Less than two months after buying the XFL, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has announced when the league will be making its return. It's going to be happening in the spring of 2022, which means you now have just 18 months to decide which team you want to cheer for.
The WWE legend made the announcement of the return on Thursday, but didn't offer very much information regarding anything else about the restart, like how many teams there will be or where those teams will be located.
"As owners, we're proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season," The Rock wrote on social media. "I'm so inspired to put in the work because football always represented an opportunity to me. Opportunity to take care of my family. And even though my dreams of playing pro football never came true -- I'm in the exciting and humbling position to create opportunities for players so their dreams can come true. It's an uphill battle -- but we're hungry, humble and no one will outwork us."
XFL returns SPRING 2022 🏈— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 1, 2020
As owners, we’re proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season!
It’s an uphill battle - but we’re hungry, humble and no one will outwork us.
A league of culture, passion & purpose. #XFL✊🏾#Spring2022 pic.twitter.com/jY0VWGj33Y
The Rock teamed up with business partner Dany Garcia and Redbird Capital to purchase the league out of bankruptcy court for $15 million in August.
The XFL was originally owned by Vince McMahon, but things went downhill fast for the WWE owner after the pandemic hit. Although the league got off to an impressive start in 2020, the XFL was only able to make it five weeks through its 10-game season before it had to be called off in mid-March due to the pandemic. Less than one month later, McMahon laid off nearly every employee. Shortly after that, the league declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was how The Rock was able to gain ownership of it.
Apparently, the ownership group thought about trying to make a return in 2021, but decided to wait until 2022 because they didn't know if it would be safe enough for a return by next spring, according to XFL president and chief operating officer Jeffrey Pollack.
"For the love of football and for the safety of our players and fans, we'll be back on the field in 2022," Pollack said in a statement. "The opportunity in front of us, with our new ownership, is simply too big to rush back. We want to do this properly with care and thought for everyone who loves football, especially our players, coaches, partners and fans."
Based on his first two months of ownership, it sounds like The Rock is going to be a pretty hands-on owner. Because of that, the league might actually have a chance to succeed, which is something that spring football leagues haven't really been able to do to this point.