In what sounds like a power struggle storyline from Monday Night Raw circa 2001, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the new owner of the XFL after previous owner Vince McMahon filed for bankruptcy. Sportico, Variety’s sports-oriented sister site, broke the news.
The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment co-purchased the beleaguered football league in a 50/50 split alongside RedBird Capital.
The XFL started its life back in 2001 as a joint venture between the then-World Wrestling Federation and NBC, but folded after just one season due to consistently declining ratings. The Rock was no stranger to the league’s original incarnation, cutting a promo before a game between the Los Angeles Xtreme and Chicago Enforcers.
The Rock also has football experience himself, playing defensive tackle for the University of Miami from 1990-1994, and was signed to the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders before being cut two months into the 1995 season.
In 2018, Vince McMahon announced a reboot of the spring league to start in 2020. The league began play in February of this year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shut down the season after just five weeks of play.
We don’t know what The Rock or his business partners plan to do with the company yet, but if properly managed, the XFL could turn a profit: as the company’s former owner’s main business proves, live, so-called “DVR-proof” TV is at a premium, and American audiences can’t seem to get enough football.
Will The Rock be able to generate millions….and millions….of XFL fans? Only time will tell, but we wish The Great One the best in his quest.
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