Ric Flair has some ongoing trademark issues with WWE and Becky Lynch over her usage of The Man over the past year. He talked about those as well as his personal website, RicFlairShop.com when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"I haven't looked at it lately as my wife runs it, but she's got just about everything imaginable for sale on it with my name on it. She's gone into business with people that have approached her and has acquired a whole new line of merchandise," Flair said before listing many of the newer items his wife Wendy has put up. "She's got a black American Express; that's intimidating enough."
Flair was then asked if he handled his own merch sales when he was at his peak.
"No, not at all. I never handled it and I think we sell more merchandise now [than when I was wrestling]. I missed that era as I was still in the NWA when that stuff started with Vince. He deserves all the credit for starting that merchandise empire that WWE has and makes millions of dollars off of. [WWE Superstars] can make a living on that alone if they are in the top 4-5," stated Flair who was then asked about wrestlers taking more control of their brands.
"Everyone has become aware in the last couple of years of how important it is to trademark and own your own name. They prepare themselves for the future because as we all know it can last two years, 10 months or in my case 47 years. The key is to be able to walk away at the end of it and if you've been successful then have some control of your name through trademarks."
He then mentioned all of the sayings he had and how he can't trademark them all. He then stressed the importance of being able to carry your brand into the future.
"Sooner or later you're gonna be on your own and if you're not then you wanna make sure you have that available to your children and family, if need be, which is my goal now," said Flair.
As for those trademark issues he has with WWE, Flair stated that he's pleased with the way things are going at the moment.
"I'm happy with the progress [laughs]. I don't wanna get credit for starting this but I notice a bunch of people are doing it now," Flair said of wrestlers filing for trademarks. "I want people to know this before they start spending money – I spent 40 years building that brand. So much of it was when brand development wasn't part of the demographic to be successful in wrestling.
"I never thought about today in the 80s and it's come a long way. If I had someone marketing me the way Wendy does or WWE does back in the 80s then there would be a difference in income streams."
He added that it's a full time job staying on top of your merch as new things come up every day. He also praised his wife Wendy for the work she does and says she could be working for WWE if she wanted to.
"Every man wants to have a woman with her own income [laughs]. I'd never seen that before – not taking a shot at anybody [laughs]," said Flair who then talked more about Wendy who played Fifi the Maid in WCW.
"She's made way for myself in her world. You take the home healthcare on top of the hospital stay and rehabilitation stay and the number is astronomical as to money I had to pay after insurance. I had to pay it off within a year to go in for that second surgery. When people bring up the world 'thankful,' I can't say it enough to so many people but especially her."
Flair then put over how she takes care of all the kids on top of him. He tried having a nurse for a week but it didn't work out as it was always different people on different rotations.
"Cost wasn't an issue but it was just different people all of the time and you would always have to explain your life story," said Flair. "Wendy took that on full time. And trust me, treating a patient with a stoma, there is a degree with that separate from nursing. So add the two Masters she has and give her a Doctor's degree in ostomy nursing."
Flair's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview Flair discusses the status of his trademark issues with WWE, pro wrestlers controlling their brand, how he's holding up physically, Tully Blanchard's work in AEW with Shawn Spears, feuding with Hulk Hogan going into WWE Crown Jewel, Batista going into the WWE Hall of Fame, Roman Reigns' leukemia promo, Corey Graves' criticisms of Charlotte's WWE booking, comparisons between Andrade and Eddie Guerrero and more. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.