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FutureStarrDwayne Johnson Brings the Hype to Opening of XFL 2023
In 2023, the XFL is back with an ownership group led by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Dany Garcia. This time around it's a spring football league and looks much better than its first attempt in 2020.
Vince McMahon founded the XFL in 2001, but it failed to make an impact during its initial run.
The XFL has officially started their 2023 season with a game against the Vipers. Under new ownership led by Dwayne Johnson and business partner Dany Garcia, the league will play its first game against an established opponent for the first time ever.
In 2001, former WWE owner Vince McMahon launched the first XFL version with former WWE owner Vince McMahon at its helm. However, only one season was completed before it was derailed by COVID-19 pandemic that hit both USFL and CFL alike. Now under new ownership with Johnson and his ex-wife Dany Garcia at its helm, RedBird Capital Partners purchased the XFL for $15 million in August 2020.
In 2023, the XFL will feature eight teams divided into two divisions. The North Division includes D.C. Defenders, Seattle Sea Dragons, St. Louis Battlehawks and Vegas Vipers; while South Division includes Arlington Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Orlando Guardians and San Antonio Brahmas.
Russ Brandon, the league's president, noted that this distinction gives players more time to prepare for NFL training camps if that is their ambition. As such, the XFL has an edge over other leagues by wrapping up its season in April and giving athletes extra time to prepare.
Additionally, XFL gives players more time to train and hone their skills before being selected for the draft. Many XFL players have gone on to succeed in the NFL.
Though the XFL has its own niche, it still competes against the USFL for popularity and media attention. The XFL strives to be a league of innovation and entertainment with innovative rules and an enhanced 360-game experience.
The XFL boasts a roster of former NFL quarterbacks, such as Paxton Lynch and Ben DiNucci, that offer plenty of talent on and off the field. But will they be able to overcome an uncertain economic model, fluctuating attendance patterns and fluctuating TV ratings to become truly dominant spring football competition worldwide?
In 2023, the XFL is set to implement some novel rules, including a unique kickoff system which will be broadcast live on social media channels. The league hopes this will prevent it from following in the footsteps of previous seasons which began but eventually folded due to various issues.
XFL 2023 is finally here and Dwayne Johnson - the league's CEO - is getting ready to create some excitement. Recently he posted a photo on Instagram wearing a suit to promote the return of the football league that began in 2001 but had twice disbanded before Johnson and his former wife Dany Garcia acquired it last year.
In July, The Rock was at Jackson State University to attend a showcase event for HBCU players hoping to break into the XFL, which seeks talent that may not have had an opportunity with an NFL team at the beginning of their careers. He noted that XFL is searching for hidden gems whose talent may not have caught the attention of NFL teams yet and are eager to prove themselves.
He further highlighted that the XFL has innovative gameplay innovations that will entice fans to watch more than just games. Rules such as clock management, play reviews and late game possession have been implemented to enhance gameplay and give fans a better experience.
Meanwhile, former Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon is trying to salvage his football career in the XFL. Following an impressive collegiate career with Iowa State, Gordon is eager to help the BattleHawks win their first game this season.
Ben DiNucci is another XFL fan favorite and a former Dallas Cowboy who has stated his intention to get his career back on track. As a Pro Bowler in 2022, DiNucci should find success in the XFL.
Finally, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison should be a key component in the Vipers' offense. After attending the Pro Bowl earlier this off-season, Allison could make an immediate impact in the XFL with his versatility and speed.
The Renegades got off to a slow start in their opener against the Vegas Vipers, but were able to turn things around in the second half. Coach Bob Stoops knew his team had made mistakes early but found ways to convert those mistakes into points - an encouraging sign as they look to build off a promising first half this season.
Dwayne Johnson may be best known for his acting, but the actor and former professional wrestler has no shortage of business acumen. He owns multiple businesses including Teremana tequila, Seven Bucks production company, as well as Under Armor footwear.
This weekend, actor and wrestling great John Cena will bring his latest business venture to fruition when the XFL begins its third season. He and former wife Dany Garcia are co-owners of the league which he purchased last year.
Former NFL hopeful Johnson is striving to provide a route for college players who didn't make it onto an NFL roster. The XFL offers them another opportunity at making it on to the roster, giving them their shot at making the squad they deserve.
On the eve of the opening game between the Vegas Vipers and Arlington Renegades, Johnson amplified the energy with his stirring speech that got people emotional and eager for the league's inaugural season. In the video, Johnson underscored that XFL represents an opportunity for those who had always desired to play professional football.
In the video, he also praised the NFL and declared it to be "the best sport in the world." The XFL provides players with an opportunity to reach this lofty goal.
The XFL has not been without its share of challenges. Started in 2001, it only lasted one season before being shut down by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Vince McMahon revived the league early that same year but unfortunately that season too was cut short by the pandemic.
Under new ownership and led by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital, a third XFL is born. This league will consist of eight teams from Houston, Arlington, San Antonio, Seattle Washington D.C. Orlando and Las Vegas.
For many players in the XFL, playing football is their dream job. Many were once considered "54th men" at NFL training camps.
They must prove they deserve the opportunity if they hope to make an NFL roster, and this is where XFL competition can come into play. The XFL's spring football season, which runs from April-September, provides the ideal time for those players to test out. But the XFL also faces competition from other spring leagues and must navigate a difficult economic model and media environment which does not provide room for expansion.
Dwayne Johnson is one of the most charismatic figures in sports entertainment and Hollywood, making him an ideal choice to introduce XFL 2023. The former WWE star is renowned for his captivating in-ring monologues and outgoing personality; some of his films include The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Scorpion King (2002).
In 2001, the original XFL collapsed after just one season; however, it is back under new ownership and looking to make a comeback. Led by an actor-singer group who bought out bankruptcy last year for $15 million, this season will mark their third installment and kick off this weekend.
The XFL has a television deal with ESPN, and its 2020 season averaged 1.9 million viewers - more than Formula 1 or even some of the highest-profile English Premier League matches.
To cut costs, the XFL will have teams located in hubs where players can live in hotels and practice nearby before traveling for games. This makes the league more authentic and likely to generate greater fan engagement than its USFL counterpart, which follows a similar strategy.
Watch for plenty of talented players on the field, including former NFL quarterbacks who have signed with the XFL in the offseason. Paxton Lynch - a former Patriots QB who spent last season with the Seattle Sea Dragons - is one such name to keep an eye out for.
Ben DiNucci, a Dallas Cowboy who previously played with the Houston Roughnecks, may also be worth keeping an eye out for. He's an energetic football player known for his fierce competition.
Former New England Patriots running back Robbie Gordon is another name to watch out for as he attempts to overcome his struggles in the NFL. With hopes of having an improved experience in the XFL, Gordon could emerge as a major-league star.
With regard to XFL's newest team, the San Antonio Brahmas, The Rock said they have "made it work" and are an excellent fit.
Johnson may be a risk for the league, but it's not impossible for it to succeed. All that needs to happen is getting the right people on board and enough funds for more than two seasons while trying to establish itself in an increasingly challenging media landscape.