The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The NY Rangers, The NY Giants & WWE Survivor Series

My set-up for Sunday night’s sporting events

What a rollercoaster of emotions this past Sunday night, (11/23) and I’m not talking about the newest episodes of “Bar Rescue”, “Walking Dead” or “Homeland”. For me, Sunday was all about NY sports and a little NY sports entertainment, the WWE. The Rangers had a huge game, playing NHL points leader, the Montreal Canadiens at home. The Giants hosted division rival the Dallas Cowboys. In the world of make believe sports, where the fans, myself included at times, analyze it too seriously, the WWE hosted their 28th annual Survivor Series. 

Throughout the night, I talked to various people through text messages and social media. There was a lot of interest about these three events taking place at the same time. With the Rangers on my main TV, the Giants on the secondary TV and the WWE “Free-Per-View” show on the iPad, I was able to catch all of it. What a non-stop pendulum swing of events, with many high and lows while watching all three screens.

There’s no other way to describe it, depending on what kind of fan you are, Sunday exemplified “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.”

THE GOOD:
Was he motivated by Talbot?

The Rangers, fresh off a major key victory on Wednesday night, defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-0 at home on Sunday. It was the second shut-out in the row for the Blueshirts, with Cam Talbot posting a shut-out against the Flyers and Henrik Lundqvist following him up. I was very impressed about this win, but Ranger fans shouldn’t be going nuts just yet. 

The Canadiens, who lead the league in points, started their back-up goaltender, Dustin Tokarski, the same goalie who played in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Rangers were able to light him up for 5 goals and impressively, all twelve forwards recorded points. Starting goaltender, Carey Price, had the night off, which personally pissed me off because I spent nearly $1000 on a Montreal trip in October to watch the Rangers get spanked 3-1. How come Tokarski couldn’t start that game?!?!

Personal experiences aside, the Rangers showed up for this game. I’ve been critical about Henrik Lundqvist this season, but again to be clear, I just think he’s overpaid and I’m not a fan of his contract. I wonder if the play of Cam Talbot on Wednesday motivated Henry just a bit to show that it’s still his throne between the pipes at the Garden.

I thought the Rangers played a bit differently this game, as they were blocking shots left and right. Lundqvist made 21 saves and wasn’t really challenged, as where Talbot was forced to be lights out on Wednesday. However, you are dealt the hand you’re dealt with and Hank did his job. I do wonder if he has a case of the “A-Rod’s” this season, as he seems to play his best games when the Rangers are putting up buckets of goals. Just reminds me of how A-Rod will hit a homer in a 12-2 game that the Yankees are winning.
Where would the Rangers be without this guy?

The Rangers are rolling right now, beating two teams that made the playoffs last year. Wednesday night will be a huge test, as the Rangers visit the former home of Marty St. Louis, in Tampa Bay.  Marty or MSL, currently has 998 career points. It would only be fitting if he notched points 999 and 1000 against the Lightning.

The Lightning rolled the Rangers & Lundqvist during their meeting on 11/17 at MSG. Whatever the Rangers are doing now, they must continue to do. To me, it all starts with the play of MSL. He has been the most consistent Ranger in his short tenure here. He makes passes that other players couldn’t even think of making. I might be in the minority on this one, but I think he’s been a better player for the Rangers than Gretzky was during his tenure here. He just makes all his teammates better when he’s out there. 

It is good to see Anthony Duclair, Kevin Hayes and Matt Hunwick continue to get ice time. These men could be the future of the Rangers. All have stepped into their roles for a Stanley Cup contender and have benefitted the team, especially Matt Hunwick. 

Two Rangers that have not been as hot as last year are Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider. Both continue to get chances. I don’t think we are far off for seeing both of them break out and become major point contributers to this team.

I don’t see Dominic Moore as anything more but a consistent player for the Rangers, but it was nice to see him score against Tokarski again. It would be nice to get a “BOYLERMAKER” out of Dan Boyle one of these days. Boyle has been hyped up to be the Phil Jackson zen master of the powerplay, but to me, MSL has dominated that role. Boyle has battled injuries and is adjusting to a new team, I just don’t know, if at his age, he was worth losing Anton Stralman for. 

Alain Vigneault is really upping his stripes with his job with the Rangers. This should be no less than a deep-into-the-playoffs team. It’s a long season, but after hitting one major obstacle, AV has this team back on track. Wednesday is a huge test before coming back home for a home and home series with the disgusting Philadelphia Flyers.

All in all, a great team win for the New York Rangers. It was a game the fans expect them to play as they have the talent to beat anyone in the league. The Rangers just need to be consistent.

LGR!
The most impressive catch you will ever see

HOLY.
FUCKING.
SHIT!

I’m 32 years old and have been watching football as long as I can remember. I have never seen a better catch than the play Odell Beckham Jr. made last night during the Giants vs Cowboys game. I know people will say the David Tyree catch from the Superbowl was magical, and it was for Giants fans, but nothing was more astonishing and impressive than Beckham’s back-bending leap. Don’t believe me,  take it from this guy:
Even Victor Cruz showed respect right away for #13

The Beckham catch is something everyone will be talking about for a long time and will be featured in many highlight reels over the years. The man must be doing yoga or pilates or some shit. The human body is not meant to move that way, and to catch the ball with only three fingers. Of course it’s recent and fresh in my head, but I can not even think of a better play in sports than that catch. Just pure freakish athletic ability and concentration. 

THE BAD:

Unfortunately, while the catch produced a touchdown, the Giants choked up another game. It feels that this whole month has been the Giants playing close games with great teams, only to come up short in the end.  The way the Giants choked this game was atrocious.

While the last few minutes of the game was playing out, I was texting with three friends of mine. We all said the same thing after the TD catch to Robinson. Dallas would march right back and score. Within a minute, that came true. I’ve done plenty of columns on the Giants before, so check out the archives for my in-depth discussion on the Giants, but the pass defense is a fucking disgrace. It is worse than Bill Cosby.

Fewell has to go. No ifs ands or buts. He’s worn out his welcome. How many games will the Giants defense play to a whole new level of bad. If it’s not letting up 30 yard passes at a clip, it’s giving quarterbacks 10 whole full seconds to throw a ball. It’s an embarrassment.

Tom Coughlin, in my eyes, gets a pass. He has the players motivated and has them in every game. He’s been dealt a ton of injuries this season. The Giants are losing a majority of games through their defense. Fewell needs to go. This just isn’t working anymore. The Giants could have a bright future with Cruz and Beckham lining up together. Get Eli some lineman and a new defensive scheme and this should be a team that should compete.

Perry Fewell owes Beckham a new car for costing him this game. He should refund all the season ticket holders too.  I feel bad for anyone taking that train or car ride home from Metlife as I’m writing this. We all deserve better.  Even worse, the place was full of Dallas fans, as the Giants season was over weeks ago, meaning that Giants fans sold their tickets off in droves to Cowboys fans. Ironically enough, fans of the Cowboys have been doing the same thing in Dallas.  This was a tough loss.

If there is anything positive to take out of this loss, heed this:
– Giants will have a good draft pick
– Beckham is the real deal
– The Giants are right there and can compete with anyone. 
– We know what’s wrong with the team.

At least “Bar Rescue” on Sundays never lets me down.

THE UGLY:
Is a 55 year old man going to make you subscribe to the WWE Network?

If you’re not a wrestling fan, feel free to scroll to the bottom and call it a night. If you’re a fan of my original work here on the DOI, then you will enjoy my wrestling talk.  I’m going to assume you already read a real review from some geek somewhere else, so here’s your straight-to-the-point Survivor Series McReview!!!

PRESHOW:
Fandango w/Rosa Mendes d. Justin Gabriel
I forgot Gabriel was still under contract. Mendes must have pictures or dirt on someone. That, or they can’t fire her because she was beat up and treated for drug use while under their employ. Either way, she is fun to look at, but atrocious and does not do anything positive for pro wrestling while the camera is on her. Remember that time Fandango beat Chris Jericho? Waste of time for two guys who will be hanging out at James Soubasis “LEGENDS OF THE RING” convention sometime next year.
Jack Swagger d. Cesaro
Did Cesaro really piss people off when he said he didn’t want to see Orton vs Cena again?  It sucks that he has no political backing. I feel like Swagger has been there 10 years and in the same spot for the majority of that time. Not a bad match, just another meaningless match for the sake of killing time.
ACTUAL PPV MATCHES:
Vince McMahon came out to do a promo, explaining the stipulations for the main event. If I’m watching this show, for free, on this WWE Network, wouldn’t you assume I know why I tuned in? I hate when WWE does this. I don’t need 384388 commercials and promos in-show to hype up a show I’m already watching. You don’t see Homeland taking commercials, to advertise the same episode of Homeland they are airing.
The Authority and Cena were out there as Vince was going over everything. This just seemed like a waste of time.  The whole thing makes no sense to me. If HHH’s job was truly in jeopardy, why wouldn’t he wrestle for his team and defend himself? If HHH hates Cena, how come his job isn’t in peril? Nothing makes any sense. I heard that Vince feels that his fans don’t care and will just tune in anyway. He’s sort of right. I haven’t been enamored with the WWE in years but still watch out of habit. I just bitch and moan about it, not like that will change anything. A wrestling fan will always watch, no matter how stupid and how many plotholes you can point out in any given segment.
For the WWE Tag Team Titles
FATAL Four Way Match where no one dies, so why is it called fatal?
The Miz & Mizdow d. (C) Goldust & Stardust, Los Matadores w/The Bull and The Usos to win the WWE Tag Team Championships
Same old USO spotfest that you get every time they are out there. Not that it’s bad, but they do the same thing every show.
Thought the sons of Dust should’ve dropped the belts in a real program. This run comes off kinda blah to lose the belts this way. WWE just wanted to transition the belts on to an act that’s caught fire, despite the WWE trying to push it that way. Mizdow is over, but after he beats the Miz in their inevitable feud, where does he go from there on the card? Doing jobs for Sheamus and Rusev?
Match wasn’t bad or anything, I just wasn’t into it. With no story, why should I care? The live crowd loved it and I thought Mizdow got a bigger pop than the Brandon Lee wannabe.
They announced that Austin would do a live podcast with Vince McMahon on 12/1 on the network. Let’s hope that comes through, unlike the promised immediate post-show.
SURVIVOR SERIES ELIMINATION MATCH
Natalya w/TJ & Emma & Trinity & Alicia Fox d. Paige & Cameron & Layla & Summer Rae
Highlights of this botchfest were the commentators talking about Doink The Clown, midgets and the Mean Street Posse for about 6 minutes. If the announcers presenting me the match don’t care and treat it as a joke, why should I care?
The babyfaces clean sweep this mess. Feel bad for Natalya who tries. I don’t see the infatuation some people have with Paige until she starts investing in some Colgate. I can’t believe Cameron still has a job.
Bray Wyatt d. Dean Ambrose via DQ
Another silly match with no story. Ambrose went from the biggest babyface not named John Cena, to being in a midcard match. WWE fucked the fans last PPV with Wyatt ruining the Ambrose/Rollins finish. They needed an out, so a Bray Wyatt run-in was booked. However, Ambrose losing just hurts his stock and they can’t beat Bray his first match back in under this new run. So again, they booked themselves in a corner, and had Ambrose use a chair for a quick DQ.
I hate Bray Wyatt. I’ve said it before. I’ve seen his character done on TV by better actors. His stuff is all ripped off and when you boil it all down, he’s just a fat guy in a Hawaiian shirt that recites scenes out Justified Season 2. 
In a total, “YOU CAN SEE WHERE THIS SHIT IS GOING” moment, after the match, Ambrose used Tables Ladders and Chairs on Wyatt. Immediately afterwards, it was announced these two were being booked in a TLC match for the next Sunday event on the network, the “TLC” show. Came off so predictable. Either pull the trigger with Ambrose or don’t. Obviously Reigns is there guy, but why hurt someone else because of it? Ambrose is more over and more versatile as a performer. He’s under their employ. It’s not like if Ambrose does well, it hurts the WWE’s bottom line. I’ll never get that with them.
For example, some of you may know Jessicka Havok, or Havok as she’s going by today in TNA. When she first started, she was doing tag matches for me. I could see in her performance she could be higher up in the card. I tried it out. The more she worked for my WSU shows, the crowd ate it up. DVD sales were up. Her individual matches on my streaming partner’s site were sought out. She was helping my business. I originally pegged someone else to be my big heel, but I couldn’t deny, Havok was doing so much better. I adjusted and ran with it. In turn, the last two years of my WSU career were my most profitable, gave us the most exposure and in turn, Havok grew as a worker and has a gig with a company that’s on TV sometimes. If you’re discovering Havok just now, go back to the old WSU shows of 2011-2012. That’s where she discovered herself and her character. I’ll never get why WWE has to fight themselves, instead of just going with something.
PS: Thank you Havok for your work for me, it was a pleasure and I’m glad when I see your name in results all over the world.
The Bunny & Adam Rose d. Heath Slater & Titus O’Neil
This was a match, on a show, that was designed to get people to order the under-performing WWE Network. I’m sure people shelled out $9.99 after this shit.
Roman Reigns did a horrible promo about wanting to come back. As much as they try to make him a bad ass motherfucker, it comes off phony. I heard he’s a good talker in real life. They should go with that. Whatever comes off natural usually works best. 
When I look at Reigns, Danielson and other guys on the card, how would Steve Austin and The Rock even exist if they came up in these present times? Everything is so regimented. It’s so hard to break out and do your own thing. 
Also, I’ve talked about this before, but I will never get the WWE Network mentality. They advertise all day long all these 90’s highlights to their PG fanbase. They call the 90’s the “Golden Era”. If it was that fucking golden, why are you putting out a plastic product now? They are shooting themselves in the foot.
Really, here’s your problem:
WWE’s Target Audience Today – 8-12 year old kids
WWE’s Target Audience for the WWE Network – 30-50 somethings
Kids can’t afford the network. The people who can watch the current product and are so fucking turned off by it that they go do something else. THERE IS SO MANY THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR FREE TIME RIGHT NOW THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY. You got Netflix. Amazon Prime. Blurays. Video games. Books. Magazines. Sports. NFL Redzone. Hulu. HBO On The Go, etc, etc, etc! If you fail on the first impression, no one is going to go back to you.
End of the day WWE – what’s worth more, the Mattel deal or the WWE Network? 
The whole business has changed. I get why they were PG. But everything is out the window now. Nothing is what it was. It might be time to go back to even a PG13 product. I’m not talking blood fests, cursing and sex all the time, I’m just talking about a more mature product. A product that doesn’t include farm animals or cheesy announcers laughing. I don’t want chair shots. I just want to feel that I haven’t been hit by a chair after deciphering and processing a Monday Night Raw.
For the WWE Divas Title
Nikki Bella w/Brie Bella d. (c) AJ Lee
Brie Bella kissed AJ, Nikki then kicked AJ, and that was your match. New champion. Hell of a way to get the belt over. The story the announcers tried to push was that AJ cost Daniel Bryan, Brie’s husband, the World Title, three years ago in this fashion. Too convoluted and no slow burn to get there. 
What a waste of the whole Bella program. Rumors are that AJ is taking a break. If that’s the case, why not do a clean match and make the belt mean something? Obviously not her choice, but another horrible booking decision. 
MAIN EVENT
SURVIVOR SERIES
TEAM CENA v TEAM AUTHORITY w/stooges
Blah blah blah, you know all the stips and all the crap that went along with this match. 
Ready for the plotholes and why I will always use my friend’s Network account tha buy my own?
– For some reason, WWE decided we needed to see Cena vs Big Show again. Big Show has more turn overs than the Jets. Who the fuck wants to see this?
– Whatever happened to the world champion having to defend the title within 30 days? Did we just throw that out the window?
– Why wouldn’t HHH fight for his own job?
– Why would there be swerves and ref bumps when HHH could just do whatever he wanted anyway?
– Why was Rusev/Henry teaming after having a near-blood feud just two weeks ago?
–  Why would Big Show wrestle and risk injuring himself for 20 minutes, to just turn anyway? Why knock out his “friend” Mark Henry while he was at it? Is he a racist?
– If Rollins is allowed to run in whenever he wants, how come no one on Team Cena thought of the same idea?
Ugh, I’m wasting too much time on this shit.
Major developments was this was the match that was supposed to make you see Ziggler as a star. Here is why that won’t happen:
– We are entering Wrestlemania season. If you think Ziggler is booked in a top 3 match, you’re fucking high.
– Reigns, Lesnar and Danielson will be back soon.
– HHH and Sting seem to have a program.
– There are no opponents for him.
Ziggler worked his balls off. What else is new? He’s a great hand. We all know this. It’s not like he’s going to be a main eventer because there is no room for that. You think he’s bumping Reigns?
Big story was a 55 year old balding Sting gingerly walking out. After staring at HHH for 3 minutes, he punched him. HHH had to sell ridiculously here, as he had to wait for Sting to hobble to him and give him the Scorpion Death Drop. Sting looks old. He’s lucky he wears facepaint and long clothing, or he’d look older.
I was never a Sting fan anyway, but tell me how this makes sense:
– Sting’s first time in WWE, and this is how he’s booked? Wouldn’t it make sense if Sting was here 13 years ago at the WWE v WCW Survivor Series?
– Why would Sting come out for this match?
– Why would HHH wait 20 minutes for Sting to get to the ring, rather than making sure his team won first?
– Nobody outside of HHH wants to see Sting vs HHH. Everyone knows the money match is with The Undertaker. If Taker can’t go, Rock will gladly take this match.
– Why does Sting care about the Authority? In his 30 year career, he’s never shown interest in the WWE. This silly program is what has him fired up?
In all honesty, I’ve heard bigger pops for Santino Marella. As I mentioned above, it’s two different audiences. You got the smart marks and older fans who liked Sting, the same Sting that was always thought to be inferior to WWE guys during his run. Then you have fans who weren’t even alive during some of his horrible TNA run, never mind his prime. Randy Orton or Jericho would’ve got a bigger pop in this spot.
I wonder how many smart marks will say that Sting stole Ziggler’s thunder now?
Final McWord
At least the Rangers won.
And yes, of course I’ll watch Raw because I can’t break this addiction of watching wrestling on Mondays.
Feedback, complaints, death threats can go to:
Sean McCaffrey
BULLSMC@aol.com
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter

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