By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 22)
Taped July 12, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed July 15, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Ikemen Jiro made his way to the ring as the broadcast team of Sudu Shah, Nigel McGuinness and Matt Camp welcomed us to the show…
1. Ikemen Jiro vs. Quincy Elliott. Elliott overpowered Jiro early as the two exchanged dance moves early. Jiro attempted a scoop slam but was driven to the mat by Elliott who then worked on the back of Jiro. Elliott attempted a banzai drop but Jiro moved and hit Elliott with a superkick and followed up with a springboard moonsault for a near fall. Elliott powered through the brief offense from Jiro and attempted to squash Jiro who was seated in the corner but Jiro got his feet up and rolled up Elliott for the win.
Ikemen Jiro defeated Quincy Elliott via pinfall in 5:04.
The commentary team hyped Sol Ruca vs. Kiana James for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: A typical big guy versus small guy match with the smaller guy etching out the win. An opener that didn’t outstay its welcome.
Backstage, Kelly Kincaid interviewed ‘Chase U’ (Andre Chase, Bodhi Hayward and Thea Hail) who hyped up their recent field trip to the UK and the main event for later on in the show.
2. Sol Ruca vs. Kiana James. James was not impressed by Ruca as the match began. Ruca arm dragged James to the mat and worked on the arm utilizing a wrist lock. James took over on Ruca with stomps to chest and a scoop slam for a two count. James locked on the leg scissors knocking the wind out of Ruca who countered by driving James into the turnbuckle. Ruca attempted a follow up but James hit a floatover DDT for the victory.
Kiana James defeated Sol Ruca via pinfall in 4:23.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: Ruca looked competitive in her debut match and strung together impressive looking athletic moves before falling in defeat to James who is starting to build momentum.
3. Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward (w/Thea Hail) vs. Javier Bernal and Myles Borne. Chase and Borne started the match and Borne out wrestled Chase early before Chase took Borne down with a headlock and hit a fireman’s carry. Borne tagged in Bernal and Chase tagged in Hayward. Hayward hit a strong clothesline on Bernal for a near fall and Hail shouted encouragement from ringside as Bernal tagged in Borne. Borne applied a sleeper on Hayward, but Hayward escaped and hit a powerslam,
Hayward made the hot tag to Chase, who took over on Bernal. Borne tagged in and attempted a save and threw a dropkick at Chase which inadvertently hit Bernal who fell to ringside. Borne looked for a tag but Bernal was not on the ring apron as Chase and Hayward hit the ‘Fratliner’ on Borne for the three count.
Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward defeated Javier Bernal and Myles Borne via pinfall in 5:47.
John’s Ramblings: A nicely worked tag match which deserved the main event slot this week. Another win in the books for ‘Chase U’ but the take away from the match seemed to be the heel tendencies shown by Bernal who was deliberately out of position for Borne as he attempted to make a tag and then seemed reluctant to make the save after ‘Chase U’ hit their finish despite having the time to do so. Although the commentators didn’t acknowledge this in the post match watch this space.
A passable episode this week. The main event was fun as ‘Chase U’ continues to pick up wins and we may have had a bit more character development for Javier Bernal. Myles Borne looked good in there as well given his level of experience.