WWE legend Triple H has confirmed his in-ring career is over because of a heart condition that nearly ended his life.
The 52-year old - real name: Paul Levesque - explained the seriousness of his recent health issues in an interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
It's the first time Levesque has spoken publicly regarding his problems, which were first highlighted by a brief press release in September of last year. At the time, WWE merely said he underwent a "successful procedure" following a "cardiac event".
The performer told Smith that he's had a defibrillator implanted in his chest, and that the days of Triple H the performer are over.
Confirmation that he's wrestled his final match came a day after the 30th anniversary of his debut for Killer Kowalski's IWA promotion, under the name of Terra Ryzing.
Levesque was catapulted to worldwide fame in the mid-90's when he swapped WCW for WWE, and in 2003 he married Vince McMahon's daughter, Stephanie.
Opening up on last year's health issues, he told Smith he was suffering from a viral pneumonia.
"My lungs were inflamed," he added, "And as the next couple of days went on, when I got home, it got increasingly worse.
In an interview with @stephenasmith, @TripleH officially announces his retirement from in-ring competition. pic.twitter.com/MQcBAIb4gv
— First Take (@FirstTake) March 25, 2022
"My wife saw some blood and stuff that I was coughing up... and [I] went and got checked and... it was coming from the viral pneumonia, but I had fluid in my lungs. I had some fluid around my heart.
"So they followed up on it, did an EKG and echo [echocardiogram] and everything, and basically the way your heart pumps out, 55-60% of your ejection fractures is a good number - I was at 30.
"I got a quick text message saying, 'Don't take time, pack a bag real quick - head to the emergency room'.
"So by the time I got to the emergency room my ejection fracture had gone down to 22. I was in heart failure - bad."
He revealed that number plunged to 12% by the next morning and he was "nosediving and at the 1-yard line of where you don't want to be for your family or your future."
To hardcore fans, he was a polarising figure with the received wisdom being his rise from solid mid-card performer to world championship level coincided with his marrying into his boss' family. He also earned a reputation for personally halting the progress of other performers, while using his position with the company as leverage.
While he had only wrestled sporadically in recent years, the 14-time former world champion's final match of his career has proved to be a meeting with Randy Orton on a January 2021 episode of Monday Night Raw.
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