For the past several months, WWE superstar and current Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch has referred to herself as "The Man" - a nickname that has proven a major hit with fans. However, the promotion's right to use the nickname is being contended by WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair.
Flair (real name Richard Fliehr) popularized the saying, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man," which he holds the trademark to. Additionally, he has referred to himself simply as "The Man" since 1981. With Lynch (real name Rebecca Quin) having now repopularized the nickname, Flair evidently believes he deserves compensation.
In an interview with TMZ, Flair explains he previously attempted to come to some sort of amicable, private agreement with WWE, in which he would be paid for Lynch's use of the nickname. However, as Flair tells it, the promotion but the kibosh on such talks. The Nature Boy then took the matter directly to WWE executive and company veteran Triple H (real name Paul Levesque). But according to Flair, a deal was still not reached.
In response, Flair went to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Aug. 26, submitting an application to own the name "The Man" as it pertains to professional wrestling. According to Ric, this move drew the ire of WWE, as well as caused a rift between himself and his daughter Charlotte Flair, who currently wrestles for the promotion.
Flair explains he supports WWE's women's division. Furthemore, he says he has no personal issue with Becky Lynch and, should he be granted the trademark, is more than willing to let her use the nickname - provided WWE pays him. However, he is also willing to pursue legal action if WWE still does not budge on the matter. Flair's reasoning: "I want to take care of my family."
Flair, who celebrated his seventieth birthday this past February, explains he wants to ensure his loved ones are financially secure after he dies. "When I almost died two years ago, one person stayed by me," Flair said, referring to his wife Wendy Barlow. "The whole time -- 31 days in the ICU, 12 days while I was dying on a respirator -- and I'm gonna take care of her, and her family, and my family that has taken care of me no matter what.
"I don't care what WWE thinks of me personally," he continued. "I know they love me, but obviously, they've lost respect for me."