Ric Flair, Becky Lynch and WWE have been talking about who has the right to call themselves “The Man” ever since Lynch first referred to herself that way during her 2018 summer program with Ric’s daughter Charlotte. Flair has of course described himself by the term in the past, most famously in his “To be the man, you gotta beat the man” promotion on Ricky Steamboat.
Ric didn’t trademark “The Man” until after Becky started using it, and the fact that she continued to call herself that until she took a hiatus from WWE in 2020 made most of us assume that Flair failed to get the rights. to secure, or any of the legal action he threatened.
But in recent months, Lynch has stopped using “The Man”, instead calling herself “Big Time Becks”. It seemed like it could just be part of her heel turn and character evolution.
In many of his semi-regular shots at Becky on social media and his podcast, The Nature Boy hinted that he had won the battle with Lynch & WWE over “The Man”. The last Wrestling Observer Newsletter more or less confirms that. It is not clear whether the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Flair rights, and there has been no mention of a court decision. But Dave Meltzer notes that WWE has given up fighting with their two-time Hall of Famer over “The Man.”
I guess they thought they couldn’t beat the man, so Becky Lynch can’t be The Man*.
* At least on television. There’s still quite a bit Lynch “The Man” Merchandise on WWE Shop, but most of that has been discounted, so the company could step out of the fray there as well.