XFL

XFL 3.0: "The Rock" Says It Can Work

XFL 3.0: "The Rock" Says It Can Work

Everyone knows about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s resume, and very few out there can compete with it. His success in the ring and at the box office is well known around the world, but now we will see how successful he can be in a different area: professional sports league ownership.

Johnson is part of a group that recently purchased the XFL out of bankruptcy from WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon’s private company “Alpha Entertainment.” McMahon had relaunched the XFL earlier this year but had to halt operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, it will be up to “The Rock” and his group to reimagine the league and what it can be heading into 2021 and beyond. A lot of that will apparently fall on Dany Garcia, Johnson’s ex-wife and business partner who led the way in this acquisition.

No mention has been made of when the XFL could return to the field, but the league could end up being somewhat of a “proving ground” for student athletes like Virginia Tech defensive back Caleb Farley, who have opted out of the 2020 college football season, especially in today’s uncertain climate. This worked for former West Virginia safety Kenny Robinson, who played for the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks and ended up being drafted in the 5th round by the Carolina Panthers.

RELATED: VT’S FARLEY OPTS OUT OF 2020 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON

"Even though it was only five games, I've played on a high level that the other college guys haven't," Robinson said in an interview before April's NFL Draft. "I played with people who were in the NFL. I was coached by NFL coaches. There's nothing you can replace that with. A lot of guys can't get that. And I've been around veterans and learned from those people."

With the Rock’s group now backing the league and Johnson’s passion for the sport having played for the University of Miami in the early 1990’s, the XFL version 3.0 has a real chance to succeed whenever it decides to kick off.

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Reports: Group including The Rock purchases XFL for $15 million

Reports: Group including The Rock purchases XFL for $15 million

Pending court approval, the XFL has a new home. 

According to multiple reports, a group including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson purchased the XFL for $15 million Monday. Sportico was the first to report the news. 

"The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that's rooted deeply in two things," Johnson said in a statement. "My passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans. 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."

RELATED: THE ROCK HAS HIS OWN NAME IN MIND FOR THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM

The XFL's inaugural season in 2020, was deemed a success by many, though the coronavirus pandemic cut the year short before the playoffs began. In early April, the league suspended all operations and laid off its employees in response to the pandemic. 

Now it appears the XFL has new life, and under new ownership, could get back to where they were in the winter as a near-perfect complement pro league to the NFL. 

One question comes to mind, however. Will Johnson change the DC Defenders to the DC Ballers? We know he's already high on that name.  

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Report: ESPN and FOX noncommittal about future involvement with XFL

Report: ESPN and FOX noncommittal about future involvement with XFL

The XFL 2.0 was off to a promising inaugural season this spring before the novel coronavirus pandemic halted the season in its tracks. Now, with a sale on the horizon in an attempt to save the league, two of the XFL's biggest contracts could be in trouble.

ESPN and FOX, the league's two TV deals, want their contracts with the league renegotiated prior to the XFL's sale, according to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. More specifically, the two companies were noncommittal about moving forward with their contracts under new ownership, particularly with the departure of Vince McMahon.

In a court filing obtained by Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily, ESPN cited the credibility and success of McMahon in the past as a major reason they agreed to the contract originally. 

"The image and ultimate success of the XFL are heavily linked to the efforts, resources, and reputation of Vincent McMahon," ESPN’s lawyers wrote. "If Vincent McMahon and his team of professionals are not running the XFL enterprise, then a key consideration for the (contract) has disappeared, and ESPN cannot be compelled to join in a partnership with an assignee absent ESPN’s express consent."

Additionally, FOX wrote in court papers last week that the league agreed not to sell until their contract is renegotiated, The Athletic reports.

An auction for the XFL is set to begin next week. The league is hoping to pass the current TV contracts along to the next owner, according to The Athletic.

In March, the league was forced to cancel the rest of the season due to the pandemic. Two weeks later, the XFL suspended its operations and laid-off employees. Shortly after that, the XFL filed for bankruptcy.

Behind former Ohio State star Cardale Jones, the DC Defenders had gained significant popularity in the nation's capital. Playing at Audi Field, Defenders' home games were one of the most electric atmospheres in the entire league. 

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