Headshrinking Mr. McMahon
If you're one of our fans who has questioned Mr. McMahon's mental stability over the years, his disturbing behavior on Raw, ECW and SmackDown this week has put to rest any doubt: He's insane. Bonkers. Board-certifiably nuts.
It doesn't take a slew of headshrinkers (no, not the tag team from the '90s) to figure out that the WWE Chairman lost his marbles within hours of losing his ECW World Title to Bobby Lashley at One Night Stand. But upon observing Mr. McMahon's spectrum of unbridled emotions, plus the disruptive effect they had on all three brand rosters, one reputable psychiatrist informed WWE.com that no one in World Wrestling Entertainment is safe from these increasing "McMahon-ic attacks."
"Based on the footage I've watched, Mr. McMahon exhibits classic signs that are associated with manic episodes," explained the psychiatrist, who has authored more than a dozen articles on the subject for leading mental health journals. "Inflated self-importance, rapid mood swings, delusions…. Left untreated, these episodes will progressively worsen. He's a ticking time bomb of pent-up rage, and he could explode at any moment."
Because our expert's practice is located in Connecticut, home state to Stamford-based WWE World Headquarters, WWE.com has guaranteed her anonymity; from this point, we'll simply acknowledge her as "Jane Doe, Ph.D.," lest her observations garner any financial (or, dare we say it, physical) retribution from the Chairman's office. Initially, Dr. Doe couldn't understand why WWE.com wanted to conceal her identity…until she witnessed Mr. McMahon's disorderly conduct around his Superstars.
"Clearly, he has issues with those who ‘stand out' in his company," she said. "He's accustomed to being the center of attention, as supported by his self-imposed ‘Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night' for next week's Raw. Seeing anyone else in his spotlight makes him very territorial…and therefore, quite difficult to pacify."
No kidding. On Monday Mr. McMahon, convinced that he was being disrespected and humiliated, ordered John Cena to defend his WWE Championship in a monstrous Triple Threat Match against The Great Khali and Umaga. He also slapped Santino Marella after demanding that the Intercontinental Champion square off against Chris Masters, then set The Hardys up for a tumultuous fall at the hands of Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. Amazingly, Cena and Marella retained their respective titles, though Matt & Jeff—still hurting less than 24 hours after their Ladder Match victory at One Night Stand—lost the World Tag Team Titles to Cade & Murdoch. Worse, the chafed Chairman worsened Matt's misery Friday night on SmackDown, forcing him to compete in what was a valiant but losing battle—a Handicap Match against the WWE Tag Team Champions, Deuce & Domino.
"Beyond hearing what Mr. McMahon's saying, observe how he's saying it," noted Dr. Doe. "His body language not only manipulates others' emotions, but conveys some alarming, vindictive sentiments. For example, on Raw he'd walk around or stand with at least one hand inside his pants pocket. That often denotes a sense of dejection—as when he first walked down the ramp to confront Mr. Cena—or utter disdain, which he showed Mr. Marella and The Hardys."
If the former ECW World Champion was so incensed by Raw's champions, then what brought on his beef with Torrie Wilson and Ric Flair? Why force the injured Diva into a match with Backstabbing ex-boyfriend Carlito, or send a living legend like the Nature Boy up against Randy Orton, who's hell-bent these days on cementing his reputation as the Legend Killer?
"I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. McMahon suffers from some form of sensory hallucination," Dr. Doe answered. "The color gold, which most readily symbolizes WWE's championships, is certainly a trigger point for him. Since he just lost his ECW Title, seeing other championships obviously prompted him to share his own suffering with those titleholders. As for Ms. Wilson, she's blonde—or golden-haired, as one might describe her—and he recognizes Mr. Flair as one of history's most decorated champions, so one could make a connection there."
Sounds crazy to us; then again, it has been that kind of week with the Chairman, what with his uncontrollable facial twitches, uncomfortable leers, incoherent ramblings and the occasional anxiety bouts that at times seemed to hold what many have described as a forked tongue. Were these signs also emblematic of dysphoric mania running wild? "Seeing as I've never held a session with Mr. McMahon," Dr. Doe replied, "it would be irresponsible psychiatry to propose any ‘knee-jerk' diagnosis. But it is certainly possible.
"I was especially concerned by the remarks he made inside his office," she continued. "Telling [Raw Executive Assistant] Jonathan Coachman about some ‘ominous black cloud' rolling in seemed to cause him great physical discomfort. Without discussing these comments with him at greater length, I've no way to determine if he's attempting to expel some internal anger or guilt, or if he's talking about something that's entirely outside his control. Either way, I recommend anyone who's around him to watch themselves."
The Chairman of the Board didn't appear to be in any kind of talking mood at ECW on Sci Fi Tuesday night; all he did was rock back and forth in a chair positioned beside the ECW entrance, looking almost catatonic as his eyes stared forward into empty space. Though he had placed the Superstar who defeated him for the ECW World Title in a Handicap Hardcore Match, the stoic McMahon didn't seem to notice Lashley defeat Sandman, Tommy Dreamer & Balls Mahoney, nor did he bat an eye as the new champion climbed up the elevated podium and held the title in front of him.
"That was distressing," agreed Dr. Doe. "I've treated people whose bipolar disorder has swung their moods within months, sometimes weeks. Yet I can't recall anyone going through that drastic an emotional change in the space of one day."
Dr. Doe might have become even further dismayed had WWE.com spoken with her following Friday Night SmackDown, during which Mr. McMahon's dementia completely about-faced again. As a V.I.P. guest on Edge's segment The Cutting Edge, the Chairman's babblings of "valleys of the shadow" and "Vengeance is mine" had taken aback the World Heavyweight Champion—especially after he was also informed that his title would be on the line in a Last Chance Match against Batista at Vengeance: Night of Champions. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long and Kristal would also incur the unbiased wrath of WWE's lunatic leader, who without provocation deemed their relationship repulsive. But the one who suffered most was dazzling Diva Ashley, who accidentally bumped into him in the locker room area. Left with coffee stains on his shirt and perceived egg on his face, the enraged McMahon accused her of deliberately trying to humiliate him, then indefinitely suspended the teary-eyed Diva.
Based on the evidence, should WWE's Board of Directors fit the bizarre billionaire into an Armani straitjacket, or set him up in a rubber ring? Like any mental health professional worth their salt, Dr. Doe doesn't appreciate callous descriptions like "crazy" or "nuts." "Mr. McMahon is a deeply troubled soul," she said, "though I believe his issues can be worked out through intense psychotherapy and medication. Should he not seek professional care soon, I fear his deep-seeded neuroses may ultimately trigger a nervous breakdown…perhaps even a psychotic break."
What's the difference between the two? Putting it into terms our fans might appreciate, Dr. Doe answered, "Neurotics are those who build a squared circle in the clouds. Psychotics are those who live in it."