By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 66)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed May 19, 2023 on Peacock/WWE Network
Eddy Thorpe made his way to the ring as the broadcast team of Blake Howard and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show…
1. Eddy Thorpe vs. Kale Dixon. Dixon attempted a scoop slam but Thorpe would counter with a headlock takedown early. Thorpe went to the ropes but Dixon dragged Thorpe off the turnbuckle to take control. Dixon hit a reverse elbow to gain a two count and worked on the neck to wear down Thorpe. Thorpe countered with a shot to the ribs and hit a knife edge chop and a follow up kick to Dixon followed by a saito suplex for a near fall. Dixon looked for another reverse elbow but Thorpe hit the German suplex followed by the high elbow drop for the win.
Eddy Thorpe defeated Kale Dixon via pinfall in 4:50.
The commentary team hyped a women’s tag match for after the break…[c]
2. Wendy Choo and Kelani Jordan vs. Elektra Lopez and Lola Vice. Lopez and Jordan started the match as Lopez powered Jordan down to the mat early and tagged in Vice. Jordan kipped up out of an wristlock and tagged in Choo. Choo tagged Jordan back in who hit an assisted moonsault on Vice for a two count. Lopez and Vice worked on Jordan in the corner as Vice gained a near fall. Jordan looked for a tag but was pulled back into the center of the ring by the hair as Vice tagged Lopez back into the match. Lopez wore down Jordan but Jordan avoided a power move and made the hot tag to Choo. The match broke down late as Choo hit the ‘snooze button’ on Vice for the victory.
Wendy Choo and Kelani Jordan defeated Elektra Lopez and Lola Vice via pinfall in 5:34.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
3. Dante Chen vs. Luca Crucifino. Crucifino applied a armlock early and forced Chen into the ropes. Chen took control and applied an armlock of his own as the match rolled on. Crucifino escaped and used a hair pull to take back over with the advantage and hit a neckbreaker on Chen for a two count.
Crucifino worked on the back as Chen avoided another neckbreaker and hammered punches to Crucifino in the corner followed up with a big boot. Chen looked to finish with the chest strike but Crucifino rolled to ringside and grabbed the briefcase. The referee intercepted the case as Crucifino re entered the ring but Crucifino was able to use the distraction and poke Chen in the eye and roll him up for the win.
Luca Crucifino defeated Dante Chen via pinfall in 5:13.
John’s Ramblings: Another strong showing by Eddy Thorpe in the opener was this show’s biggest takeaway. The Wendy Choo character does nothing for me so that was a bump in the road en route to the main event, which featured a surprising victory from Luca Crucifino over Level Up mainstay Dante Chen. The cheap finish gave Chen somewhat of an out. Overall, the show is worth checking out this week.
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