Few people in the world today know more about professional wrestling than Paul Heyman, “The Wiseman” of The Bloodline and the special counsel to none other than “The Tribal Chief,” Roman Reigns.

A 30-year pro of the business, with experience running one of the most legendary promotions of all time in ECW and managing some of the top stars of all time like Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and CM Punk, Lesnar knows a thing or two about making Superstars and just how important finding the right schtick for a top star can be to cementing themselves as an all-time legend instead of simply the flavor of the week.

Sitting down for an expansive, three-hour interview with Rick Rubin on his Tetragrammaton podcast, Heyman explained how Reigns' signature catchphrase, “Acknowledge Me,” came into being and how it captured the hearts and imaginations of the WWE Universe.

“That's just Roman. He stumbles on to things. The ‘Acknowledge Me' was a stumble. We were trying to figure out, you know, what does he really want? His first storyline as champion was with his cousin, Jey… Roman had said, ‘Well, you know what I really want from Jey? I don't want his love, I have that. I don't want his admiration. I don't even want his obedience. I'll take that from him. You know what I need? I'm The Head of the Table. I am The Tribal Chief. I need him to acknowledge me. The moment he said it, we all got chills because we knew this is bigger than this moment. This is the declarative statement, this is the definition of the character. What does the character want? What does The Tribal Chief need? What does The Head of the Table seek? Acknowledgment. It's emotional,” Heyman said via Fightful.

It's emotional indeed, as it not only perfectly explains the signature apathy Reigns has for the WWE Universe, but it, in turn, makes the crowd feel like they are an important part of the act, cheering on a performer they once booed mercilessly in a real culture shock that felt nearly unimaginable a few years back. And the best part? Heyman had plenty more to say on the matter too.

Paul Heyman explains the power of Roman Reigns' acknowledgment.

Digging deeper into the power of “Acknowledge Me,” Paul Heyman explained the importance of having an “alpha male” catchphrase to becoming a top-tier WWE star but noted that Roman Reigns' spin on the time-honored tradition is more of a plea, urging the crowd to feel involved in the experience and, in turn, the act too.

“That's the bottom line because Stone Cold said so. Alpha male statement. If you smell what The Rock is cooking, same thing, very alpha male, very declarative, very boss, very dominant. What you gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you. In other words, you're hopeless. You're helpless. There's nothing you can do. … These are prison declarative statements. Rest in peace. That means you're dead. You're dead motherf**ker. You're against The Undertaker. You're gonna die at the hands of The Dead Man. Roman's catchphrase… it's needy. The most confident performer. The best-looking man. The guy that looks like a champion. The one guy that can handle Brock Lesnar. The D1 athlete. A second-generation Samoan American wrestler, and he's needy. He's a Tribal Chief. He's the Head of the Table. He runs the family. He's the biggest star, but he's needy. He needs you to acknowledge him. Please acknowledge me. I'm not here for your love. I'm not here for your affirmation. I'm not here for you to cheer my name. I just need you to acknowledge me. It's unbelievable. It puts the power in the audience to react any way they want,” Heyman said.

“There's no command. It's a plea from a man who doesn't beg. From a man who rules. From a man who commands the Island of Relevancy. Please acknowledge me. Please, just acknowledge me. I don't just want it, I need it from you. When you do it, do it authentically. Going back to George Michael and Freedom 90. Going back to the Big Dog being manufactured by the corporate structure and the branding and the marketing and the global push of the machine of WWE. We are encouraging the audience's reaction to be genuine. Do not respond to us as villains or heroes. Respond to us any way you want, but respond to us. Acknowledge us. Please acknowledge us in any way that you want, as long as you do. The most dominant force in WWE, and it's a plea.”

While every gimmick Paul “Triple H” Levesque and company unleashed on the WWE Universe doesn't always go over or stick around as intended, with Austin Theory's near-200-day championship reigns still incredibly “meh” in the eyes of fans of the promotion, Heyman described just how special Reigns' reaction has been over the past 1,000-plus days, telling Rubin that fans have truly helped to make the Universal Champion into the “Tribal Cheif.”

“The reactions are always incredible because it empowers the audience to be real. It empowers the audience to be themselves. It empowers the audience to be their own Tribal Chief and say or do anything they want, and the most powerful performer in the industry in decades, is asking you, pleading with you, please do this.”