Former WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took to Instagram to issue a lengthy statement on his XFL league entering into collaboration negotiations with the CFL (Canadian Football League).
As noted earlier, both leagues issued a statement and announced that they are having formal talks ahead of “opportunities for the leagues to collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football.” The planned 2020 relaunch of the XFL will likely be delayed due to these talks. You can click here for the full report from earlier, along with the statements from league officials.
The XFL, formerly owned by WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, was sold last fall to a private equity group that is led by The Rock. Rock later said the relaunch season would be an uphill battle, but they were focused on the league. The Great One has somewhat of a history with the CFL as he signed with the Calgary Stampeders after going undrafted in the 1995 NFL Draft, following a successful run in college at the University of Miami. The Stampeders cut Rock from the team during his first season, and shortly after that he started training for a pro wrestling career. He would sign with WWE in 1996 and the rest is history.
Rock noted in his new Instagram statement that being cut by the CFL was the greatest thing that ever happened to him, as it set him on a path that has brought him right back to the league years later. He noted that they are looking to help create even greater and bigger opportunities for players and fans, adding that his loyalty will always lie with the players and fans as an owner who’s had his hands in the dirt before.
Stay tuned for more on the XFL’s future. You can see Rock’s full statement below:
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.
I was still grateful to a man who would eventually become a mentor and friend, Wally Buono for even giving me the opportunity.
I had $7 bucks.
But it’s funny how sometimes life comes full circle.
Now I’m back.
Same hungry kid, but much different man.
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.
I’ll keep you posted as our XFL/CFL discussions unfold.
Got your back.
So yes, the CFL changed my life, in ways I could’ve never imagined [folded hands emoji] [Canadian flag emoji] [football emoji]