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WWE history: Wrestler hit a perfect RKO in a 1950s match (video)

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The RKO: Then and Now
The RKO: Then and Now

The backstory

Randy Orton debuted in WWE in the spring of 2002, in what is widely regarded as being the greatest class of rookies WWE has ever bagged. The line-up included the likes of John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Batista.

Orton won his debut match on SmackDown, after he shocked an unsuspecting Hardcore Holly in the middle of the ring. Soon after debuting on the blue brand, Orton began using a finisher named the RKO. The signature move consisted of Orton hurling himself up in the air, getting hold of the opponent's head, and bringing it down to the mat in a cool visual.

The move was clearly a modification of WCW Champion and WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page's finisher, The Diamond Cutter. Over the course of the past couple of decades, the RKO has aided Orton in winning several World Titles. Additionally, his finisher has become a popular meme named "RKO Outta Nowhere", as can be seen in the following video clip.


Also read: Rare backstage photo shows Triple H searching for talent in the indies


The original RKO

A short clip has surfaced recently on the web, that's apparently been taken from a match dating back as far as 70 years!

The clip shows a wrestler pretending to be focused on the referee, and then suddenly hitting the unsuspecting opponent with a thunderous move, that eerily looks similar to the RKO. The match apparently took place in Los Angeles, and featured Bob "Crybaby" Corby and Donn Lewin.

Take a look at the clip yourself and marvel at the sight of a cool move that was way ahead of its time.

Check out the clip HERE, or HERE.

The aftermath

The move obviously wasn't something that suited the incredibly slow style of wrestling during the 50s, but was a perfect fit for the fast-paced style of the late 90s, and was brilliantly used by Diamond Dallas Page in WCW. Years later, Orton made an entire gimmick out of RKOing legends and dubbing himself "The Legend Killer".

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