of Y2K. There’s no change without controversy, however, and these renovations amounted to metric tonnes of negative press, with concerns about the sleaze associated with Professional Wrestling potentially infecting the sport. Yet there are others who felt that the excitement is just what is needed.
The X.F.L. is a prime illustration of how even tried and tested institutions could benefit from a revitalisation. It charges full steam ahead of the opposition in terms of ambition. Making it a shame it got cut down before establishing its roots. The franchise only lasted a season, with the Los Angeles Xtreme taking “The Million Dollar Game”, yet there appears to be serious talk about bringing the league back in the very near future to try to take on the N.F.L. again. Maybe this time the audience will be ready, maybe newer changes have been conceived, Maybe the country will be ready for a football league that is a little more xtreme.
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