Wrestling legend Ric Flair said he's filed a trademark application for the term "The Man" and is trying to work out a private agreement with WWE for its continued use by Raw women's champion Becky Lynch before considering legal alternatives if the company isn't willing to pay him for it.
Flair told TMZ Sports in an interview released Thursday that he's discussed the situation with Triple H, a longtime wrestler and current WWE executive, but they weren't able to reach a financial deal.
Lynch began calling herself The Man during a feud with Charlotte Flair, Ric's real-life daughter, last year. It was an instant hit with fans and became her trademark nickname during her rise to stardom, which culminated with a victory over Charlotte and Ronda Rousey in the WrestleMania 35 main event.
Ric Flair admitted to TMZ that his desire to receive compensation for the nickname, which he used alongside the Nature Boy during his storied career, has caused a rift with his daughter.
The 70-year-old 16-time world champion has dealt with a variety of health issues in recent years, including a monthlong ICU trip in 2017, and said his main focus is making sure he can provide his wife Wendy Barlow and family financial security after his death.
"When I almost died two years ago, one person [Wendy] stayed by me," Ric Flair said. "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."
He added: "I don't care what the WWE thinks of me personally. I know they love me, but obviously they've lost respect for me."
Ric Flair said he'd still allow Lynch to use the phrase if his trademark application is successful as long as WWE compensates him for it.