WWE legend and executive Triple H said Friday that he will never wrestle again after experiencing serious heart issues.
In a snippet of his interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith for Stephen A’s World, which aired Friday on ESPN’s First Take, Triple H said he has a defibrillator in his chest and will never wrestle another match again.
Triple H also described the genetic heart issue he experienced in September, which resulted in him undergoing a procedure.
The 52-year-old WWE Hall of Famer explained that he had gone into heart failure before doctors discovered what was wrong:
“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. 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. I got a quick text message saying don’t take time, pack a bag real quick and head to the emergency room and I’ll fill you in on the way. So, by the time I got to the emergency room, my ejection fraction had gone down to 22 percent, which, ya know, I was in heart failure.”
An emotional Triple H added that things were so bad for a time that he was “at the 1-yard line” in terms of being close to death until a procedure helped save him.
Known by the nicknames The Game, The Cerebral Assassin and The King of Kings, Triple H is one of the most popular and successful Superstars in WWE history.
Since joining the company in 1995, Triple H has won 14 world championships, putting him behind only John Cena and Ric Flair on the all-time list.
While Triple H has primarily been focused on the executive side of things in recent years, specifically running NXT, he was still a part-time wrestler who occasionally competed in matches at big events.
His last match on record was a street fight against Randy Orton on the Jan. 11, 2021, episode of Raw, although that was more of a brawl than a real match.
Before that, he wrestled a couple of matches at WWE live events in Japan and faced Orton at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia in June 2019.
Triple H’s 23 WrestleMania matches are the second-most in WrestleMania history behind only The Undertaker, and his final one will go down as WrestleMania 35 against longtime friend, partner and rival Batista, which was also Batista’s final match as a pro wrestler.
Although Triple H’s in-ring career is over, he will undoubtedly have plenty to offer WWE in the years to come from a behind-the-scenes perspective.
Triple H is the son-in-law of WWE chairman Vince McMahon and is considered a strong candidate to take over control of WWE along with his wife, Stephanie, whenever Vince decides to hand the company down.
Triple H’s official title with WWE is that of executive vice president of global talent strategy and development, and he has had a substantial backstage role for many years, even while he was an active wrestler.
While Triple H has left an indelible mark on the wrestling business as an in-ring performer, he has a chance to be even more impactful as a leader of today’s Superstars.