Notes from HHH’s ESPN+ Interview

Obviously you all know the news by now that Triple H has officially retired from in-ring action. This should be is a shock to absolutely no one. He’s 52 with heart issues that can kill you in less than a second.

He broke this news during a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and here are some observations and notable things that he said:

— First and foremost, he looks very good. He’s definitely dropped weight, which is harder to see with him in a suit, but much more evident in his face. I would guess he’s probably down to 220 pounds or less.

— He was on a 12-day work bender from about Summerslam where he was on the road a lot, doing his job. When he returned to Florida he felt run down and thought it might be COVID. He had previous contracted COVID and was twice-vaccinated at the time. It wasn’t COVID, but viral pneumonia.

— Stephanie got concerned when he was coughing up blood and forced him to see a doctor. He had fluid in his lungs. His ejection fracture should’ve been at 60, it was around 20, which is officially heart failure and after an overnight it was at 12, which is basically fighting death.

— He had major blockage in his heart and blockage in the secondary path that his heart had created.

— HHH has heart issues with the men in his family. His Dad had a triple bypass at 62 and both his grandfather (70) and great-grandfather (52) died heart-related issues.

— He puts over the WWE cardiologists and said he never had issues with blood pressure or cholesterol. He described his condition as “touch and go” and he was very close to “go”.

— HHH describes Stephanie (who was on set, but not involved in the interview) as a “rock” during the process. He gets choked up, very choked up, when he talks about his three daughters and the thought process of wondering if he would ever see them again.

(Okay…I admit I stopped for about 10 minutes here…That’s always tough to hear)

— HHH was quiet about his condition because he didn’t want to misspeak and be wrong about something that was a little confusing to him at the time.

— He said he’s done in-ring. He will never wrestle again and with a defibrillator in his chest it’s a really really bad idea. He said he was basically already done. There were plans for him doing something at Wrestlemania, but once this happened that was shut down. He is currently back in the office working and focused on recruiting and development of the future, but his schedule isn’t what it was before due to a lack of endurance.

— He puts over Wrestlemania, the growth of the WWE and new talent coming up like Gable Steveson. His challenge as an executive is continuing to find people that are “larger than life”. Says he believes that Roman Reigns, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair as ones that will be transcendent figures in the business. Talks about The Rock and John Cena as those who have paved the way. Puts over Becky Lynch for refusing to take a back seat to anyone.

— HHH talks about Pat McAfee and doesn’t expect Vince McMahon to play fair. Thinks McAfee will have a great performance against Austin Theory at Wrestlemania. Says he has the gift of gab and can back it up athletically.

— Stephen A. offers himself up as a “bad-guy manager” like Bobby Heenan. HHH said Stephen A. would be awesome at it because “most people want to punch you in the face on a regular basis.”

Bottom Line: It was nice to hear from the man again and he’s always very good at doing media. Clearly this was a life-and-death situation. I’m sure many of us have family members with heart issues or are dealing with them and can speak to the fear. Give HHH’s reputation as a workout warrior, healthy eater that doesn’t drink or do drugs, it’s pretty shocking.

End of the day, I wish him well. I hope he makes an appearance at Wrestlemania and feels the love that I’m sure he’ll get. More importantly, I hope he is able to see his girls achieve their goals in life, walk them down the aisle as they get married, and eventually welcome his grandchildren into the world. That’s the stuff that matters.