By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 5)
Taped March 15, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed March 18, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Xyon Quinn made his way to the ring as the commentary team of Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show…
1. Xyon Quinn vs. Damon Kemp. There was a fist bump as a sign of respect between the two to start the match. A tie up and a test of strength saw Kemp initially get the better of the exchange before Quinn took control with a chinlock. Quinn was bleeding from the nose at this point although it was unclear how this happened. Kemp continued to rally through and hooked on a chinlock of his own as Quinn responded with a headbutt and a Death Valley driver. Quinn to the corner who ran at Kemp with a Samoan Forearm which secured the three count.
Xyon Quinn defeated Damon Kemp via pinfall in 5:27.
The commentary team hyped Lash Legend vs. Valentina Feroz for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: A good opener this week which was a power vs. power contest. Based off the presentation, it looked like Kemp could have got the win this week so it was a nice surprise to see Quinn go over after his loss to James Drake back on Episode 2.
2. Lash Legend vs. Valentina Feroz (w/Yulisa Leon). Legend had the height advantage over Feroz as Feroz grabbed a headlock to start and attempted to work on the leg. Legend threw her off and hit a delayed vertical suplex. Legend would continue to use her power but Feroz hooked on a back sleeper which Legend broke by running Feroz into the corner. Feroz countered with a dropkick and attempted a middle rope crossbody but she was caught in mid-air by Legend who in turn was caught into a wrist lock by Feroz. Legend escaped once more hitting a scoop slam on Feroz followed by a pump kick for the victory.
Lash Legend defeated Valentina Feroz via pinfall in 4:52.
Post-match, Legend got on the microphone and told Nikkita Lyons that when she steps into the ring with her, Legend will make her famous with a beat down that would trend worldwide.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: The submission spots from Feroz to escape the numerous power moves on display from Legend in the match did make you feel like an upset could have happened despite the inevitable result. The match and post-match promo was fine.
3. Bodhi Hayward (w/Andre Chase) vs. Dante Chen. The wrestlers did a tie up to start the match. Chen gained the advantage on Hayward before Hayward turned it around with a side headlock, taking Chen to the ground. Chen would escape and whip Hayward off the ropes and counter with a hip-toss to stop the momentum. Hayward would respond with a spine buster for near fall and follow up with a splash for another near fall before going to work on Chen’s mid-section.
Robert Stone appeared on the ramp as Chen scored a roll up for a two count, and took control with a pump kick. Chen attempted a suplex which was not successful due to Hayward’s earlier work of the mid-section. Hayward responded with a Clothesline as Chase and Stone argued at ringside. Hayward was distracted by this as Chen took advantage with a crucifix pin for the win.
Dante Chen defeated Bodhi Hayward via pinfall in 5:55.
John’s Ramblings: Dante Chen followed up his victory over Javier Bernal from Episode 3 with another win this week albeit with a distraction finish which served to continue the storyline between Chase University and Robert Stone. Chen looked impressive in the match and is one to watch for the future but there was nothing much more to take from the main event this week.
‘Level Up’ continues to do a good job in showcasing WWE’s true “developmental” talent. Another positive is the 30 minute show length which makes the show easy to digest.