By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 26)
Taped August 9, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed August 12, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Ikemen Jiro made his way to the ring as the broadcast team of Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show…
1. Ikemen Jiro vs. Myles Borne. Borne overpowered Jiro into the corner as the match started. Jiro responded with a hip toss and a reverse elbow for a near fall. Jiro went to the top rope but was caught on the way down with a dropkick by Borne. Borne hit a floatover suplex for a two count and sent Jiro hard into the turnbuckle before wrapping Jiro’s back around the post. Jiro battled through Borne’s offense though hitting a dragon screw, the jacket punch and a kick to the face for the win.
Ikemen Jiro defeated Myles Borne via pinfall in 5:12.
Backstage, Kelly Kincaid interviewed Sol Ruca who promised to turn Elektra Lopez’s world upside down.
The commentary team hyped Sol Ruca vs. Elektra Lopez for after the break…[c]
John’s Ramblings: An ok opener. Both men worked hard but I’m not into the Jiro character. Maybe a revamp would help?
2. Sol Ruca vs. Elektra Lopez. Both women tied up to start with Ruca rolling through an attempted wrist lock by Lopez. Lopez grabbed the hair of Ruca and dragged her to the mat with a headlock takedown. Ruca attempted a sunset flip but Lopez dropped the knee across the back of the neck to continue the advantage. Lopez worked on the neck but Ruca escaped with shoulder blocks and a dropkick to Lopez but she missed a standing moonsault which allowed Lopez to hit a spin out powerbomb for the three count.
Elektra Lopez defeated Sol Ruca via pinfall in 3:54.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
John’s Ramblings: A showcase win for Lopez. There were a few awkward moments, but Ruca looked fine in there overall.
3. Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward (w/Thea Hail) vs. Bronco Nima and Lucien Price. Nima and Price are making their debuts on ‘Level Up’. McGuinness on commentary mentioned that the two are former division 1 football players. Chase was overpowered by Nima in the early going before Chase hit a drop toe hold to take control and tagged in Hayward. A quick exchange of tags occurred as both Chase and Hayward worked on the arm of Nima. Nima slammed Chase and he tagged in Price who continued the beatdown of Chase.
Chase made the hot tag to Hayward who nailed Price with running tackles to the legs but Price would slam down Hayward and tag back out to Nima who worked on the head of Hayward with a sleeper hold. Hayward tagged in Chase who gained the advantage with a crossbody off the top rope and led the crowd with the chant of ‘Chase U’ before tagging in Hayward (who was bleeding from the mouth) to hit the fratliner for the victory.
Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward defeated Bronco Nima and Lucien Price via pinfall in 6:15.
John’s Ramblings: A good tag match to end the show. Nima and Price were given the spotlight on commentary which makes me think they will be ones to watch in the future. ‘Chase U’ continues to be the most popular act on this show.