News broke Wednesday afternoon that Paul “Triple H” Levesque had returned to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, telling people at the facility he was “back.” “The Game” suffered heart failure due to viral pneumonia back in September and had been slowly moving back into his full-time role with the company after months of recovery, with Shawn Michaels overseeing the NXT 2.0 developmental brand in his absence. It wasn’t clear if Levesque’s message meant he would be running the PC and NXT once again, and while the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer wasn’t able to outright confirm that he did say on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio that Levesque has “more power” within the company once again.
“He was just there. He said that he was back. He didn’t say what exactly that meant. I asked some people there, and they said that he just said things are happening, and he can’t talk about them right now, but he’s back. That’s basically it, whatever it is will come out in the days to come, but nobody knew exactly what he meant by that. Was he back running NXT? Perhaps. Is he back with more power? Yes. He does seem to have more power now. We’ll see what that all means,” Meltzer said.
The news came one week after The Wall Street Journal dropped its report about Vince McMahon being investigated by the WWE Board of Directors for paying millions of dollars to allegedly cover up an affair with a former employee. Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter and Levesque’s wife, has since stepped in as interim CEO and Chairwoman of the company.
“No no, my foot’s not off the gas. I suppose in some manner I have to step back a little bit. I’m still in recovery, and my endurance isn’t quite what it used to be before,” Levesque told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in March. “Right now I’m back, I’m at the office. I’m fully focused on recruiting and development of our talent in the future. Whether that’s building more performance centers. Whether that’s finding the next young stud that’s out there, male or female, like Gable Steveson. Recently two time NCAA Champion Gold Medalist at the Olympics right, his next step is in WWE and with us, it’s finding that, it’s creating that future, and that’s the biggest focus for me and as we move forward from there, it’s making sure that WWE is a success for generations to come.”