Triple H might be taking a more active role with WWE after having stepped back following his surgery for a "cardiac event."
John Pollock of POST Wrestling reported Wednesday that Triple H was at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and told people there "he's back."
The 14-time world champion announced his retirement from in-ring competition in March. While a number of notable wrestlers have returned after hanging up their boots, this one seemed more final.
Triple H explained to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith he had a defibrillator placed in his chest and added it's "probably not a good idea for me to get zapped on live TV." He also said his health scare changed his perspective on life.
With that in mind, it's highly unlikely The King of Kings was teasing his return to active wrestling. More plausible is him assuming a larger role behind the scenes with NXT again.
Wrestling Observer Live's Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer reported last September that WWE chairman Vince McMahon and WWE official Bruce Prichard would be guiding NXT moving forward.
The NXT 2.0 rebrand followed. Beyond changing the overall look of the show, NXT 2.0 emphasized WWE's desire to build its own stars rather than leaning on experienced wrestlers who cut their teeth on the independent circuit.
A number of longtime NXT stalwarts have either moved up in WWE or left the company altogether. While NXT 2.0 hasn't engendered the kind of devotion the "Black and Gold" era did, Triple H told The Athletic's Chris Vannini in April he supported the overall vision:
"Then we said, OK, let’s reboot it and go back to what we originally were. Some of these people won’t be ready for television, but we’re gonna put them on television, and we believe the audience is invested enough that the numbers might come down, but a core group of them will stay, and now you’re creating fresh stars all the time. That’s where we are now. The numbers have stabilized. [...]
"We were talking about this shift anyway. That’s where we were headed. It happened at a period of time where I had to leave for a bit. ... I stepped out, did what I needed to do, but that team has killed it. They’ve really created a show where you can really say that’s the next generation of stars."
A change in Triple H's backstage duties would come at a difficult time for WWE.
The Wall Street Journal's Joe Palazzolo and Ted Mann reported McMahon allegedly had an affair with a WWE employee and agreed to pay her $3 million as part of a nondisclosure agreement over alleged misconduct.
A WWE spokesman said the relationship was consensual, and McMahon's attorney, Jerry McDevitt, said the employee didn't level any accusations of harassment against the chairman.
WWE subsequently announced McMahon was temporarily stepping down as CEO and chairman pending an ongoing investigation into the matter.