By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT Level Up
Taped February 22, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired February 25, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Xyon Quinn made his way to the ring as the commentary team checked in from ringside. Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness were on the call…
1. Xyon Quinn vs. James Drake (w/Zack Gibson). Quinn and Drake tied up to start. Drake broke free and mocked Quinn’s Samoan dance. Quinn started to get the better of the in-ring exchange before Gibson pulled Drake from the ring to regroup. Quinn followed but was distracted by Gibson who then took the advantage. Chops in the corner by Drake had no effect and Quinn escaped a sleeper hold as Quinn took over on offence. Late in the match, Gibson jumped onto the ring apron for the distraction and Drake rolled up Quinn for the three count.
James Drake defeated Xyon Quinn via pinfall in 4:48.
Post match, Quinn dragged Gibson into the ring and hit a Death Valley Driver for the payback…
The commentary team hyped Elektra Lopez vs. Sarray vs. for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: An effective outing for Xyon Quinn, who played the big man role well, looked strong in defeat, and got his revenge on the heels in the post match. James Drake played his part, bumping all over the ring until it was time for the distraction finish. Nice opener this week.
2. Elektra Lopez (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza) vs. Sarray. The commentary team noted that this was Lopez’s first match in a while and brought up the possibility of ring rust. Sarray wanted a handshake, but Lopez shrugged it off. Lopez took control throwing Sarray into the ropes, dragged her by the hair and slammed her face first in the ring. McGuinness on commentary put over Sarray’s experience but you wouldn’t know it from these opening minutes. Lopez missed a leg drop and Sarray went high with a missile dropkick and took over with a double foot stomp from the middle rope. A distraction from Legado Del Fantasma enabled Lopez to hit an over the shoulder drop into a face buster for the three.
Elektra Lopez defeated Sarray via pinfall in 3:46.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: An okay match that didn’t outstay its welcome. The right person went over, but Sarray wasn’t given much here. For a person with such a unique entrance, I would have given her a bit more time to shine here.
3. Kushida and Ikemen Jiro vs. Joe Gacy and Harland. Kushida and Gacy started things out. Fans chanted for ‘Jacket Time’ when Jiro tagged in and faced off with Harland. Harland took over on Jiro face planting him into the canvas. Harland started choking Jiro, only for Gacy to calm the big man down to prevent the disqualification. Gacy tagged in to continue the beat down. Mid match, Jiro hot tag to Kushida who octopus locked Gacy with Harland making the save. Jiro went for a dive to the outside onto Gacy but was stopped again by Harland. Springboard clothesline on Jiro by Gacy, tag to Harland who hit a reverse elbow to Kushida and big splash to Jiro for the victory.
Joe Gacy and Harland defeated Kushida and Ikemen Jiro via pinfall in 6:56.
John’s Ramblings: This was fine for what it was and obviously there are plans to push Harland to the moon (sorry Cameron Grimes). But what are they doing with Kushida? They need to push him as the singles star he is and not as fodder in a comedy tag team.
A nice follow up to Level Up’s debut episode last week with all of the matches filling the time nicely in a tight 30 minute package. I could have done without two distraction finishes in a row but that is a small nitpick. Kelly Kincaid (a/k/a Quinn McKay) still only heard but not seen, can we get her on camera next week, please?