The XFL announced that it was holding off playing in 2022 as it was in the midst of negotiations of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the XFL owners and went to Instagram to share his thoughts on the negotiations and look back on his CFL playing days.
"The CFL changed my life," Johnson wrote in the lengthy Instagram post. "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." Johnson went on to write he knew he was going to play in the CFL as well as maybe win a Super Bowl in the NFL. However, the former WWE Superstar was not able to achieve those goals.
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"The CFL sent me home," he wrote. "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. ..."Now I’m back. Same hungry kid, but much different man." Johnson went on to write that he will always support the players and fans as negotiations unfold.
"As an owner of the XFL, our discussions with the CFL have been very exciting," Johnson continued. "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."
Johnson and his business partner Dany Garcia purchased the XFL last year before the league went up for auction. The XFL returned to action in February 2020 before canceling the season in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league originally launched in 2001 under the ownership of WWE chairman Vince McMahon.
"Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field," Garcia said. "A vision filled with opportunity, innovation and the highest level of entertainment value for the benefit of our athletes, fans and communities. The CFL has expressed that similar sentiment and jointly, we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting, innovative football experiences that make the most of each league's unique strengths."