The Rock Featured In ESPN Documentary As New XFL Season Prepares To Kick Off


Robert Gunier,Updated: Feb. 16, 2023 10:48 am EST,1,274

This Saturday, another relaunch of the XFL is happening, this time under new owners Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Dany Garcia. Kickoff weekend of the new season has all eight of the league's teams in action, and to whet the appetite of interested viewers and prospective fans, ESPN2 aired a new 30-minute documentary — "Drive to the XFL Draft" — in its early morning hours. According to PWInsider, it focused on the previous iterations of the fledgling football league while offering details of Garcia and Johnson's journey to becoming co-owners. 

ESPN is doubling-down on its XFL coverage — given it is an XFL broadcast partner — with a new series "Player 54" premiering tomorrow on ESPN2 while also being able to stream via ESPN+. The show spotlights the players and coaches of the league as they prepare for the inaugural season. With 53 players carried on the active roster of an NFL squad, the title refers to the player who needs to turn to other alternatives to keep the dream of playing alive, like the practice squad or now a totally different football league like the XFL. 

An XFL game hasn't been played since April 8, 2020 — Week 5 of that particular season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remainder of the season was cancelled. In the aftermath, the league filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to losing "tens of millions in revenue" as a result of the league shutdown. That December, Johnson, Garcia, and RedBird Capital agreed to acquire the league for a purchase price of $15 million.