Since emerging as the leader of The New Nexus, CM Punk has made plenty of enemies on Raw, but none of his adversaries are quite as dangerous as Randy Orton. With the rivalry between The Viper and The Second City Savior escalating exponentially in recent weeks, it seems there is only one place where their myriad differences can truly be settled: WrestleMania.
After The Viper and his Legacy cohorts cost Punk the World Heavyweight Championship in September 2008, the unforgiving Straight Edge Superstar launched a long-gestating premeditated attack against Orton at Royal Rumble, preventing WWE's Apex Predator from attaining The Miz's WWE Title.
In the weeks that followed, it became increasingly clear that the strife between these two Superstars extended beyond the pursuit of championship gold – especially after Orton punted The New Nexus’ portly powerhouse Husky Harris in the skull and took him out of action indefinitely. Realizing that the back-and-forth attacks would only worsen, The Second City Saint warned Orton to keep his distance. But as the WWE Universe can attest, Orton only listens to the voices in his head, all of which were seemingly telling him to continue dismantling The New Nexus – Punk, Michael McGillicutty, David Otunga and Mason Ryan – until it was no more.
Seeking some form of resolution to this conflict, Raw's anonymous General Manager decreed that Orton and Punk would battle on The Grandest Stage of Them All at WrestleMania XXVII. Additionally, the GM scheduled Orton in a series of singles matches against members of The New Nexus leading up to The Showcase of the Immortals. If The Viper emerged victorious, that New Nexus member would be barred from ringside at The Show of Shows. However, any member that managed to defeat Orton would be in Punk's corner on April 3 at Atlanta's Georgia Dome. In the interest of fairness, if any New Nexus members interfered in this series of bouts, Raw's GM would personally disband The New Nexus on the spot.
Since Orton had already punted Harris into oblivion, The Viper was tasked with facing Punk's remaining disciples one-on-one, and earned pinfall victories over McGillicutty, Otunga and Ryan to ensure that Punk will be alone at WrestleMania. Sending Punk a decisive message before their collision at The Show of Shows, Orton nailed each of his New Nexus minions wiith a brutal punt to the skull.
Will Orton finally humble the sanctimonious and power-hungry New Nexus leader? Or will Punk continue to tighten his vise-like grip on Monday Night Raw with a WrestleMania victory over The Viper? To find out, tune in to WrestleMania, April 3, only on pay-per-view.