The Rock’s football league set for bombshell XFL-USFL merger

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a football player at the University of Miami before he was a WWE pro wrestler, an actor, or a businessman. As such, it wasn’t a surprise when he bought the floundering XFL spring football league. Now, after the league’s first season under Johnson’s control, there is an announcement of a groundbreaking XFL-USFL merger.

“Scoop: Football leagues XFL and USFL in talks to merge,” Axios reporter Sarah Fischer tweeted on Tuesday. “The merger would be structured as a merger of equals and would require regulatory approval — The leagues hope to combine before the 2024 seasons.”

Both the XFL and USFL are leagues with a long history but also with a history of failure after just a few short seasons. The original USFL ran from 1983-85 and has been active for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The XFL, started by former WWE CEO Vince McMahon, has played in 2001, 2020, and 2023.

This merger now gives spring professional football a legitimate chance to succeed in the United States. No NFL alternative has ever truly flourished, but with the joint resources — and media deals — of these two leagues, there is now a real possibility that the new venture will have staying power.

There is no word about what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s role will be with the new league, but Axios is reporting that “Game broadcasts of the combined league are likely to be split between Fox and XFL media partner Disney, according to the source. The USFL also has a broadcast agreement with NBC, although it’s not yet been determined if that will continue.”

The report says the official announcement of the XFL-USFL merger could come as early as next week.

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