After several decades in the ring, Triple H is retiring from the WWE. On Friday, the 52-year-old wrestler, who was born Paul Michael Levesque, announced that due to recent health issues, he’s decided to get out of the game.
Levesque, who made his WWE debut in 1995 and is a 14-time world champion, went into heart failure last September following a bout with 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.”
Last fall, the WWE legend says he was suffering from viral pneumonia and his wife, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon, noticed he was coughing up blood. Levesque went to the hospital, where doctors discovered fluid in his lungs and around his heart.
“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, with his last WrestleMania match being a win over longtime wrestler and actor Dave Bautista.
The WWE star is leaving behind quite a legacy. In 2019, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame with his late-1990s group, D-Generation X. On top of that, he’s a five-time world heavyweight champion, a five-time WWE intercontinental champion and the winner of two Royal Rumble matches.