Randy Orton: Ranking the best RKOs in WWE history

  • Ash Rose

Next week Randy Orton celebrates the twentieth anniversary since his debut in WWE

A bona fide future Hall of Famer and fourteen-time world champion, Randy will go down as one the greatest ever to lace up the boots, while his finisher will rank as one of the most popular WWE has ever seen. 

The RKO has taken on a life of its own through Randy’s two decades in WWE, thanks to it’s unexpected nature and crowd-popping delivery. 

GiveMeSport ranks the best RKOs from the esteemed back catalogue of Randell Keith Orton. 

Rey Mysterio

SmackDown 2004 

The earliest example of Randy’s prowess with his signature manoeuvre came at the expense of Rey Mysterio on SmackDown. During a match between Mysterio and Fit Finlay, the Northern Irishman had the referee distracted as The Viper slithered into the ring. As the Master of the 619 jumped off the ropes, Orton caught Mysterio with the RKO to stun the Mexican legend.

After delivering the killer blow, the young arrogant Orton causally walked up the ramp with a smirk on his face that would become all too familiar in years to come.


Raw 2010 

The RKO has become the perfect move to counter Superstars’ high-flying exploits, as Carlito found out in this clash with Orton on Monday Night Raw. After delivering a couple of big boots to the face Randy, Carlito attempted an acrobatic move via a bouncing of both sets of ropes, only to be met in mid-air by an RKO out of nowhere from The Viper. Not the coolest moment for Carlito.


Money in the Bank 2015 

In a match where there’s multiple ladders involved, there’s always potential for something special, but it’s usually reserved for WWE’s high-flyers. However, in this Money in the Bank outing, Orton proved that the RKO can be cleverly executed by way of an assistance from a few steps of steel. 

As Neville climbed the ladder on route to claiming the precious MITB briefcase, Randy ripped the Geordie off the step and as he fell back in mid-air, caught him with a perfect RKO. 

Jimmy Uso

Survivor Series 2021 

While Randy’s current tag team partner Riddle is building his own impressive reel of RKO’s, there’s nothing like an original to show you how to do it – especially when facing one the best tag teams of the decade in The Usos. 

As Riddle lay in the middle of the ring, Jimmy Uso headed to the top rope, ready to hit his signature splash on Randy’s Bro. However, just as he was about to hit his target, Orton raced into the ring and caught the Bloodline member in the only way he knows how…R.K.O. 

AJ Styles

Raw 2019 

These two have waged war on several occasions and perhaps one of the cleverest quirks to their matches, has been Styles obvious awareness of avoiding Randy’s famous spot. However, you can’t avoid the inevitable forever, even when you think you’ve got away with it.

As AJ went to the apron to prepare for his Phenomenal Forearm, Styles stopped himself as Orton set himself to catch-him with you know what. Believing Randy wouldn’t try it on again, AJ leaped off the rope again to hit his finisher, only for Orton to still catch him with the three deadliest letters in sports entertainment. 

CM Punk

WrestleMania 27

An often-forgotten WrestleMania clash from 2011, where Orton was embroiled in a feud with CM Punk and his cronies from The New Nexus. The pair were put on a path to settle things at WrestleMania and the match was lit-up by another classic finisher from The Viper.

As CM Punk headed to the top rope, he launched off the turnbuckle to finish Orton off, but was met halfway down by WWE’s most famous finisher. It was enough to see off Punk and give Randy the win. 

The Undertaker 

WrestleMania 21

A match slap bang in the middle of Randy’s memorable legend killer run, Orton took on Undertaker at WrestleMania as the latest superstar to try and end The Deadman’s famous undefeated streak. And while he may have failed to have beaten the WWE Hall of Famer, he did add another classic RKO to his collection.

The Undertaker went to give Orton his signature chokeslam, but as he lifted Randy into the air, he managed to counter the moved and hit Taker with an RKO. Just a shame it didn’t finish The Phenom off for good. 

Chad Gable

Raw 2022 

Even in 2022, twenty years after he made his WWE debut Randy is still producing killer RKO’s out of nowhere. As this pre-WrestleMania triple-threat tag team barnburner was coming to a conclusion, Chad Gable headed to the top rope to try and hit a moonsault on a waiting Riddle.

However, as Gable was on his way down, Randy did was Randy does best and stunned the Alpha Academy star with another memorable RKO. 

Evan Bourne 

Raw 2010 

The one we’ve all watched over and over again to see just how Orton pulled this super RKO off. Bourne rushed to the ring to attack The Viper, and seeing his moment headed to the top drive to pull of his Shooting Star Press as Orton lay ready in wait, halfway across the ring.

What Bourne didn’t see coming though, was Orton springing up and catching the high-flyer with perfectly executed RKO that always defies belief. 

Seth Rollins

WrestleMania 31

On a night where Rollins would cement his place among WWE’s biggest stars, it began with easily the most famous and impressive RKO of all time. Rollins and Orton went into the match amid feuding within The Authority and what they delivered in the San Francisco sunshine, was poetry in motion.

In the culmination of the bout, Rollins had Randy teed-up in place to deliver his Stomp and gain the victory. However, as his boot hit the head of The Viper, he was flung into the air and then caught on his way down by the deadliest, most iconic RKO, on the grandest stage of them all. 

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