For the past few months Becky Lynch has referred to herself as “The Man” but for the past few decades, Ric Flair has also called himself “The Man” when saying “To be The Man, you’ve got to beat The Man.”
That has led to Flair filing to trademark “The Man” at the expense of Lynch and the WWE. Ryback discussed this situation when Wrestling Inc’s Raj Giri joined his Conversation with The Big Guy podcast.
“Becky Lynch using The Man and trying to file that trademark, they’re going to file for that in Wrestling & Entertainment Services to try and sell merchandise and advertise it at wrestling events. It is extremely similar to Ric Flair’s trademark. It is using the phrase ‘The Man’ 100 percent,” stated Ryback. “What Ric Flair is going to have to do is file ‘The Man’ also most likely and put a cancel on their trademark and that is going to drag out for a long time, probably between 12-18 months.”
Ryback speaks from personal experience as WWE refiled for some of his trademarks which will likely result in a lengthy legal battle. He talked about WWE trying their best to obtain ownership of several trademarks he created.
“WWE with my trademark ‘Ryback’, I own ‘Feed Me More’ and I own ‘The Big Guy.’ ‘Ryback’ – we were waiting for them to let that trademark expire that they never had my approval to trademark in the first place because I owned it before I came to WWE. They refiled for that trademark on the last day of the deadline so now what I have to do is I have to cancel their trademark and spend upward of $40,000-$60,000 in attorney fees to fight this to make sure that I get that and it’ll take anywhere between a year and a year-and-a-half from once we filed to cancel their trademark,” revealed Ryback.
“But this is what I explained to people; even Ric Flair, who is friends with Triple H, they’re f***ing pieces of s–t. There is no need – they have no respect for talent over there. The only reason they give a f**k about ‘The Man’ is because they are trying to make money off of Becky Lynch right now. That is all they care about. How much money they make and the talents hardly make s**t from it, so now Ric Flair is going to have to spend this money and what is going to happen is that they are going to punish Charlotte Flair. This is how it works and then they are going to pressure Ric with Charlotte. I guarantee you they play that card against them and they make him feel guilty as a father in all of this. It just sucks because all they have to do is pay Ric Flair a royalty to use The Man is what they should do. He has been using that phrase far before Becky Lynch.”
Ryback then talked about respect in the wrestling business and just stealing someone’s phrase is something that shouldn’t be done. He says WWE doesn’t resepect anyone and that stems from Vince McMahon and his attorneys who Ryback refers to as “a devil’s network.”
He also said that the fallout from the legal proceedings would likely affect Charlotte as well.
“It’s unfortunate. There’s no need. This is what I tell people; what is Ric Flair supposed to do? Just allow them to take what is his? It’s going to affect Charlotte and granted Charlotte has busted her a** all these years and I was there and saw her when she came in. She works very hard as does everybody there, but this is what we talk about with this major corporation and this s**t they try to pull and what I have gotten away with and what I have gotten,” said Ryback.
“I am still over three years gone and they are trying to control ‘Ryback’ so that they don’t have to pay me for YouTube videos. They are making insane ad revenue off of YouTube with all the talent and they don’t pay any of us. They used to use all of my stuff and anybody on that roster they don’t pay them a dollar of social media revenue. That is using everybody’s likeness, and that is crazy, which is one of the reasons they want to own ‘Ryback’ so that they don’t have to pay me royalties for the Network and other s**t because once I own it they are going to have to pay me to use my name. And for them to do that to a guy like Ric Flair where all they have to do is pay him a royalty percentage and Ric would be happy. He even said it, throw him 15, 20 percent. He f***ing came up with it. I don’t get it.”
Ryback then talked more about his legal battle with WWE over his trademarks. He also talked about all of the money WWE makes off social media and YouTube with none of it going to the talent.
“I filed for it already. My trademark is filed as well for it, and what happens is that it all kinds of cancels out on each other. Hopefully, what will happen is once I do own it that’ll be the interesting part on that and what they’ll have to do is eventually pull all of the YouTube videos of me. All I would have to do is report their YouTube videos and they would have to pull them down, but they’ve already made the ad revenue with all of my stuff,” stated Ryback.
“That’s another thing, with the talent, this is what bothers me with them. In 2018 do you know how much they made off of social media revenue? WWE has like 40 something million subscribers on YouTube. They are making millions of dollars off of YouTube, which isn’t going to the talent, and who do they use for all of their YouTube videos? I’m just pointing out facts. It’s just really disturbing what is going on over there. I feel for Ric Flair, but it’s such a f***ed up environment over there with all of that.
“I haven’t seen anything as far as royalties from the WWE Network. I have to look at the next one that comes in, but my royalties have declined substantially every quarter from the last time I left. They were really solid for the first couple of years, but they are almost non-existent.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversation with The Big Guy Ryback with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.