XFL co-owner Dwayne Johnson says league will resume play in 2022: ‘It’s an uphill battle’

The XFL is making a comeback.

After its inaugural season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, the spring football league will resume play in 2022, according to a video posted by league co-owner Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on Twitter on Thursday morning.

"It’s an uphill battle," Johnson wrote in a caption for the video, "but we’re hungry, humble and no one will outwork us."

This will technically be the third iteration of the XFL, which was created by wrestling executive Vince McMahon in 2001 but lasted only one season in its initial form.

McMahon then revived the league more than a decade later as a complement to the NFL, with hopes that there would be enough football fandom in the United States to support both a spring and fall professional league.

XFL returns SPRING 2022 🏈

As owners, we’re proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season!

It’s an uphill battle – but we’re hungry, humble and no one will outwork us.

A league of culture, passion & purpose. #XFL✊🏾#Spring2022pic.twitter.com/jY0VWGj33Y

With eight newly-branded teams and well-known football executive Oliver Luck running the operation, the XFL made its debut in February and saw glimpses of promising crowds and television ratings. Then, one month later, the spread of COVID-19 prompted the league to cancel the remainder of its season and lay off its entire staff.

Its parent company, Alpha Entertainment, later filed for bankruptcy. And Luck has since sued McMahon for wrongful termination.

Amid the legal fallout, the XFL and its assets were put up for sale. A group including Johnson, business partner Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital Partners purchased the league's parent company in August for roughly $15 million.

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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