On February 8, the XFL relaunched to rave reviews and strong ratings as the DC Defenders took on the Seattle Dragons. An American football league to complement the NFL has been a long term ambition of Vince McMahon’s, who originally tried to bring the idea to life back in 2001.
Preparations for the league’s relaunch has seemingly consumed McMahon’s time as of late, as according to Fightful Select, WWE’s CEO has physically distanced himself from the company since Thanksgiving.
Vince has not been backstage for an episode of Friday Night SmackDown since late November and has taken more of a hands-off approach, allowing Bruce Prichard to manage the Gorilla position and produce the show.
The Boss has been more hands-on with Monday Night Raw, however, as he is at Gorilla “approximately half the time,” but has also been happy to delegate to Executive Director Paul Heyman. Ultimately, the former ECW owner’s fingerprints are all over Raw, with stars like Aleister Black, Drew McIntyre, Andrade, Humberto Carrillo and Buddy Murphy all being pushed.
With his new venture in the XFL, McMahon has also reportedly “been exceptionally private of late” and has not made the same effort to interact with talent backstage as he once did.