WWE Legend Triple H Announces Retirement From In-Ring Competition After Heart Surgery
A WWE mainstay since the mid-'90s, Triple H is retiring from in-ring competition.
Triple H, whose real name is Paul Michael Levesque, confirmed the news in an interview with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN's First Take. In his statement, he explained he made the decision after he was fitted with a defibrillator and decided it was best to end his career before he seriously hurt himself. The health issues he faced last year led to a cardiac arrest that required him to undergo surgery.
“I had viral pneumonia. My lungs were inflamed, and as the next couple of days went on and I got home, it got increasingly worse,” said the 52-year-old WWE star. “My wife [WWE executive Stephanie McMahon] saw some blood and stuff that I was coughing up, and I went and got checked, and it was coming from the viral pneumonia, but I had fluid in my lungs. I had some fluid around my heart so they followed up on it and did an EKG and Echo and everything. Basically, the way your heart pumps out 55-60 percent of your ejection fraction is a good number. I was at 30 percent.”
Triple H said he was close to the ejection fraction that threatens heart failure. “I won’t—I would never wrestle again. First, I have a defibrillator in my chest,” he said. “Which, it’s probably not a good idea for me to get zapped on live TV.”
Triple H signed with the WWF/WWE in 1995 under Vince McMahon. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 along with Shawn Michaels, Chyna, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, and X-Pac.