Team names for the next 2023 season of the football league were revealed by XFL co-owner Dwayne“The Rock” Johnson on Monday.
The D.C. Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, and St. Louis Battlehawks, along with the Seattle Dragons, who have added Sea to their name, will be three direct carryovers from the 2020 season.
The Vipers have migrated from Tampa Bay to Las Vegas, the Guardians from New York to Orlando, and the Renegades have made a modest change from Dallas to Arlington.
The San Antonio Brahmas, who take the place of the Los Angeles Wildcats, are the only brand-new team.
Also revealed are the new logos for the teams of the XFL.
Half of the XFL’s 2020 regular season was played before the COVID-19 epidemic forced the cancellation of the remaining games.
Five months after the league folded, in August 2020, a group led by Johnson, his business partner Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners paid $15 million to buy the XFL out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Vince McMahon, former chairman of the WWE, owned the league in both its 2001 and 2020 incarnations.
The XFL returns in 2023
The XFL stated in May that its 2023 season will begin on February 18, six days after the NFL Super Bowl, and that all games would be broadcast on the ESPN network family.
Johnson said the XFL is looking for hidden diamonds that might not immediately catch the eye of NFL organizations. Johnson attended the league’s HBCU showcase at Jackson State in July.
“Looking at places that are generally overlooked and even the ones that are looked at, for example, like a Jackson State when scouts come here, and they look, and they see, and they evaluate the players,” Johnson told reporters. “Well, now we come along, and we want to evaluate the players, but maybe there is an opportunity here. Let’s explore, let’s dig deeper.”
Leagues like the XFL can be a great testing ground for players on the perimeter, even though none of the spring football leagues over the years have truly developed as an NFL alternative.
After the league’s dissolution, dozens of players who competed in the condensed 2020 XFL season went on to earn deals with the NFL or CFL.
Russ Brandon, president of the XFL, had stated that the league aimed for a mid-November draft, but no official date has been revealed in the wake of team name revelations.