By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 49)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed January 20, 2023 on Peacock/WWE Network
Nikkita Lyons made her way to the ring as the broadcast team of Matt Camp and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show…
1. Nikkita Lyons vs. Jakara Jackson. A sign of respect between Lyons and Jackson as the bell rang. Lyons had the early advantage and took Jackson down to the mat early for a near fall before applying a headlock. Jackson escaped and draped Lyons across the middle rope before driving Lyons to the canvas. Jackson worked on the head of Lyons before transitioning into an armbar. Lyons used her power to escape and hit an awkward looking sidewalk slam on Jackson. Jackson rolled to the corner and got hit by a running forearm and the split legged splash in the center of the ring from Lyons who picked up the victory.
Nikkita Lyons defeated Jakara Jackson via pinfall in 5:07.
The commentary team hyped Tank Ledger vs. Damon Kemp for after the break…[c]
2. Tank Ledger vs. Damon Kemp. Kemp used a headlock takedown early on Ledger and mocked him as the match got started. Ledger sent Kemp into the ropes but Kemp continued the advantage by driving his thumb into the throat of Ledger and followed up with a neckbreaker and a belly to belly suplex. Kemp worked on the midsection of Ledger but Ledger escaped and hit a hiptoss to take control. A brief flurry of offense by Ledger was cut short as Kemp got the knees up on an attempted splash and hit the uranage across the knee backbreaker on Ledger for the win.
Damon Kemp defeated Tank Ledger via pinfall in 4:30.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
3. Odyssey Jones vs. Joe Gacy (w/ The Schism). Jones used his strength advantage on Gacy early as ‘Schism’ looked on from the outside. Gacy attempted a headbutt to the chest of Jones to escape to little success. Jones rolled through on Gacy to continue the momentum until Ava Raine grabbed the leg of Jones which allowed Gacy to take control. Gacy worked on the neck of Jones across the middle rope and applied a chinlock as Jones attempted to escape. Jones powered up and hit a shoulder breaker and a strongest slam on Gacy for a near fall. Jones attempted to finish but Gacy hit a kick to the surgically repaired knee which allowed him to hit the handspring clothesline and put away Jones.
Joe Gacy defeated Odyssey Jones via pinfall in 6:01.
John’s Ramblings: A passable edition this week. None of the matches will live long in this reviewer’s memory but the main event was a highlight, as the focus continued on Joe Gacy’s ‘Schism’ stable, which hasn’t seemed to connect with the audience despite the talent of those involved. Although I’m unsure at this point what can be done to change this viewpoint.