Dwayne Johnson is clearly hoping the return of professional sports (as fraught, halting, and audience-less as it has been) will wet America’s whistle for even more extreme game play, as he and his fellow investors have just purchased Vince McMahon’s defunct XFL for $15 million. According to Sportico, the actor and his ex-wife, Dany Garcia, went in on the deal with Gerry Cardinale’s investment firm RedBird Capital to buy the league ahead of an upcoming auction.
After the initial XFL, a collaboration between WWF and NBC led by McMahon, operated a single season in 2001, the WWE CEO resurrected the league in 2018, with its eight teams ready to take the field in early 2020. Of course, the arrival of COVID-19 forced the XFL to cancel its season as of March 12 after five games had been played. On April 10, XFL president Jeffrey Pollack suspended the league. All employees were let go, and on April 13, the XFL filed for bankruptcy, listing the league’s assets as somewhere between $10 million and $50 million.
“I could not imagine a better outcome for the XFL. Dany, Dwayne and Gerry are the best possible ownership group for the exciting journey ahead,” Pollack said in a statement. “Their collective track-record of success in entertainment, sports and media is stellar, and I think our fans, players, coaches, and partners are in for something special.”