In his first interview since breaking the XFL relaunch story, Brad Shepard reported that Vince McMahon and WWE are expected to play a major role in the proposed football league.

“Even though it will be proposed as a separate entity, very much in reality, behind the scenes, it will be Vince McMahon and WWE helping make this successful,” Shepard said on Corrigan’s Corner. “On paper, it has to be separate, but Vince will be very much behind it. And I’m told it was a similar situation with Linda’s Senate run as well.”

On Dec. 15, Shepard tweeted:

Mainstream media outlets picked up the story over the weekend, and David Bixenspan of Deadspin reached out to WWE for comment.

According to Shepard’s source in WWE, Vince McMahon got the itch to bring back the XFL during the ESPN 30 for 30 special earlier this year. WWE filed for two XFL trademarks, Alpha Entertainment filed for a “URFL” trademark and VKM Ventures filed for the trademarks “United Football League,” “UFL” and “For the Love of Football.”

Recently, Shepard says, McMahon has let WWE employees know that another football league is coming. Shepard was told the announcement would be made on January 25, 2018, three days after Raw’s 25th anniversary in New York City.

In his interview on Corrigan’s Corner, Shepard discussed how the tweet has turned his life upside down over the past few days, leading to professional opportunities as well as frustrations with the wrestling media.

“It was really a small subset of wrestling websites or wrestling writers that were not giving me proper credit,” Shepard said. “You aren’t doing your readers justice if you aren’t giving them the truth, even if it’s because of a personal bias. If I do something, obviously I want the credit for it. I think that’s just logical. By all means, if somebody else adds on to the story, then go for it. I’ll be glad to promote that as well. But let’s give credit to where credit is due. We’re talking about the story for one reason. That’s just the reality of it. It’s not to brag about the situation, it’s just a fact.”

A lifelong wrestling fan dating back to the first WrestleMania, Shepard writes about sports and pro wrestling for, as well as political columns for He’ll be launching a new wrestling, sports and pop culture podcast with Jon Fisher in 2018.

Listen to the full interview: