Triple H announced his retirement from in-ring competition on ESPN during an appearance on the show First Take with Stephen A. Smith.
The full interview will then be released via Stephen A’s World on ESPN+ later tonight.
As we’ve noted, Triple H suffered what was said to be a very serious cardiac event last fall, and has been away from the job since then. WWE announced on September 8 that he underwent successful heart surgery the week before that at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT.
It was stated that the operation was needed after Triple H suffered the cardiac event, caused by a genetic heart issue. WWE’s statement noted how Triple H was expected to make a full recovery, and since then it’s been reported that he is doing well.
He has done some WWE work in recent months, but he still has not returned to the daily workload that he had before.
During an appearance on First Take earlier today (via Fightful), Triple H spoke about his health issues, noting that he almost died and now has a defibrillator in his chest. He added that he is now retired from in-ring action and can never wrestle again. Here are highlights:
On the heart issues that almost killed him: “From the viral pneumonia, I had fluid in my lungs, fluid around my heart. They followed up on it, did an EKG. 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. 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. We 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.”
On his status as a wrestler: “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.”
Triple H’s final match as a wrestler was teaming with Shinsuke Nakamura to defeat Samoa Joe and Robert Roode at a live event in Tokyo, Japan in June 2019.