The RKO, occasionally “outta of nowhere,” is one of the most famous and most loved moves in WWE today. With the RKO as his not so secret, but still so deadly weapon, Randy Orton has won 14 World Championships, the Intercontinental Championship and every other major title that there is to win in the WWE. Often more than once.
However, it wasn’t until the intervention of John Laurinaitis that Orton adopted the move, having previously been using the Overdrive.
Speaking on the latest edition of the Broken Skull Sessions with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Orton recalled the origins of the RKO and what caused him to add the move to his arsenal.
“I’m so fortunate to work with so many guys that are so creative in a way that they’ll have me hit them with it. I can’t take credit for all these memes where I hit it out of a 360. It’s their idea. As far as the move goes, there’s the Diamond Cutter and the Ace Crusher. [John Laurinaitis] had my back. I was trying the Overdrive and it was hurting my shoulder a bit, which had already been fixed up. Laurinaitis was like, ‘Do the Ace Crusher.’ I said, ‘Okay’ and changed it up a little bit. Holy shit, thank you Johnny because now I can hit anybody with, from anywhere. Not set up, no nothing, just ‘boom’ and it happens. The first night I was doing it on TV, it may’ve been against Hurricane Helms, Vince is walking the hallway and we needed a name for it. My initials, Randy Keith Orton, and I came up ‘TKO, RKO, KO’ what do you think? He never skipped a beat, kept walking, never broke stride, ‘I like it.'”
Heading into WrestleMania Orton is going to need all the help he can get as he prepares to face The Fiend Bray Wyatt one more time.
The pair have been embroiled in a feud for months which saw The Fiend disappear after being set on fire by The Viper at WWE TLC in December 2020. During Wyatt’s absence his co-creator of chaos Alexa Bliss continued to taunt Orton leading to a match between the two at WWE Fastlane. As the match drew to a close, The Fiend then emerged through the ring to take out a stunned Orton.
After a confrontation between the two on the following night’s edition of Monday Night RAW, the match for Raymond James Stadium and WrestleMania 37 was confirmed.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.