Former WWE star Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson purchases XFL American football league

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Photo credit: Getty

Former wrestler and Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson has teamed up with ex-wife Dany Garcia and investment company RedBird Capital Partners to buy the XFL for US$15 million, hours before the bankrupt American football league was set to be auctioned.

They were selected as the winning bidder for "substantially all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC" - parent company of the XFL.

The XFL, a reboot of the 2001 league of the same name, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, a month after it had to cancel the remainder of its inaugural season, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are grateful for today's outcome," XFL president and chief operating officer Jeffrey Pollack says. "This is a Hollywood ending to our sale process and it is an exciting new chapter for the league. 

"[They] are a dream team ownership group and the XFL is in the best possible hands going forward."

The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing on Friday.

The brainchild of Vince McMahon, the XFL 2.0 was the second attempt by the World Wrestling Entertainment chief executive to provide an NFL alternative to American football fans.

Johnson and his ex-wife Dany Garcia
Johnson and his ex-wife Dany Garcia Photo credit: Getty
Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon Photo credit: Getty

Popularly known as 'The Rock', Johnson is famous for his roles in popular movie franchises such as the Fast & Furious and Jumanji.

"With gratitude and passion, I've built a career with my own two hands and will apply these callouses to our @xfl2020 brand," Johnson tweets. "Excited to create something special for the fans!"

The 48-year-old was a college football player at the University of Miami and went undrafted in the 1995 NFL Draft, before eventually switching to wrestling.