The XFL was a fun thing that happened this year before COVID-19 caused it, and any hope of its success, to shut down before it really even got started. Which was too bad for people who like football. It wasn't great football, but it was good enough, which is more than any other startup league has managed since the original XFL of the early 2000s.
After what appeared to be some questionable business practices by Vince McMahon, the XFL was slated to go up for auction today. Until a certain former McMahon employee-turned-Hollywood-mogul swooped in with a venture capital partner and purchased the league hours before it was supposed to hit the market. Say hello to one of your new XFL owners, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Per Sportico:
"The XFL has been sold to a group that includes former WWE star Dwayne “The Rock’’ Johnson, giving the bankrupt football league the kind of star power that may draw even non-sports fans. Johnson, an actor and producer who played college football at the University of Miami, teamed up with Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital to buy the league just hours before a planned auction was scheduled to begin. They paid $15 million, splitting it evenly. Johnson’s business partner, Dany Garcia, who is also his ex-wife, will be a stakeholder as well."
Johnson was clearly inspired by his role in HBO's Ballers. Or perhaps his role in The Game Plan. There's a lot to choose from, but this definitely could mean good things for the XFL. Fifteen million isn't a gigantic investment for a football league and Johnson is, at the very least, a big football fan. He also spent years in McMahon's WWE universe, which will only help him in his pursuit to build up the league's relevancy. Or so I'd imagine.
It's also The Rock, so who knows what we're going to get here. Maybe he'll suit up. Probably not, but that would be awesome. The XFL isn't dead yet!