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Why is the San Antonio XFL team called the Brahmas?

The XFL re-booted with a new team in San Antonio. They have a curious name, but the explanation is pretty simple.

“The Rock”

The XFL is back after a three-year layoff. The league returned in 2020, but had to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic after a solid start. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale purchased the league for $15 million in August 2020 and re-launched the league in 2023.

The 2020 version of the XFL had eight teams and while the Rock re-boot has eight teams as well, several have relocated. Among the teams that relocated is the LA Wildcats who have become the San Antonio Brahmas.

Players aside, the biggest question some fans will have is what exactly is a Brahma.

If you were a wrestling fan in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, you likely recall Dwayne Johnson being referred to as the Brahma Bull. He had a host of nicknames, but that one developed in part because of the bull tattoo on his right arm. He got the tattoo sometime around 1997 or 1998, and it’s not entirely clear if the nickname came after or before the tattoo.

The Brahman is a cow that originated with the Bos indicus cattle, which was originally brought from India. It’s not well-sourced, but wikipedia says the name Brahman was applied to this hybrid breed of cattle by J.W. Sartwelle, secretary of the American Brahman Breeders Association. Brahma is a Hindu god referred to as the creator in the trinity of supreme divinity, alongside Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. It’s unclear if that impacted the naming decision. You can learn more about the breed at Oklahoma State’s breeds of livestock website.

The Rock became known as the Brahma Bull and so it would appear he and his co-owners have elected to apply the nickname to the new XFL team. The league owns all the teams, so they can elect to name them as they so choose.