The Rock has opened up about potential talks between the Canadian Football League and his own XFL and says being cut by the CFL was the best thing to happen to him.
The XFL was resurrected in 2018 by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. McMahon had previously set up the league in 2001 but the league did not last past its initial season. This incarnation would see only five rounds of games played in the 2020 season as it was suspended indefinitely on March 12th, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A matter of weeks later, the league would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after laying off all staff.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was part of a consortium alongside RedBird Capital and business partner Dany Garcia that would buy the XFL out of bankruptcy. Johnson had previously competed in the Canadian Football League as part of the Calgary Stampeders. A football career was not on the cards for Johnson, however, as he was cut from the team’s roster during his first season.
News of talks between XFL and the CFL broke this week with the XFL stating on social media:
“The Canadian Football League [CFL] and XFL have entered into formal talks to identify potential opportunities for the leagues to collaborate, innovate and grow the game of football.”
“The XFL 2022 season is on hold pending the outcome of our conversations with the CFL.”
The Rock took to Instagram to post a statement where he noted the importance of the CFL in his life:
“The CFL changed my life.
When you have nothing and you’re scratching and clawing for everything you can get – all in the spirit of making your football dreams come true.
You become the hardest worker in the room.
You will not be denied.
I knew in my heart I was going to make it in the CFL – and parlay that into a very successful career in the NFL.
Maybe even win a Super Bowl…
But neither of those dreams came close to coming true.
Truth is, I just wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t my time.
The CFL sent me home.”
Rock would continue, noting that his loyalty lies with the players of today as well as the fans:
“As an owner of the XFL, our discussions with the CFL have been very exciting. There’s a real pulse here because you can feel the unique opportunity we can potentially create together.
Wherever it all leads, I can tell you this one is personal to me and is driven by all my passion – because me being cut by the CFL was the greatest thing that happened.
It set me on a path that years later would lead me right back to the league.
To help create even greater and bigger opportunities for all our players and all our fans.
As an owner who’s had his hands in the dirt – my loyalty will always lie with the players and fans.”
Another milestone in the life of The Rock has come to light. The 11th of March, 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of ‘The Great One’s’ first ever professional wrestling match.