By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 7)
Taped March 29, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed April 1, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Xyon Quinn made his way to the ring as the usual commentary team of Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show…
1. Xyon Quinn vs. Dante Chen. Sportsmanship was shown between the two as the opening bell rang. Both men tried to gain an advantage with no success. Quinn drove Chen into the corner and whipped him hard into the opposite turnbuckle. Chen attempted to work the arm of Quinn as Quinn responded with a punch to the gut and a shoulder block for a near fall.
Chen attempted a standing cross body, but Quinn shook it off as he tried to build the momentum. Chen would continue to battle as he hit a pump kick for a two count. Chen went to the top rope for a crossbody but was caught by Quinn who hit a Samoan driver soon followed up with the running Forearm which secured the three count.
Xyon Quinn defeated Dante Chen via pinfall in 4:49.
The commentary team hyped Kayden Carter vs. Tatum Paxley for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: Quinn and Chen continue to impress on ‘Level Up’ and I’m interested to see how they progress in WWE. Nice back and forth in the opening match this week.
2. Kayden Carter (w/Kacy Catanzaro) vs. Tatum Paxley. Before the match the commentators said that this was a proving match for Paxley as she attempts to impress ‘Diamond Mine’ for a spot in the faction. Paxley attempted an arm bar early but Carter escaped and take over with a dropkick in the corner. Paxley responded with a dropkick of her own for a near fall and followed up with a suplex before transitioning into the leg scissors.
Carter escaped with elbows, avoided a stomp from Paxley and nailed forearms but Paxley cut her off once more. Carter hit a super kick and attempted a pin, but Paxley got the shoulder up before even a one count. Paxley hit a scoop slam and a rough looking twisted splash for a two count. Carter responded with a side kick and an elevated leg drop for the win.
Kayden Carter defeated Tatum Paxley via pinfall in 6:01.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: The match started off well, but there were rough looking spots as the contest wore on. This would have benefited from being shorter as Paxley showed her inexperience in working a longer match. Carter tried her best but this was a slight miss.
3. James Drake (w/Zack Gibson) vs. Damon Kemp. The two men tied up to start as Drake would beg off in the corner in an attempt to frustrate Kemp. Drake grabbed the arm and forced Kemp to the mat. Kemp escaped. Drake attempted a headlock but Kemp battled through and hit Drake with a scoop slam and a high back body drop as Gibson pulled Drake to the outside to regroup.
Drake took control back in the ring with a chinlock after the interference by Gibson. Kemp responded and hit a belly to belly suplex followed by a forearm and a shoulder block. Kemp continued the momentum with a fireman’s carry but Gibson distracted Kemp to allow Drake to respond with a flying headbutt. As the ‘GYV’ celebrated Malik Blade and Edris Enofe appeared on the ramp whose distraction enabled Kemp to roll up Drake for the upset win.
Damon Kemp defeated James Drake via pinfall in 6:22.
John’s Ramblings: An enjoyable main event with the nice finish of Kemp getting the win. James Drake continues to impress me as a singles competitor.
The women’s match was disappointing this week and was definitely the weakest of all the women’s matches we have seen so far on ‘Level Up’ since the shows debut. The match opener and main event were enjoyable. ‘Level Up’ continues to pass the time nicely. Happy WrestleMania weekend, everybody.