By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 4)
Taped March 8, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed March 11, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Trick Williams and NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes made their way to the ring as the commentary team of Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show…
1. Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes) vs. Guru Raaj. Carmelo Hayes was a guest commentator for the match as Williams slapped Raaj to start. Raaj fought off a headlock and hip tossed Williams before Williams nailed a spin kick on Raaj to take back control. Williams worked on the mid section with an abdominal stretch before Raaj built momentum with a mid-ring forearm and a corner bulldog before being put down with a sling blade clothesline from Williams for the three count.
Trick Williams defeated Guru Raaj via pinfall in 4:08.
The commentary team hyped Ivy Nile vs. Brooklyn Barlow for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: Williams looked impressive in the short time he was out there and despite the small number of hope spots from Raaj the result was never really in question.
2. Ivy Nile (w/Malcolm Bivens) vs. Brooklyn Barlow. ‘Ivy’s going to kill you’ chants from the crowd early as Barlow used strength to power Nile down to the mat before Nile turned things around with a strong punch to the jaw. Corner dropkick by Nile for a near fall before taking control with a chin lock. Barlow avoided a corner clothesline and hit a dropkick and a roll up for a two count of her own. Nile responded with a kick to the face and locked in the dragon sleeper for the submission victory.
Ivy Nile defeated Brooklyn Barlow via submission in 3:51.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: A nice back and forth match with Brooklyn given enough time to shine before the inevitable submission win by Ivy.
3. “Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen. As Briggs and Jensen made their way to the ring, Jensen was distracted by a woman in the crowd as the commentators highlighted that Jensen has been distracted by affairs of the heart as of late. Jensen started the match against Gibson before tagging in Briggs for a double team. An assist from Drake on the apron allowed Gibson to take control and tag in Drake but Briggs took over and tagged in Jensen who was distracted by Gibson and sent neck first into the ropes by him which looked nasty.
Gibson tagged in to work on Jensen and then a tag back in by Drake to take control. Jensen tagged in Briggs who fired up on the recently tagged in Gibson. An attempted save from Drake was thwarted by Briggs but “GYV” hit a Missile Dropkick into a flatliner for a near fall. Gibson tagged in Drake and put the bad mouth to Briggs at ringside as Briggs avoided a corner dropkick from Drake. Jensen tagged in. Clothesline to Drake who rolled outside to the ring apron. Looking to finish, Jensen was again distracted by the same woman in the crowd as Drake reversed a suplex into a pinning combination with Gibson holding down Jensen’s feet from the outside for the win.
“Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake defeated Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen via pinfall in 7:08.
As “GYV” celebrated, Fallon Henley confronted the duo in the aisle way, which allowed Briggs and Jensen to finish up this edition of ‘Level Up’ with a post-match country beatdown.
John’s Ramblings: The “Grizzled Young Veterans” really shined in this match as they made the team of Briggs and Jensen look really strong in defeat and needed to cheat to win to be able to put the country duo away. An enjoyable main event that is worth going out of your way to see.
I like the ‘Level Up’ weekly format of a singles match, a woman’s match and a tag match, but despite the enjoyable matches as an overall show it has felt storyline light. The majority of this show was the same up until the main event where we seemingly got more development in the story of Jensen being distracted in his matches and the possible addition of Fallon Henley to the Briggs/Jensen group after what happened on NXT earlier this week. Maybe Fallon will be the one to put Jensen and the team back on track. I guess we will find out.