His belt is suspended. After undergoing heart surgery last year due to heart issues, WWE star Paul “Triple H” Levesque has announced his retirement.
“As for the ring, which I get [asked about] a lot, I’m done,” on Friday, March 25, the 52-year-old told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take. “I would never wrestle again. First of all, I have a defibrillator in my chest. It’s probably not a good idea for me to be zapped on live TV.
The 14-time world champion, whose full interview will air on Stephen A’s World on Friday night, detailed why he decided to step down from the ring, citing a health crisis in the fall of 2021 as the catalyst for his decision.
The professional wrestler remembers suffering from viral pneumonia, which caused his lungs to swell. He got ‘increasingly worse’ after realizing he had fluid around his lungs and heart, saying doctors ordered him to bag and get to hospital as soon as possible.
Before arriving in the emergency room, Triple H’s cardiac ejection fraction was only 30%, when it should have been between 55 and 60%. (Ejection fraction refers to how efficiently the left or right ventricle pumps blood with each heartbeat.)
“By the time I got to the ER, my ejection fraction was down to 22,” WWE’s executive vice president of strategy and global talent development noted during his interview. “I was in heart failure. Bad.”
Prior to his heart catheterization surgery the next morning, Triple H discovered that his ejection fraction had dropped to 12. In November 2021, he underwent heart surgery due to a dramatic drop in the way his heart was pumping.
“[I was] kind of at the one yard line of where you need to be – or where you don’t want to be, really, for your family and your future,” before surgery, the New York native Hampshire has informed Smith, 54, of his health.
As a parent of three children, such panic caused him to reconsider what was essential to him.
“Suddenly I’m coming home, I’m a little sick and [then] their father who is still strong is suddenly in the hospital. I don’t know if they understood the consequences,” Triple H said, noting that he was well aware of the seriousness of his heart issues. “There are times in there where they kick you out for stuff and you think, ‘This is it. Do you wake up from this? It’s hard to swallow. »
He added: “It makes you think about life differently. It doesn’t make you less motivated by the things you do, but it certainly makes you appreciate the things you have more. Your friends and your family.
Triple H’s most recent match was at a WWE live event in June 2019. Later that month, he had his final TV appearance.
The television personality, who made his television debut in the early 1990s as Hunter Hearst Hemsley, continued to wrestle as Triple H on WWE Raw, WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures and WWE NXT until 2021. He has also worked as a producer and director on a number of wrestling-related productions.
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