Triple H announces retirement, talks health issues
WWE Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development Paul “Triple H” Levesque appeared on ESPN’s First Take this morning for an interview with Stephen A. Smith. The full interview will air later tonight on “Stephen A’s World” via ESPN+.
Triple H issued the first significant update on his health since the cardiac event that he suffered last fall. He noted that he suffered a bout of pneumonia, which got worse and worse to the point of coughing up blood. His wife, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, suggested he get checked out, and doctors found fluid on his lungs and around his heart. Tests revealed that his Ejection Fraction, a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving your heart each time it pumps, was at 30 when the level should be around 50-60.
It was at that point he was told to pack a bag and go directly to the emergency room, but by the time he arrived there, the Fraction was down to around 20 and he was suffering from heart failure.
The level was down to 12 by the next morning, which is near death, and at that point doctors were planning a heart cauterization. He talked about how things “got really real” because of how bad his condition was, and the fact that he has a family at home. He had moments where he wondered if he would wake back up, and said everything made him think about life differently. Triple H became emotional when talking about how things like this make you appreciate life, friends and family more.
Triple H was then asked about his future. He announced that he is done with being an in-ring performer, which WWE has since officially announced. He stated that he’s done and will never wrestle another match as he now has a defibrillator in his chest. He joked that it’s probably not a good idea to “get zapped on live TV.”
Triple H did note that the issues were not related to COVID-19, but due to a genetic heart disorder.
If Triple H truly never wrestles again, his last bout would’ve been the Street Fight that ended in a No Contest against current RAW Tag Team Champion Randy Orton on the January 11, 2021 RAW. His last standard match came at the June 29, 2019 WWE live event in Tokyo, Japan, where he teamed with Shinsuke Nakamura to defeat Samoa Joe and Robert Roode.
There’s still no word on if, and when, Triple H might return to his daily duties with WWE talent and the WWE NXT brand, but we will keep you updated.
Stay tuned for more from Triple H and tonight’s full interview with Smith.
— WWE (@WWE) March 25, 2022