Do You Smell… What The Rock… Is Buying?
On Monday, it was announced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, along with several others, will be purchasing the bankrupt XFL for $15 million.
The XFL, which is the brainchild of Vince McMahon, is actually the second attempt at a spring football rival to the NFL. The 2020 iteration folded after only five weeks- mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It featured eight teams and a ten-week schedule accompanied by one round of playoffs and a championship game.
The first XFL, which folded after its only season in 2001, featured many innovations that were eventually implemented into current football broadcasting, including the “sky cam”, mic’ed up players, and an overtime that is similar to college football’s rules.
Johnson, who has been a part of the WWE since the ‘90s was heavily featured in the original XFL. Johnson, along with other WWE stars were used to hype up the games and bring excitement to the storylines around the game.
Johnson, along with Dany Garcia and Red Bird Capital purchased the league as a group. In a statement tweeted by Kevin Seifert of ESPN, "The Rock” states, “The acquisition of the XFL… is an investment for me that is rooted deeply in two things – my passion for the game and desire to always take care of the fans.” Johnson finished by stating that he is looking “forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved.”
Johnson, himself has a history in football. He played defensive tackle at the University of Miami from 1990-94. He also had a short stint in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders.
It is yet to be seen how big McMahon’s role will be in the restart of the league, but when considering his relationship with Johnson and the WWE, it is a fair assumption that the CEO of the WWE will have some input.
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