Randy Orton vs CM Punk: A History of Their Rivalry

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIMarch 29, 2011

The Randy Orton vs. CM Punk storyline has been one of the more interesting feuds since the "Royal Rumble" pay-per-view concluded, and it will finally come to head at this year's star-studded WrestleMania event in Atlanta, Georgia.

Beginning by costing Orton his final rematch against The Miz for the WWE Championship at the "Royal Rumble", CM Punk and The Nexus faction launched their assault on "The Viper". The reasoning behind this seemingly unwarranted interference by the faction would be explained by Punk as justice for the punt in the head Orton delivered to him at Unforgiven in 2008. A kick which would cost the straight-edge superstar his World Heavyweight Championship.

With his title aspirations stolen by Punk, and his "New Nexus", Orton would retaliate on the January 31st edition of "Monday Night Raw", by using his trademark punt on Husky Harris, putting the Nexus member on the shelf until after 'Mania at the very least.

However, if there's any superstar in the WWE who can match wits with Randy Orton, it would have to be the "Second City Saint" himself. At the "Elimination Chamber" pay-per-view Punk would take advantage of a vulnerable Viper, who had suffered Sheamus' "Brogue Kick" finishing maneuver. Shortly after being on the receiving end of Sheamus' debilitating kick, the Nexus leader would take advantage, dragging Orton into the ring and delivering the "Go To Sleep", then eliminating his rival from the match.

With the storyline reaching an almost month long run, and a considerable amount of tension between the two characters, it was finally announced in late February that the two superstars would indeed settle their feud at WrestleMania 27.

To further the anticipation and add a new twist to the rivalry, it was announced by Raw's general manager, that Orton would be facing all members of CM Punk's Nexus in the coming weeks in singles competitions on Raw, culminating in the match at 'Mania. If Orton was the victor of any matches between the Nexus members, they would be banned from ringside when the two clash in Atlanta.

This would lead to some of the most memorable moments of the two's feud, with Orton systematically annihilating Michael McGillicutty, David Otunga and most recently, Mason Ryan with his devastating punts to the skull. The Viper was also victorious in all of his matches between the three, meaning that the WrestleMania show down would be a fair battle between the two, with no outside involvement by Punk's followers.

Punk would extract revenge on Orton two weeks ago Monday on Raw, attacking Orton outside his personal RV, where he focused on The Viper's wounded knee from the parking lot attack just this past Monday night in Punk's hometown of Chicago. The Nexus leader released some of his pent-up frustration from the past month, the showdown in Atlanta.

With only five days remaining, it's safe to say the Chicago native will find himself in the fight of his life against any angry and calculated Randy Orton on wrestling's biggest stage.