By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 80)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed August 25, 2023 on Peacock/WWE Network
Hank Walker and Tank Ledger made their way to the ring as the broadcast team of Blake Howard and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show…
1. Hank Walker and Tank Ledger vs. Tyriek Igwe and Tyson Dupont. Walker used his power early as the match began on Igwe before tagging in Ledger. Igwe in response tagged in Dupont. After a brief double team by Walker and Ledger, Dupont sandwiched Walker in the corner with a splash which gained a near fall.
Walker made his way back to his feet and dropped Dupont with a clothesline and tagged Ledger back in. Dupont in response tagged in Igwe. Ledger took care of both Igwe and Dupont before hitting a crossbody on Igwe. Ledger tagged Walker who assisted with sending Igwe on a collision course for the win.
Hank Walker and Tank Ledger defeated Tyriek Igwe and Tyson Dupont via pinfall in 5:07.
The commentary team hyped Kiyah Saint vs. Kiana James for after the break…[c]
2. Kiyah Saint vs. Kiana James. James shrugged off Saint as the bell rang and grabbed a side headlock to wear down the newcomer. Saint in response applied a headlock of her own taking James down to the canvas. Saint looked to continue with the momentum but James awkwardly dropped Saint on the top turnbuckle to stop Saint in her tracks.
James wore down Saint with a chinlock as fans half heartedly attempted to bring Saint back into the match. Saint hit a shoulder block and a pump kick to drop James and followed up with a fisherman’s suplex for a two count. Saint looked to finish but James grabbed the top rope to create separation. James hit a facebuster and a neckcrusher across the knee on Saint for the victory.
Kiana James defeated Kiyah Saint via pinfall in 5:20.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
3. Dante Chen vs. Scrypts (w/Bronco Nima, Lucien Price). Scrypts sent Chen into the ropes and hit the dropkick as the match started. Chen returned the favor with a dropkick of his own moments later. Chen continued to ground Scrypts working on the arm of the high flying performer. Chen hit a number of arm drags and sent Scrypts to the outside.
Scrypts communicated with Nima and Price as he made his way tentatively back in the ring. Chen was hit with a crossbody which allowed Scrypts to take control and apply a chinlock. Chen hit a neckbreaker to escape and rocked Scrypts with punches, chops and side kick to the head. Looking to finish, Chen headed to the corner but his foot was grabbed by Price on the outside. Scrypts taking advantage of the distraction hit Chen with the acrobatic cutter that put Chen away.
Scrypts defeated Dante Chen via pinfall in 6:35.
John’s Ramblings: I’m not the biggest fan of Scrypts, but I am intrigued by his alliance with Bronco Nima and Lucien Price, who helped him gain the victory. I am interested in seeing where it is headed.
Overall, this was a missable episode of ‘Level Up’ as none of the matches really hooked me and the audience didn’t seem too enthusiastic by what they were seeing either. Hopefully the events of next week are more notable.