Dwayne Johnson Announces That The XFL Will Merge With Rival League

Spring football has long been a dream for those who had hoped to keep feeding the sport's fandom after the NFL's seasons close out. In recent years, two rival football leagues, the XFL and the USFL, rose up with that purpose in mind — each looking to become the alpha in the equation and become the primary supplier of post-NFL gridiron action. And since neither has emerged as the top dog as of yet, you know what they say: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Today, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson — co-owner of the XFL — announced that both the XFL and USFL had plans to merge together into one spring football league. With a number of hurdles still to get past to make any sort of deal official, the new league aims to "establish best-in class operations" and "anchor professional spring football with substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continues to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together."

Details on the planned merger remain light, particularly on what the new league would look like. Both the XFL and the USFL contain eight franchises each, spread over two divisions. There has been no insight shared as to whether all the franchises would carry on, if some would cease operations, or if new teams would be created. Additionally, what the league would be called — be it the XFL, the USFL, the USXFL, or something entirely different — remains a mystery. 

Johnson, alongside his business partner and ex-wife, Dany Garcia, would purchase the XFL for $15 million in August 2020, after the league filed for bankruptcy under Vince McMahon months earlier. The first season under Johnson began in February and concluded in May. Though the revived league received mixed reviews, Johnson remained optimistic about its future, and a second season had been announced.