5 unforgettably awful moments from the XFL
WWE CEO Vince McMahon is reportedly getting back into pro football with what's anticipated to be a revival of the one-year wonder known as the XFL.
The XFL infamously folded for myriad reasons - mainly financial losses - after the 2001 season. Its cocktail of sloppy football and pro wrestling-style bravado proved to be a dud and the league's audience cratered after a promising opening week.
Here are five of the worst (or best?) moments from the XFL:
Scramble goes wrong
The XFL tried to market itself as a hardcore version of the NFL, starting with its opening play.
Instead of the usual coin toss to decide possession, the XFL had two players sprint for a loose ball at midfield to earn possession.
It was an interesting way to pump up the crowd and reinforce the no-holds-barred violence the league was based on, but the shine came off quickly as Orlando Rage safety Hassan Shamsid-Deen separated his shoulder during the gimmick play.
The XFL had its sights set squarely on taking a piece of the NFL's pie, and the league came up with a stunt to try and promote its brand on NFL time.
A blimp emblazoned with the XFL logo was set to fly over an NFL game in Oakland, but much like the league itself, the aircraft went down before it could really get off the ground. The blimp crashed into an Oakland waterfront restaurant, suffering around $2.5 million in damage, according to Michelle R. Smith of ABC News.
Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, though McMahon's pride likely took a significant hit.
Cheerleader locker room stunt
McMahon was desperate by Week 6 of the XFL season.
During a game between the Las Vegas Outlaws and Orlando Rage, the XFL promised a halftime segment in the locker room of Rage cheerleaders in an ill-conceived attempt to boost ratings.
Exploiting cheerleaders was nothing new for the XFL, but this stunt was more noteworthy for its sheer ridiculousness.
Instead of an all-access look into the locker room, audiences were "treated" to a WWE-like promo in which a cameraman is knocked unconscious by McMahon and proceeds to have a dream involving scantily-clad cheerleaders, Rodney Dangerfield, and the devil.
McMahon vs. Costas
Bob Costas spoke with McMahon about the XFL's troubles for HBO's "On the Record," and an interview that was conceived to help the league course-correct turned into another WWE-style promo, with the enigmatic billionaire getting heated over Costas' line of questioning.
"Are you going to let me answer the question, pal? Then go shut your mouth and let me answer the question, alright?" McMahon said at one stage.
In the end, McMahon had no answers to the XFL's mounting problems.
Power loss leads to SNL clash
NBC reportedly lost $35 million in its partnership with McMahon and the XFL, according to Forbes, but its other programming took a hit, too.
A Week 2 game between the Los Angeles Xtreme and Chicago Enforcers went off the air due to a power outage. The delay, coupled with the fact the game ultimately went into double overtime, forced NBC to push back that night's episode of "Saturday Night Live" by 45 minutes.
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