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The Rock buys The XFL

Dwayne Johnson teamed with Redbird Capital to purchase his old boss’ bankrupt football league.

HBO Ballers Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere and Reception in Miami Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for HBO

Whatever is next for the XFL, the professional football league WWE head honcho Vince McMahon has twice tried to establish, it will continue to have ties to pro wrestling.

That’s because it’s now owned in part by possibly the most famous pro wrestler of all-time. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a principal investor in the group which just bought the league out of bankruptcy.

Sportico reports Johnson and his ex-wife & Seven Bucks Productions partner Dany Garcia teamed with Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital to buy the XFL for $15 million.

Private equity firm Redbird owns a number of sports-related properties, including a French soccer team and a stake in the YES Network, cable home of the New York Yankees. Johnson and Garcia are obviously power players in Hollywood. It’s an interesting skillset for the ownership group, which is said to be split evenly.

XFL 2.0 was off to a promising start when the coronavirus pandemic forced a shutdown, and McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment filed bankruptcy to cut its losses. The league had a television contract with Fox, and it would stand to reason networks & streamers would be interested again once a COVID vaccine makes re-starting a possibility.

The Great One issued a statement to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert confirming the purchase:

“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Danny 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. 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.”

So now we have a Ballers plot come to life. And it should be interesting next time Rocky & Vince run into each other...

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