Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Has Bought The XFL
Actor and former WWE wrestling superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has acquired professional American football league XFL.
The 48-year-old wrestler-turned-actor made the announcement on social media, and even though did not confirm as much, is rumoured to have paid a cool US$15 million for the franchise. The XFL had no other option but to in March cancel the remaining 5 games out of the 10 games originally scheduled, and eventually on April 13 filed for bankruptcy protection.
Johnson is in fact the head of a group of investors that includes his ex-wife and business partner Dany Garcia, as well as RedBird Capital Partners. The group is the legal entity buying the league.
Johnson Not Its First Lifeline
The league played its inaugural season back in 2001 – and flopped directly after. It was only resuscitated recently when it was relaunched on the back of a $200 million investment by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Despite the fact that spring professional leagues have been known to experience quite a bit of difficulty surviving in the US, the XFL attracted quite a bit of hype during its first couple of weeks back in the game. But by Week 5 (and this was the week leading up to the global health crisis explosion), it had already managed to lose at least half of its starting audience.
Throughout the 5 weeks of play, XFL teams averaged only as little as 20.5 points per game played. This led to 12 of the 20 contests falling way below the projected points total. And it’s also this “failure to launch” that have many speculating about whether or not the XFL will eventually provide itself a worthwhile investment – even to a high-profile star such as Johnson.
Saving The XFL From Bankruptcy
In his statement confirming the deal, the actor said that the plan was to apply his own successes achieved in the entertainment world to the just-gone-bankrupt football league. Johnson added that he was looking forward to creating a special experience for everyone involved with the league – and for everyone with a “love of football”.
According to a report previously run by a prominent US sport broadcasting agency, the XFL plans on drawing into its corner younger and more energetic quarterbacks in 2021. This probably means that it will no longer be throwing good money after bad talent – even when that talent takes on the persona of the likes of Matt McGloin and Landry Jones. McGloin and Jones both flopped horribly last season while playing for the XFL.