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WWE legend Triple H retires following heart surgery

Jason Burgos

WWE legend, and 2019 Hall-of-Fame inductee, Triple H retires from professional wrestling following recent heart surgery.

“I will never wrestle again,” Paul Levesque, AKA Triple H, said on a Friday appearance on ESPN’s First Take. During his interview on the show, Levesque detailed how a battle with viral pneumonia eventually led to doctors discovering he had fluid in his lungs and around his heart. His condition then led to heart failure since the organ was only working at a fraction of its normal strength.

“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,” said Levesque. “There are 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.”

Triple H retires from WWE competition at 52

triple h retires, wwe
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Levesque revealed a defibrillator has since been inserted into his chest to help deal with the altered condition his heart is now in following the failure last year. “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,” he said.

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As explained by HopkinsMedicine.org, an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), “responds to irregular life-threatening heart rhythms from the lower chambers of the heart with pacing that corrects a fast rhythm and promotes a normal heartbeat, or a shock (defibrillation) that resets the heart rhythm to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. An ICD also records and stores information about your heart rhythm and therapies delivered by the ICD for your doctor to review.”

Levesque began his run in WWE in 1995 as the Greenwich, CT “blue-blood” Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Eventually, through his alliance with top star Shawn Michaels, he would help to form the legendary faction known as D-Generation X. During his distinguished career he was a five-time Intercontinental Champion, three-time world tag team champion, two-time European Champion and a fourteen-time world champion.

Before his recent health issues, Triple H still competed on occasion for the promotion up until the last few years. His final match was an untelevised bout in Tokyo in June 2019. His last televised match came several weeks earlier against longtime rival, and former Evolution stablemate Randy Orton.