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[2011-04-03-WWE-Wrestlemania XXVII] CM Punk vs Randy Orton

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An underrated WrestleMania gem! Orton came out w/ a taped up knee - that set up the story of the match. You got CM Punk doing absolutely awesome work over that taped up knee, which Orton sold pretty damn well. CM Punk's facial expressions and overall body language during his beatdown of Randy were tremendous. Such a great performance by the man. Loved the ending w/ Punk getting all cocky & proud of avoiding the RKO too, only for him to get RKO'd right after. Great match. ****1/4

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Good call by Shitty Little Boots to pimp this match. It is way better than I remembered.

 

CM Punk vs Randy Ortron - WrestleMania XXVII

 

It is interesting how in this day and age matches like this can overlooked. I don't know if there is too much wrestling or too much good wrestling or maybe the feuds lack stickiness or maybe WWE does not do a good job canonizing matches anymore. Whatever the case maybe there is no excuse for a WrestleMania match this good to be overlooked and underdiscussed.

 

Orton had been put in a position to get over the new heels in 2010 working main event WWE Championship feuds on RAW with Sheamus, Wade Barrett & The Miz. CM Punk had been floundering since the Straight Edge Society had been dissolved. With Cena literally burying Wade Barrett at TLC, CM Punk was given a new cult, New Nexus. He targeted Orton for punting him in the skull back in 2008. Better late than never. Orton proceeded to punt every single member of New Nexus back to FCW. Punk turned the tables and injured Orton's leg so that he could not punt him. Honestly in terms of storyline progression week-to-week this actually sounds like one of the best feuds in WWE in the past ten years.

 

Great match. Loved how aggressive Orton was in this. The opening Euro Uppercut and clothesline were massive. You could feel his anger. I love the cheap way Punk attacks the injured leg. He kicks the steel steps into Orton when Orton was stalking him. What a cowardly and dick move. Punk mocks his injury now he is full command. Great leg work by Punk. I liked Orton's hope spot of RKO and Punk hitting a roundhouse head kick to stymie that. Superplex was another good Orton hope spot. Punk is relentless on the leg. Figure-4 around the ringpost is always a goodie. Strong Orton comeback! Orton looked great both selling and offense. His character is terribly boring and his promos are dreadful, but the dude can wrestle. His leg gives out on the Punk. Punk's master strategy pays off. Punk looks to collect his victim for the G2S but the coiled viper explodes for an RKO, but Punk retreats in a nick of time. Great spot. Punk goes for his Springboard Clothesline to further weaken Orton, but this allows Orton to hit an RKO out of the air. Excellent compact match with great performances by both wrestlers. ****

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Watched this on a Punk whim and yeah, this is fantastic and really strengthens my argument that Orton's selling has largely been his best attribute. He comes into this with a taped knee and man, does Punk ever focus in on it. There's a great spot where he drops Orton in the Tree of Woe and then just leaps off with a big knee but this is really a match about subtleties. When Punk has Orton in the ringpost figure four, he's adding more damage by stomping on Orton with his injured leg, when Orton's leg buckles during the punt attempt (awesome psychology!), the camera immediately catches Punk laughing at how his plan is coming together and even the initial switch to Punk's control segment is nice, with Punk leaping over the steps only to kick them straight back into Orton's knee. Finish comes when Punk goes for his springboard clothesline, only to get caught in an RKO and it's nice to see Orton hit that on a guy that is doing a move from his regular arsenal.

Really great match-up with both guys giving killer performances. 2011 semi-motivated Punk is an absolute world away from the Punk of the last 6 months, it's a shocking turnaround in quality. Props to Orton too for going right there with him, giving a great selling performance of his own and making his few moments of offence look really good. It's only 7 years ago but I don't think we'd get a match like this at a Mania now; everything would be rah-rah-rah. This felt like something you'd see on a 90s PPV and was all the better for it.

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Awesome match. Punk did some excellent work on the leg from the off. Figure four at the most. Indian deathlock in the ring. Tied it up in the topes. Everything he did was wonderful. Orton’s selling was fantastic, especially that sell when he went for the punt. And that RKO was top. ***3/4

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