By John O’Connor, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@thereal_JOC)
NXT: Level Up (Episode 84)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed September 22, 2023 on Peacock/WWE Network
Ivy Nile made her way to the ring as the broadcast team of Blake Howard and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show…
1. Ivy Nile vs. Izzy Dame. Dame scooped Nile up and slammed her to the mat as the match started. Nile responded and grabbed a side headlock giving Dame a taste of the canvas. Dame escaped and began to work on the leg and ankle of Nile. Nile used the encouragement of the audience to power through and escape briefly but Dame would again target the leg. Nile avoided another attempt to work on the leg from Dame and would hit a forearm smash in response. Dame rolled to the outside to regroup only to re-enter the ring to be met with an enzuigiri from Nile who quickly transitioned into the dragon sleeper for the submission win.
Ivy Nile defeated Izzy Dame via submission in 5:24.
The commentary team hyped Ikemen Jiro vs. Luca Crusifino for after the break…[c]
2. Ikemen Jiro vs. Luca Crusifino. Crusifino looked to take Jiro down as the bell rang but Jiro used his quickness to escape early. Crusifino would hit a neckbreaker on Jiro for a near fall but Jiro rallied and responded with jacket punches on Crusifino. Crusifino removed the jacket from Jiro but Jiro hit the handspring elbow to drop Crusifino. Jiro looked for the finish and the shining wizard but Crusifino threw the jacket into the face to blind Jiro and roll him up for the three count.
Luca Crusifino defeated Ikemen Jiro via pinfall in 3:00.
The commentary team hyped the main event…[c]
3. Charlie Dempsey vs. Axiom in an NXT Heritage Cup tournament Group A match. The Group A standings were shown before the opening bell rang. Dempsey backdropped Axiom and worked the arm as the match started. Axiom escaped and worked the wrist of Dempsey in response. Dempsey clubbed the neck of Axiom as both men jockeyed for position. Axiom shrugged Dempsey off and looked for a kick but Dempsey transitioned and work Axiom into an abdominal stretch.
Dempsey gained a near fall on Axiom before both men exchanged chops. Axiom rocked Dempsey with a dropkick and hit a dive on Dempsey at ringside. Back in the ring, Axiom looked for a crossbody but Dempsey caught Axiom with a side suplex. A bridging German suplex got Dempsey a close near fall. Late in the match, Axiom looked to finish and placed Dempsey on to the top turnbuckle. Dempsey pushed Axiom off but Axiom eventually hit the Spanish fly followed by the golden ratio for the victory to close out the matches in Group A.
Axiom defeated Charlie Dempsey via pinfall to earn 2 points in the ‘NXT Heritage Cup tournament’ in 6:54.
A graphic flashed on the screen as the episode closed to show the final Group A standings. Butch finished top of the group with Tyler Bate in second, Axiom in third and Charlie Dempsey in fourth and last place.
John’s Ramblings: Another Charlie Dempsey match, another must see main event. Having NXT Heritage Cup tournament matches on Level Up has really made the show feel worthy over the last few weeks and it’s a shame that the tournament is winding down as it’s likely we are going to go back to entertaining but essentially throwaway matches on the Friday night Performance Center show. Here’s hoping that they have something in mind to continue the momentum that the show has built with the tournament going on.
Outside of the main event, the other matches on the show this week were fine. Ivy Nile was on the back foot a bit too long in her match against Izzy Dame for my liking but eventually prevailed. And we say goodbye to Ikemen Jiro (in a match taped prior to his release), who ended up doing the job in his final match in quick fashion. Jiro and his matches built around the jacket, were not my cup of tea, but I wish him the very best in wherever he lands up next.