The Rock is buying the XFL

After a failed attempt at creating a new football league in early 00s with professional wrestling-style characters and plotlines, WWE owner Vince McMahon took a second crack at making the XFL happen. The rules would differ slightly from the NFL, and all of the teams would be centrally owned, instead of private regional organizations.

This revival was originally announced in 2018, with the inaugural 10-week season set to launch in 2020. And it did begin as planned!…until the coronavirus stopped it in its tracks after 5 weeks of play. Within a month, the brand new XFL had already filed for bankruptcy.

But now — in a move that is strangely poetic, given the subject matter — the league has been saved by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a former WWE star himself. THR reports:

Actor and producer Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale's RedBird Capital have agreed to buy the XFL, the bankrupt football league founded by WWE CEO Vince McMahon.

[…]

At the time of the filing, the league listed assets valued at between $10-$50 million, and liabilities also between $10-$50 million.

“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things - my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans,” said Johnson in a statement. “With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”

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WWE Smackdown without an audience is a like Beckett-esque absurdist theatre

Don't get me wrong — it's fun to be in the audience during a big, zany wrestling match, cheering on the drama both despite and to embrace the kayfabe. But this gloriously bizarre performance art satisfies a very different part of my brain.

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Wrestler dives off shopping mall balcony (VIDEO)

Watch this guy jump off the balcony of a Louisiana shopping mall in the name of wrestling.

What a stunt! Read the rest

Watch this Pakistani boy's WWE fan videos with his action figures wrestling in a homemade ring

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Monday Night Rock. [cue heavy metal theme music] Hosted by Asad Vlogs.” Read the rest

Watch Andy Warhol backstage during World Wrestling Federation event in 1985

Mean Jean Okerlund interviewed the inimitable Andy Warhol backstage at the 1985 World Wrestling Federation event "The War to Settle the Score." Bonus glimpse of Mr. T and also Cyndi Lauper who was all over the big time wrestling scene at the time.

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Badass ladies wrestling: 10 awesome old photos

Starting with this awesome shot of Bettie Page pretend-ladyfighting with a sexy foe, here are some wonderful photographs of female wrestlers from the 19th century through the 20th, all the way up through the '80s and '90s. Read the rest

The fanatical fantasies of pro wrestling fans

UC Irvine researcher Crystle Martin studies what pro wrestling fans can teach us about storytelling, education, and community. What she found is like “fantasy football meets Dungeons and Dragons.” Lissa Soep interviews Martin about the interactive theater of professional wrestling fandom.

The fabulism of Hulk Hogan

Stuart Millard on the demented fantasy world of Hulk Hogan. [Frantic Planet via Charles Wheeler]

Old wrestlers come from a world where there’s no such thing as a lie, just a “work,” where the faces and heels would change in separate dressing rooms, and onscreen personas had to be maintained on the street, to keep up the illusion and protect the business. Consequently they live entirely in fantasy kingdoms of their own making, where the truth is whatever version of the facts is coming out of their mouth at that given moment, repainting incidents from the past like dinosaur hunters crushing prehistoric butterflies beneath their heel

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