As previously noted, the LLC owned by Ric Flair filed for rights to the name on August 26th of this year. The nickname has been adopted by current WWE RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch.
"I'm glad that I'm having this opportunity to clear the air. When I first saw this ['The Man' Becky Lynch] thing go down in August 2018, I thought, 'Cool, 'The Man' - my gimmick - versus my daughter, Charlotte.' Okay, that's the day it started, right after SummerSlam. I thought, cool. I said, 'I'm going to make some money; it's my trademark and they have it to use.' I've been saying it's [been mine] since 1981," Ric explained. "So I got my worded statement, I sent [WWE's lawyer] a text and the lawyer, who just has no respect for me whatsoever which is something I'm not going to deal with much longer, he said, 'You're wrong. It's not even close.' I said, 'It's not even close?' So, boom, I sent him another text, he didn't respond. So I had my lawyer call him and he blew off my lawyer. This is all in 2018 or in January of '19."
Flair also mentioned how his daughter, Charlotte Flair, has been upset with him during this process. He hopes that his daughter and people alike will understand that the decision was centered around providing for his family.
"I told Hunter, 'Hunter, I'm going to file.' I mean, the reason they don't have [the trademark for 'The Man'], it's my understanding that it's because it's too close to mine... I told Hunter, 'Hey, if push comes to shove, I'm going to file for it.' I mean, I get it, but here's the deal: I love Becky Lynch, and no one has supported the women's division more than me as an outsider. As a matter of fact, I told the guys that I would have texted Becky last night and Sasha, but I'm sure Becky - I don't know what the WWE's spin has been to her. They stole it last night," Flair explained.
"It's funny, my daughter is so mad at me because I filed, not even understanding that it's not Becky. I have no beef with Becky. But here's the deal: when I almost died two years ago, one person stayed by me the whole time for 31 days in ICU, 12 days while I was dying on a respirator, and I'm going to take care of her and her family, and my family that has taken care of me, no matter what. I don't care what the WWE thinks of me personally; I know they love me, but obviously they have lost respect for me," Ric continued. "If I don't win, and even if I won, Becky can have [The Man] all day long. I'm glad! But I want the company to pay me for it because I'm going to take care of my family. I am going to be 'The Man', and if I don't get it, you know what my tombstone will say? 'He died trying to be The Man'."
Lynch did eventually catch wind of Ric's trademark filing, and she commented on Twitter, "I am The Man."
Flair has since responded, tweeting out, "To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat THE MAN! #AlreadyTrademarked"
Flair last appeared on WWE television at the RAW Reunion in late August. WWE is promoting a host of legends for the SmackDown 20th Anniversary show on FOX on October 4th, however Flair is not currently advertised for it.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit TMZ with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.