Randy Orton's first RKO victim reflects 19 years later

Randy Orton's RKO is one of the most popular moves in WWE history.
Randy Orton's RKO is one of the most popular moves in WWE history.

Tank Toland, the first person to receive an RKO from Randy Orton, recently reflected on his time working with the WWE Superstar in 2003.

Orton defeated Toland in WWE’s Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental system on June 7, 2003. The Viper picked up the win with a Diamond Cutter, which later became known as the RKO. Seconds after the match, he used the move again on Toland before Matt Morgan made the save.

Speaking on Rene Dupree’s Cafe de Rene podcast, Toland recalled how Orton warned him that he was going to use Diamond Dallas Page’s finisher.

“He said, ‘Hey, you know DDP, how he does the Diamond Cutter?’” Toland said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ He’s like, ‘Well, since he’s not with the company anymore, I wouldn’t mind using that, if you don’t mind, as my finisher?’ I said, ‘No, no, not at all. Of course.’ Sure enough, he hit it on me twice that night and they brought out Matt Morgan.” [5:11-5:31]

Toland is best known for his run on SmackDown as James D*ck between October 2005 and February 2006. He teamed up with Chad Toland, also known as Chad D*ck, during that time.

Randy Orton spoke to John Laurinaitis before debuting the RKO

Wrestling legend DDP and WWE executive John Laurinaitis used a variation of the RKO before Randy Orton adopted the move as his finisher in 2003.

Last year, the 14-time World Champion revealed on The Kurt Angle Show that he received permission from Laurinaitis to perform the move.

“He [Laurinaitis] used the Ace Crusher back in the day and he was like, ‘Take my finish, kid,’” Orton said. “And you know Diamond Dallas Page made the move famous as well. So credit to those guys for letting me steal their s*** and make it even better.”

Orton’s tag team partner Riddle has also used the RKO over the last year. On this week’s RAW, he helped RK-Bro defeat The Street Profits after catching Montez Ford in mid-air with an RKO following a top-rope splash.

Please credit Cafe de Rene and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

Poll : Is the RKO the best finisher in WWE right now?


No (please state your favorite in the comments)

339 votes

Quick Links

Edited by Ken Norris
1 comment