Charlotte Flair & Andrade File Trademarks For New Ring Names
There’s been a lot of talk lately of wrestlers filing trademarks. Cody has been trying to trademark every Dusty Rhodes creation that he can for quite some time. Luke Harper has recently filed a trademark for his old indy name, Brodie Lee, further making clear his intent to leave the WWE and work elsewhere. Now, something similar has come up, and it’s potentially the biggest story of this ilk yet; one of WWE’s many power couples, Charlotte Flair and Andrade have each filed for trademarks for ringnames, and not their WWE ones!
Per Fightful.com, Charlotte Flair has looked to trademark the name “Ashley Flair” – Ashley being her real first name – and “The Queen of Wrestling”, a nickname you probably won’t see on a WWE shirt. On the same day, her boyfriend Andrade trademarked “El Sombra”, which was his ringname from 2007 to his WWE signing, as well as the nickname “El Idolo”.
These trademarks are all two fold, one for merchandise rights and one for actively using as a performer.
This will kick up much speculation to say the least, and rightly so.
That Andrade might be thinking about life outside of WWE is hardly surprising. He’s still only 30, an extremely talented and charismatic performer that has stalled for a good year and a half on the main roster, and has a litany of high level options. He could go back to CMLL where he’d no be treated like a returning hero. He could go to New Japan and play on his roots as a founding member of the original Los Ingobernables, either joining Naito and co. or fighting against them. Alternatively, he could join up with AEW who have already shown a propensity for featuring lucha stars like Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix – Andrade was successful enough in NXT to know that he doesn’t have to give up on hitting big in America.
There’s no wrong option for La Sombra, and no reason not to try and make as big a name for himself as he can.
With Charlotte Flair on the other hand, that one’s a bit of a shocker. She was not high on many’s lists of potential jumpers. Trained through the Performance Center and coming up through the developmental system, she would be seen as something of a WWE lifer. But she IS a Flair… wrestling is in her blood, perhaps moreso than purely WWE itself.
It could perhaps be said that she’s achieved all she’s going to achieve in WWE.
She’s an 11-time Women’s Champion, holder of four different singles women’s titles. Each of these are feats she alone holds. She’s also one of the three women in wrestling history to have headlined a WrestleMania. Sure, there’s women’s tag titles, Rumbles and MITBs, NXT reunions and headlining Takeovers and such that she could still look into… but none of it’s gonna be as big as she’s been thus far. And perhaps more prudently, it’s clear that Becky Lynch is WWE’s top women’s wrestler and that likely won’t change until she’s ready to retire. Which, Becky’s 32 so that’ll probably be a while.
Charlotte herself has plenty left as a top flight women’s wrestler at 33 and does seem like the type to never settle for being second best. It’s safe to say that wherever she would theoretically end up outside of WWE, she’d be the biggest name female competitor there the second she steps foot in the door. Right away she’d be the top woman in AEW right now, and that’s no knock on that division – lot of talent there, but not a ton of name value. They could really use someone like her for certain.
Whilst I think Andrade’s most tempting options personally might be with coming back to Mexico or breaking into Japan, the fact that the two of them are doing this together might suggest that they plan on leaving for a specific destination to come in at once. And if that’s the case, AEW would have to be the frontrunner.
It’s all just speculation of course, but as a huge fan of both, it’s certainly some exciting speculation!
It should be noted that it’s not currently public when either Andrade or Charlotte’s deals expire.
Andrade joined WWE in late 2015 and may well have been renewed last year, but that depends on how long the initial deal actually was. Charlotte first signed with the company in 2012 and has likely been through a number of contract cycles by now. Both of them are people I can’t imagine WWE would let go easily, but I feel the need to point out that it would not at all be a wise decision filing for trademarks like this if you’re going to be staying with the company for much longer. It sends a pretty stark message to your employers – independent contractees? – and could change your status within the WWE overnight.
To me, it’s not something you do unless you’re quite set on leaving and aren’t too far away from the day it happens.