Triple H is retiring from WWE after almost spending three decades in the ring. On Friday, the 52-year-old wrestler, born Paul Michael Levesque, announced his retirement from the sport owing to recent health difficulties.
Levesque, who debuted in the WWE in 1995 and is a 14-time world champion, suffered heart failure in September after contracting viral pneumonia.
“I will never wrestle again,” Levesque, who is also an executive vice president with WWE, told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN‘s First Take. “First of all, I have a defibrillator in my chest, which, you know, probably not a good idea for me to get zapped on live TV.”
The WWE veteran claims he had viral pneumonia last fall, and his wife, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon, observed he was coughing up blood. Doctors noticed fluid in Levesque’s lungs and around his heart when he went to the hospital.
“I was nose-diving and sort of at the 1-yard line of where you don’t want to be really, for your family and your future,” Levesque recalled. “There’s moments in there when they’re putting you out for stuff and you think, ‘Is this it? Do you wake up from this?’ That’s tough to swallow and makes you think differently.”
Levesque hasn’t wrestled since 2019, when he defeated longtime wrestler and actor Dave Bautista in a WrestleMania match.
The WWE superstar has a long and illustrious career ahead of him. With his late-1990s outfit, D-Generation X, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019. He’s also a five-time world heavyweight champion, a five-time WWE intercontinental champion, and a two-time Royal Rumble winner.