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Wrestling world honors Triple H as the WWE legend announces his retirement

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Triple H announces retirement from in-ring competition (2:47)

Triple H talks with Stephen A. Smith about undergoing heart surgery in September and says he is done performing in the ring. (2:47)

After more than 30 years in pro wrestling, Triple H is calling it a career. He announced his retirement on ESPN's First Take on Friday.

Triple H, whose real name is Paul Levesque, started wrestling in 1990 and made his WWE debut in 1995 after two years in World Championship Wrestling. Levesque began his career with a "blueblood" character going by Hunter Hearst Helmsley with a finishing maneuver known as the "Pedigree."

He won 14 world championships and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019. Levesque, 52, went into heart failure last September and hasn't performed since 2019.

"... I have a defibrillator in my chest, which, you know, probably not a good idea for me to get zapped on live TV," said Levesque, who is also an executive vice president with WWE and married to Stephanie McMahon, WWE's chief brand officer.

"... There's moments in there when they're putting you out for stuff and you think, 'Is this it? Do you wake up from this?' That's tough to swallow and makes you think differently," he said.

News of Triple H's retirement brought out stars from around pro wrestling to sing his praises.