The Rock, investor group, purchasing remnants of McMahon’s XFL 2.0
Actor and former WWE superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is part of a group that is purchasing the remnants of Vince McMahon’s XFL, which declared bankruptcy in April after an abbreviated first season.
“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 — my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans,” said Johnson, who played football at the University of Miami from 1991 to 1994, and had a two-month stint with Calgary Stampeders in the CFL in 1995, before turning to wrestling.
The purchase price is pennies on the dollar for what McMahon reportedly invested in the startup: $15 million.
McMahon put an estimated $200 million into the second iteration of the XFL, which had a one-year run in 2001.
XFL 2.0 got out to a solid start in the TV ratings, averaging more than 3.12 million viewers per game on ESPN, ABC and Fox in its first weekend of action in February.
But by Week 5, the last week of games before the COVID-19 shutdown, the XFL had lost 62.8 percent of its audience, to an average of 1.16 million viewers per game, and was set to be challenged on TV by the NCAA Tournament and the start of the MLB season
Johnson and his investment partners have not yet indicated their plans for the league’s future.
“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.
Story by Chris Graham