Triple H Announces Retirement
By Mick Robson
One of the biggest wrestling stars of the last 25 years has officially stepped away from the squared circle. Speaking on ESPN's First Take on Friday, Triple H announced his retirement from in-ring competition. As covered on The Arena previously, "The Game" suffered a cardiac event in September 2021, which has resulted in the former 14 time world champion becoming medically ineligible to wrestle. Although details were vague at the time, Triple H revealed on ESPN that he had viral pneumonia, causing him to cough up blood, and tests revealed fluid around his heart and lungs. Doctors then informed him that he was in bad heart failure, ruling him out of physical action in WWE.
Triple H was a main event player from the latter half of the Attitude Era, which saw him lead the stable D-Generation X before winning his first couple of WWE Championship and aligning on-screen with Stephanie McMahon (who would later become his wife in real life). He continued his run of dominance through the Ruthless Aggression Era in the 2000s, before settling into a part-time special attraction role in the 2010s. Triple H last competed in 2019, wrestling Batista at Wrestlemania 35 and Randy Orton at Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia. His final matches were a pair of house show appearances in Tokyo that June, first teaming with The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) to face Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Samoa Joe. Finally, he teamed with Shinsuke Nakamura to face Robert Roode and Joe.
Outside of a one-shot appearance on Raw in early 2021 where he "brawled" with Randy Orton, Triple H's role in WWE has largely been off-screen over the past couple of years, where he has served in various executive capacities. Most prominently, he was responsible for the revamping of NXT from a game show format to the developmental brand that it became at Full Sail University, producing stars like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Big E, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair. NXT received critical acclaim under Triple H's watch, as Takeover events sold out 15,000 seat arenas like the Barclays Center in New York. Triple H was absent from the NXT brand due to his health as the brand was reimagined as NXT 2.0.
Many current WWE stars have expressed their support for Triple H in the hours since the news came out, including the likes of Rhea Ripley, Tommaso Ciampa and Mustafa Ali. The Arena Media joins them in wishing Paul Levesque/Triple H all the best in this new chapter of his life, and thanking him for his contributions to professional wrestling.