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The Rock Buys the XFL, Better Hope He Can Make Investment Back Selling Copper Wiring from Stadiums

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson might need to hire a better investment manager. The most electrifying man in sports entertainment just spent millions of dollars of his own money, along with funds from investment partners, to buy the XFL for $15 million, according to TMZ.

Apparently Johnson thinks he can turn the XFL into a real sports league, which seems unlikely seeing as how the league has gone bankrupt twice now.

The XFL was founded by WWE owner Vince McMahon during what was known as the Attitude Era of the wrestling league, when it was marketed to young adults and featured more violent stunts, sexier angles with female talent and more “adult” themed storylines.

The XFL was basically a football-themed expansion of this type of marketing, with rules that encouraged hits that would draw a penalty in the NFL as well as the kind of showboating the NFL discouraged at the time. McMahon said at the the time that the NFL was the no fun league and the XFL would be the extra fun league.

The problem with this is that pro wrestling is seen as fake and that perception carried over to the XFL. Now, pro wrestling does involve some pretty impressive athletic feats and wrestlers do risk injury, so it’s not fake, but the results are pre-determined and even though the XFL wasn’t, it was hard for people to accept McMahon’s involvement in a sport that was entirely fair. Also, a league made up of players who weren’t good enough to make it in the NFL just didn’t feature play that was as fun to watch as the NFL.

Then there was the 2020 return of the league. It’s not McMahon’s fault that it was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the only thing we really heard about it was that players weren’t allowed to kneel during the national anthem. During the time the XFL was out of business, we also learned about CTE and how practically everyone who plays pro football has it, so that “we want to encourage harder hits those pussies in the NFL won’t allow” mentality was never going to fly. The NFL also shed their uptight rules against excessive celebrations years ago, so the relaunched XFL came across in the media as ironically being more conservative than the NFL.

XFL history aside, though, only one competing football league to the NFL has ever had any success, and that league was the AFL. The way the AFL found success was to merge with the NFL, and teams from the pre-merger NFL comprise five of the six winningest franchises in the league over 50 years later.

Basically, the best that The Rock can hope is that the XFL makes an impressive enough showing under his ownership that when it collapses it gives him enough cache in the world of legitimate sports that he can buy a real team in a real league. Maybe the Denver Broncos.

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