Triple H has announced he is retiring from in-ring competition following a recent health battle related to a genetic heart disorder.
The WWE superstar made the announcement in an appearance on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith. The full interview will air on Stephen A’s World tonight (March 25.)
Triple H said, “For me, as far as in-ring, I’m done. I will never wrestle again. I have a defibrillator in my chest, which it’s not a good idea for me zapped on live TV.”
The clip of Triple H announcing his retirement has yet to make it online, but per multiple media outlets — including Fightful and Forbes — Triple H detailed his recent bout with viral pneumonia and led to him going into heart failure.
“From the viral pneumonia, I had fluid in my lungs, fluid around my heart. They followed up on it, did an EKG,” said Triple H. “Basically, the way your heart pumps out, it’s 55 to 65 percent of your injection fracture is a good number. I was at 30 (percent). I had a quick text message saying, ‘don’t take time, pack a bag, we’ll head to the emergency room. I’ll fill you in on the way.’ By the time I got to the emergency room, my ejection fracture had gone down to 22 (percent). I was in heart failure. Bad.”
He continued, “By the next morning, as they figured that out in the evening, the next morning as I was setting in to get an MRI done and about to go in for a heart cap, my ejection fracture was down to 12 [percent]. I was nose diving and at the one-yard line of where you don’t want to be. For your family and your future, when they tell you it’s 99%, it gets real.”
He added, “We [wife Stephanie McMahon] have three young girls; 15, 13, and 11 (years old). Suddenly, I come home and I’m a little bit sick, and their dad, who is strong, always, suddenly is in the hospital. I don’t know if they understood the consequences of it, but there are moments in there when they are putting you out for stuff and you think, ‘Is this it? Do you wake up again?’ That’s tough to swallow. It makes you think differently about life. It doesn’t make you any less driven with the things you do, but it certainly makes you appreciate the things you have; your friends and your family.”
Triple H will go down as one of the biggest stars in WWE history as a 9-time WWF/WWE Champion, 5-time World Heavyweight Champion, 5-time Intercontinental Champion, winner of the 2002 and 2016 Royal Rumble and many other accolades. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 as a member of the iconic D-Generation X faction.
In recent years, Triple H has been an integral part of the WWE in an executive role most notably creating NXT, the WWE developmental arm of the promotion.