By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 3)
Taped March 1, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed March 4, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Dante Chen made his way to the ring as the commentary team of Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show…
1. Dante Chen vs. Javier Bernal. Tie up to start, with neither man taking the advantage. Bernal broke free and applauded the effort of Chen, as the two circled the ring. Chen applied a headlock before Bernal escaped with a headscissor takedown. Bernal applied an abdominal stretch but Chen countered into a back suplex.
Bernal escaped a vertical suplex attempt and rolled up Chen for a near fall. An exchange of reverse elbows was broken up by Bernal who rocked Chen with a couple of standing dropkicks. Bernal attempted a monkey flip from the corner but Chen rolled through with a pinning combination for the three count.
Dante Chen defeated Javier Bernal via pinfall in 4:00.
Chen and Bernal shared a post match handshake…
The commentary team hyped Tiffany Stratton vs. Erica Yan for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: Not much to take from the match opener this week. Both men worked hard and the effort was there, but it felt like match never really got out of first gear.
2. Tiffany Stratton vs. Erica Yan. Stratton put the bad mouth to Yan before Yan took control early with a dropkick. Stratton stopped the momentum and grounded Yan with a chinlock while yelling at both her opponent and the ‘Level Up’ audience. Yan escaped with a clothesline and nailed Stratton with a flatliner before Stratton countered with a mid-ring moonsault and a springboard twisted splash from the corner for the victory.
Tiffany Stratton defeated Erica Yan via pinfall in 3:51.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: A showcase for Stratton with Yan playing her role well as the designated fall girl. I love the Tiffany Stratton character. She plays the ‘Rich Girl’ character so well that you can’t help but hate her.
3. “Legado Del Fantasma” Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde (w/Elektra Lopez) vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe. Sudu Shah called this a must watch main event and Nigel McGuinness put the talents of both teams over as the opening bell rang. Mendoza and Blade started the contest before Enofe tagged in to continue to work on Mendoza. Mendoza escaped to tag in Wilde and Enofe tagged in Blade. A stalemate before Wilde chop-blocked Blade after a distraction by Mendoza to take control. Mendoza tagged in to work on the leg of Blade taking over with a heel hook and a single leg crab.
Blade crawled and attempted to tag in Enofe as Mendoza pulled Blade away from the ropes. Blade eventually countered and tagged in Enofe who took control with a single leg crab of his own on Mendoza before Wilde made the save. Blade threw Wilde to the outside as Wilde countered to send Blade into the ring post. An in-ring clothesline from Enofe to Mendoza who went to the top rope only to be distracted by Lopez which allowed Legado Del Fantasma to hit the double team move. Wilde pinned Enofe for the win.
Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde defeated Malik Blade and Edris Enofe via pinfall in 8:45.
John’s Ramblings: An enjoyable main event that was hard to cover at points with plenty of quick tags and fast action. Not quite the must watch main event that it was hyped up to be but it was pretty close. It is worth going out of your way to see this one.
Level Up continues to fill up it’s allocated time slot nicely with matches that do not outstay their welcome and focusses on showcasing each individual’s strengths while effectively hiding the weaknesses. Now can we get Kelly Kincaid (a/k/a Quinn McKay) on camera please? See you all next week.