Who invented the RKO? The innovators behind sports-entertainment’s best maneuvers

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March 26, 2013

Who invented the Texas Cloverleaf?

One of the most effective submission holds a Superstar can use, the Texas Cloverleaf was made famous by Dean Malenko in the late ’90s. The Man of 1,000 Holds used the leglock to torture opponents into giving up, stretching every tendon between the neck and knees. He even inspired Sheamus to use the cloverleaf as his go-to hold after the Brogue Kick was banned. But while the Florida native made the move famous on a worldwide stage, it was another renowned grappler who invented this agonizing hold.

Second-generation star and WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk Jr. is credited with the invention of the Texas Cloverleaf. A master of the mat already, Funk added the hold to his vast arsenal of submissions, which included The Funks’ famed Spinning Toe Hold. The Cloverleaf served Funk well, helping him capture the NWA World Title, along with many regional singles and tag team championships.

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