Legendary WWE performer Triple H walked out of yesterday's Crown Jewel event with a serious injury that will require months of recovery. It's funny the difference about a decade can make. There was once a time when most diehard wrestling fans weren't especially big fans of Triple H, thanks to his marriage to Stephanie McMahon (daughter of WWE boss Vince McMahon), and subsequent near-strangle hold on the WWE's top titles. While even his detractors were usually willing to admit that HHH was talented both in the ring and on the mic, the perception that he used his backstage power to unfairly dominate the onscreen happenings persisted.
At this point though, Triple H has long since ended his career as a full-time in-ring competitor, and now spends most of his time in an executive role for the WWE. His pet project is the NXT developmental brand, which the same diehard fans who used to insult HHH now generally love with a passion, and often consider a more entertaining product than main WWE shows Raw and SmackDown. Triple H is now basically a semi-retired legend, who only steps in the ring on special occasions, and usually to a hero's welcome.
One such occasion was yesterday's WWE Crown Jewel event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event itself has been a controversial one for weeks, since news first broke that the Saudi government had brutally tortured and murdered a reporter named Jamal Khashoggi. Many urged the WWE to cancel the show, but that didn't happen, and the main event saw Triple H team-up with his best friend and D-Generation X partner "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels to battle The Undertaker and his onscreen brother Kane. Unfortunately, the night didn't end well for HHH, who - according to WWE itself - sustained what looks to be a torn pectoral muscle during the match, which will require surgery to repair.
While the nearly half hour-long main event did see HHH and HBK emerge victorious - in what was Shawn's first match since his 2010 retirement bout against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI - it was clear by the end of the contest that "The Game" had sustained some kind of injury. His left arm was seen noticeably hanging at his side during the last few minutes of the match, making his Pedigree finishing move look quite awkward, as it generally requires hooking both his opponent's arms with his own.
WWE's report of the injury doesn't contain a timetable for Triple H's recovery post-surgery, as that will be need to be assessed after he returns to the U.S. and meets with his doctor. Just based on other instances of athletes sustaining this type of injury, a recovery period ranging between 3-5 months wouldn't be too surprising. In the grand scheme, with HHH not being a full-time wrestler, it shouldn't put much of a damper on WWE's current plans, as it's not uncommon for him to go months between matches anyway. Still, the "King of Kings" has to be feeling the pain today.