On the latest episode of Broken Skull Sessions on the WWE Network, Orton discussed the origins of the RKO with the show's host, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Viper also revealed the boss' reaction when he told McMahon he wanted to name his new finishing move after his own initials.
"Vince is walking in the hallway. We needed a name for this thing. You know, Randy Keith Orton are my initials, and I came up, I'm like, TKO, RKO, this KO, KO, KO, KO, like RKO. Vince, what do you think? And he was just, never skipped a beat, kept walking, didn't change his stride. He said, "I like it." That was it! Next thing you know, it's RKO, RKO. Again, lucky man. Right place, right time."
As we all know, the RKO would go on to become one of the most popular and devastating finishing moves in WWE history. But it was Vince McMahon's quickfire blessing which offered us its iconic title.
"I can't take credit for all these memes" - Randy Orton on the RKO in popular culture
During the conversation with Stone Cold, Randy Orton was clearly appreciative of the success the RKO has brought him throughout his career. But Orton made it clear that it would not have taken off with the level of attention it did without the creative input of other WWE Superstars, who would take the move in inventive ways.
"It just took on a mind of its own, man, and I'm so fortunate to work with so many guys that are so creative in the way that they'll have me hit them with it. I can't take credit for all these memes where, like, I hit it out of a 360... It's their idea, so I can't take all the credit."
Thanks to the memes Orton is referring to, the RKO is one of the few examples of a move from WWE that has broken free of sports entertainment and transcended into popular culture. The Viper is set to face Alexa Bliss tonight at WWE Fastlane.