Retired sports-entertainer Ric Flair is in legal hot water once again after the estate of William Shakespeare filed a lawsuit alleging that Flair’s trademark holler of “woo” is an “unauthorized and egregious misuse” of a term coined by the playwright nearly 500 years ago.

flair lawsuit
Ric Flair (left) employs a vintage woo — so vintage that William Shakespeare may have legal right to it.

Lawyers on behalf of Shakespeare’s estate allege that Flair’s “incessant, crow-like” use of the term woo is “tantamount to plagiarizing” the Bard’s most memorable turns of phrase, such as:

  • “Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.” Much Ado About Nothing
  • “And woo her with some spirit when she comes.” The Taming of the Shrew
  • “Wooing, wedding, and repenting is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty like a Scotch jig.” Much Ado About Nothing

The lawsuit comes at a particularly ironic time for Flair, given that the so-called Nature Boy is himself threatening to sue World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) due to Becky Lynch’s use of the catch-phrase: “To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.”

Even that particular phrase, however, is a “deliberate and unapproved bowdlerization” of a Shakespearean verse, the lawyers allege, pointing to a famous line from King Lear: “Should thou seeketh to become the man, dost thou not first beat the man?” (Chapter III, Verse 16).

Flair is also facing a class-action lawsuit from riders who insist that his Space Mountain ride is decrepit, creepy, and finishes much too quickly.

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