Three weeks after being assaulted by the Nexus, John Cena got his shot against their new leader CM Punk. But even with Nexus banned from ringside, Punk appeared to have a plan.
Punk, who hasn’t been in action for months, took several shots from Cena at the start, but Punk eventually took control, getting Cena’s head in a leg lock to weaken him. But Cena fought out of a second leg lock and proceeded to go on the assault with his sideslam and “Five Knuckle Shuffle.” Punk blocked one “Attitude Adjuster” attempt and hit a flying knee, but Cena kicked out and eventually countered a GTS attempt into an STF. Punk broke it up by grabbing the rope. Punk dodged two more AA’s and went for a modified sleeper hold with his legs, but Cena got to the ropes.
Cena hit Punk with a flying leg from the corner, but Punk kicked out again. It was then that an unidentified man entered the ring and attacked both of them, though Punk seemed to let him. With the match over, Nexus came out to defend their leader, but Punk called them off, and declared this person a new Nexus member.
Santino Marella and Vladimir Koslov finally got to defend their tag team championships against the Usos. Santino had problems against Jay Uso but managed to tag in Koslov,. When Jimmy Uso tries to lunge at Kozlov in the corner, he pushed the Uso back and tagged Santino back in. It took one strike of the “Cobra” from Santino to beat Jimmy and retain the titles.
Daniel Bryan and John Morrison proved to be evenly matched opponents against one another. Both dodged moves at the start, and when Bryan kicked Morrison out of the ring and tried to follow with a baseball slide, Morrison ducked out of the way and stared him down. Bryan rolled away from Starship pain, and both men knocked each other down lunging at each other from the ropes. Morisson finally managed to finish Bryan with s flying kick to the head from the corner followed by a running knee off the ropes.
After the match, King Sheamus and claimed that he made Morrson from their past matches and that the upcoming Royal Rumble was “made for a king,” declaring his intent to win it.
In another interpromotional match, the two number one contenders faced off as Randy Orton faced Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler started by assaulting Orton wth several shots in the corner, but Orton countered with his own flurry in the middle of the ring. Ziggler eventually began an assault on Orton’s left knee, dodged Orton’s DDT from the ropes and finally got in his sleeper hold, but Orton got to the ropes to break it up. After blocking a second sleeper attempt, Orton countered a third attempt into an RKO to beat him.
Afterward, Miz and Alex Riley came out with a double-team assault on Orton. Jerry Lawler tried to break it up, but Miz threw him into the crowd and slammed Orton into a ring barricade.
Natalya was able to make quick work of Maryse, finishing her off in a sharpshooter, and the French Canadian didn’t take it well After yelling at Michael Cole for not talking about her enough, she then accused boyfriend Ted DiBiase of not being able to win the Royal Rumble.
This led DiBiase to issue an “over the top rope” challenge to anyone, and Mark Henry accepted. After throwing out DiBiase in less than a minute, several more wrestlers came out and attacked Henry. This turned into an impromptu preview for the Rumble, with Henry standing tall at the end, throwing out Sheamus last. But then Alberto Del Rio drove into the arena and made another speech about how it is his destiny to win the Rumble.
Whoever wins the Rumble on Jan. 30 will overcome the biggest odds of all. The Rumble has been expanded to 40 superstars this year.