The Rock is bringing the XFL back.
New league co-owner Dwayne Johnson tweeted Thursday morning:
XFL returns SPRING 2022. As owners, we’re proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season! It’s an uphill battle – but we’re hungry, humble and no one will outwork us. A league of culture, passion & purpose.
The owner provided the voiceover for the hype video dropped on Johnson’s Twitter and YouTube channel.
“Some look at this place and only see a football field.”
“But it’s more than that.”
“This is hallowed ground.”
“This is an opportunity.”
“To build a league of culture, passion and purpose.”
“To live a dream.”
“Our work is cut out for us, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“This will be earned, we’ll give it every last ounce of football-loving energy in the tank.”
“And then we’ll give it more.”
“This is for the players, the coaches, the cities, the fans.”
“For stories untold.”
“For potential unrealized.”
“We are hungry, we are humble.”
“And no one will outwork us.”
“The XFL is back.”
“Back for the love…”
Johnson along with Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital Partners were selected as the winning bidder in August for all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL. The XFL assets were sold to Johnson, Garcia and RedBird for approximately $15 million.
“With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football,” Johnson said after the sale was finalized.
Johnson had $7 in his pocket when Wally Buono cut him from the Stamps in 1995 after a two-month practice roster stint. The Rock is now estimated to have a net worth of over $280 million. The Rock’s investment of $7.5 million is mere pocket change for him these days.
Vince McMahon rebooted XFL 2.0 in 2020. There were eight cities with teams: St. Louis Battlehawks; Tampa Bay Vipers; New York Guardians; Seattle Dragons; Los Angeles Wildcats; D.C. Defenders; Houston Roughnecks; and Dallas Renegades. According to ESPN reporter Kevin Seifert, McMahon invested approximately $200 million in the league, which he resurrected in 2018 following a 17-year hiatus.
The league lasted just part of one season before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold, which led to McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling to Johnson and Garcia. Part of the assets include a quickly developed social media presence. The XFL 2020 Twitter account has 369,000 followers compared to the CFL’s 292,500.
The original XFL lasted one full season in 2001. The Rock is working to have it around much longer.