WWE legend Triple H — real name Paul Levesque — announced Friday he will retire from in-ring competition after experiencing health issues in recent years.

Driving the news: Triple H spoke to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Friday about his future in the ring, saying he had a “cardiac event” scare that means he won’t compete again.

  • “For me, as far as in-ring ... I’m done,” he said. “I won’t — I will never wrestle again. First of all, I have a defibrillator in my chest, which it’s not a good idea for me zapped on live TV.”

Details: Levesque opened up about his health issues for the first time since experiencing a cardiac event back in September 2021.

  • Per Cageside Seats, Levesque said he came down with “viral pneumonia” and experienced inflamed lungs. His condition got worse. His heart wasn’t working right so he went to the hospital.
  • “I was in heart failure. Bad,” he said.
  • Levesque said he continued to experience heart issues during his time in the hospital.

The bigger picture: Levesque — who is married to WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon — said seeing the toll all of this had on his family made him realize what to do about his future.

  • “We have three young girls (ages): 15, 13, and 11. Suddenly, I come home and I’m a little bit sick, and their dad, who’s strong, always, suddenly is in the hospital. I don’t know if they understood the consequences of it, but there’s moments in there when they’re putting you out for stuff (pauses to collect himself) and you think, ‘Is this it? Do you wake from this?’ That’s tough to swallow, And makes you think differently ... about life. It doesn’t make you any less driven for the things that you do, but it certainly makes you appreciate the things you have more — your friends, your family.”
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Worth noting: Triple H is a 14-time WWE world champion, which is good for the third-most world championships won all time.

  • He is also a five-time Intercontinental champion, a two-time tag team champion, a King of the Ring winner and a two-time Royal Rumble winner.
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