Real-life mentalists weigh in: Did John Laurinaitis lie to Triple H?

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August 23, 2011

On Raw Monday night, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis led Triple H to believe that Kevin Nash had suffered injuries in a car accident. By evening’s end, it became clear that the story was merely a ruse to fool the COO into leaving the arena. So the question lingers: Did the EVP knowingly deceive Triple H, or is he simply the victim of bad intel?

We can’t say for sure … which is why we recruited real-life “mentalists” Greg Hartley, a former Army interrogator and the author of "How to Spot a Liar," and Dr. Lillian Glass, an internationally renowned body language expert. After studying the accompanying clip, here’s what our human behavior experts had to say about Laurinaitis’ body language:

Greg Hartley
"Three things make this appear less than sincere to me. First, John’s cadence shifts as he gets to details. It’s as though the brain is editing as the mouth moves. Second, his hands show helplessness and sincerity, but his elbows are at his side, creating a sort of barrier – a classic mistake for someone who is trying to appear to be helpful, but lying in interrogation. And lastly, his words appear to be sincere, but he should have that Amy Winehouse song playing in the background, because he is shaking his head ‘No no no.’"

Dr. Lillian Glass
"I think John Laurinaitis comes across as very sincere. He’s exasperated. He’s legitimately upset. Signs that someone is lying include lip-licking, lack of eye contact, a cracked or monotone voice, stuttering, hesitation or the repetition of words. I also look for a lot of blinking, but John’s eye contact was good. His shoulders were not rounded. His feet were pointed right at Triple H. Those are all signs of credibility."

What do you think: Is John Laurinaitis the unwitting pawn of an unseen puppetmaster, or is he a shifty fraud working for a shadowy intellect? Take another look at this clip with the EVP of Talent Relations, and decide for yourself.

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