3/3 NXT Level Up results: O’Connor’s review of Oro Mensah vs. Eddy Thorpe, Tatum Paxley vs. Lyra Valkyria, and Dante Chen vs. Luca Crucifino

By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC

NXT: Level Up (Episode 55)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed March 3, 2023 on Peacock/WWE Network

Lyra Valkyria made her way to the ring as the broadcast team of Blake Howard and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show…

1. Lyra Valkyria vs. Tatum Paxley. Valkyria arm dragged Paxley down to the mat as the opening bell rang. Valkyria continued to work the arm as Paxley returned to a vertical base. Valkyria forced Paxley to the mat once more and gained a number of near falls. Paxley rallied and used the slingshot to send Valkyria into the corner and gained a near fall of her own. Paxley locked in a sleeper hold and dropped Valkyria as she attempted to work her way back to her feet. Valkyria got to her feet and hit Paxley with a northern lights suplex and went to the top rope and nailed a high crossbody for two. Valkyria hit a strong kick which rocked Paxley and Valkyria hit another kick in quick succession for the win.

Lyra Valkyria defeated Tatum Paxley via pinfall in 5:23. 

The commentary team hyped Dante Chen vs. Luca Crucifino for after the break…[c]

2. Dante Chen vs. Luca Crucifino. Crucifino moonlighting as an attorney at law came to the ring carrying a business card and a briefcase.

The opening bell rang as Crucifino used his strength to power Chen down early. Chen responded with arm drags and worked the arm of Crucifino. Crucifino worked on Chen in the corner but Chen responded with punches. Crucifino attempted a clothesline but Chen hit an atomic drop. Chen looked to take control but Crusifino continued to ground Chen. Crucifino attempted a gut kick to Chen but Chen hit quick flash punches to the chest of Crucifino and a big boot. Chen then dropped Crucifino with the strong chop to the chest for the finish.

Dante Chen defeated Luca Crucifino via pinfall in 4:45. 

The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]

3. Oro Mensah vs. Eddy Thorpe. Thorpe powered Mensah into the ropes before working on the arm. Mensah used his quickness to escape and work the arm of Thorpe. Thorpe hit a dropkick on Mensah and a reverse elbow for a two count. Thorpe hit Mensah with a kick to the back for another near fall. Thorpe hit a spinning neckbreaker which dropped Mensah awkwardly on his head (Mensah was lucky not to be more seriously hurt on that one).

Mensah attempted to rally but Thorpe turned up the pressure with a boot in the corner and a back suplex to Mensah. Thorpe sent Mensah into the ropes but Mensah hit a springboard moonsault to Thorpe and followed up with the springboard kick. Mensah looked to finish but Thorpe hit a snap German suplex and the impaler DDT soon followed for the victory.

Eddy Thorpe defeated Oro Mensah via pinfall in 6:48. 

The two men shared a handshake post-match as Thorpe celebrated in the ring.

John’s Ramblings: This show was all about the strong style main event this week as Thorpe (a/k/a TAFKA Karl Fredericks) picked up another win. Thorpe is going places so the right man won but he dominated for so long against Oro Mensah it seems as if WWE has cooled on Mensah somewhat as I haven’t seen him pick up a win or pushed with any sense of meaning in weeks. For someone who was in the North American Title picture early in his NXT run this is a real shame.


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