By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 12)
Taped May 3, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed May 6, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley made their way to the ring accompanied by Roderick Strong as the broadcast team of Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show…
1. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley (w/Roderick Strong) vs. Sarray and Erica Yan. Nile started out against Sarray before tagging out quickly to Paxley. Sarray broke Paxley’s advantage by tagging out to Yan. After an exchange of near falls, Yan tagged back out to Sarray and Paxley tagged in Nile. Stiff kicks by Nile on Sarray got a two count before Nile followed up with multiple suplexes and a dropkick in the corner. Paxley tagged back in and hit Sarray with a scoop slam and twisted splash before locking in an armlock. Sarray escaped and made the hot tag to Yan while Nile made the blind tag on Paxley. Nile hit a pump kick, soon followed by the reverse sleeper for the submission victory.
Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley defeated Sarray and Erica Yan via submission in 5:31.
The commentary team hyped Thea Hail vs. Sloane Jacobs for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: An effective tag match that continued the build of Paxley wanting to be accepted into Diamond Mine and she looked impressive during the time that she was in the ring. I think she would fit in nicely with the faction. It was nice to see Roderick Strong appear on Level Up as he transitions into the Diamond Mine leader role after the release of Malcolm Bivens.
2. Thea Hail vs. Sloane Jacobs. A primal scream from Hail at the opening bell kicked off the contest as Jacobs started the match with a side headlock. Jacobs took over early with scoop slams but Hail countered with a dropkick for a two count. Jacobs retook control with stomps in the corner and kicks to the back of Hail followed by a kick to the face for a near fall. Jacobs worked the neck of Hail as Hail escaped and responded with forearms and a flipping neckbreaker and a rollup from the corner. Hail looked to finish but Jacobs blocked a knee strike and dropped Hail with a modified flapjack for the win.
Sloane Jacobs defeated Thea Hail via pinfall in 5:08.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: Both women had moments to shine, but the right person went over as Jacobs built momentum heading into the upcoming NXT Women’s BreakOut tournament.
3. Channing ‘Stacks’ Lorenzo and Troy ‘Two Dimes’ Donovan (w/Tony D’Angelo) vs. Dante Chen and Javier Bernal. Tony D’Angelo joined Shah and McGuinness on commentary as Channing ‘Stacks’ Lorenzo (formally Channing Lauren) started the match against Javier Bernal. Bernal took early charge with a grounded headlock as ‘Stacks’ escaped and tagged in Troy Donovan (‘Two Dimes’) and Bernal tagged in Chen. Chen after two hip tosses returned to the headlock as Bernal came in and took over on ‘Two Dimes’.
‘Two Dimes’ escaped an attempted sunset flip and tagged in ‘Stacks’ who gained control on Bernal. Bernal tagged in Chen who took down both ‘Stacks’ and ‘Two Dimes’. ‘Stacks’ escaped a powerbomb attempt and tagged in ‘Two Dimes’ unknown to Chen. ‘Two Dimes’ put Chen down with a big boot followed by a double team big boot to the side of Chen’s head for the victory as Chen sleeps with the fishes.
Channing ‘Stacks’ Lorenzo and Troy ‘Two Dimes’ Donovan defeated Dante Chen and Javier Bernal via pinfall in 6:04.
John’s Ramblings: Tony D’Angelo’s mafia schtick is a gimmick that may be best left in the ’80s, but if they are going all in with this it’s good to have sidekicks to add to his ‘family’. The right team won but I would not have had Chen take another loss here, as they were building him up nicely on the show but have seemingly cooled on him in recent weeks with him on ‘job’ duty.
I’d recommend going out of your way to see the main event, as this was another fun layer to the Tony D’Angelo ‘family’ saga and the match was entertaining overall. The other matches were good although neither were must-see.