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Leighty’s 2022 Countdown: The Matches of NXT Level Up

February 17, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
NXT Level Up Image Credit: WWE

-I enjoy ranking things and that continues with this look back at the year that was for NXT Level Up. It was a year of change as in February they finally stopped calling the show 205 Live and Level Up was born. For these rankings I have included the matches under the 205 Live name as well because it stopped being about the cruiserweights in 2021. As you will see there was a lot of what you would call bad from this show, but that’s not really the point of the show. The idea is to get these kids out in front of an audience and working on TV. You will see some names that ended up moving up to the main NXT roster and some that have popped up on Main Event in the HHH era. As the great Larry Csonka always said when it came to lists like this, everyone can have an opinion but don’t be a dick about it. Let’s get to it!

154) Harland vs. Javie Bernal (02.18.22) SQUASH

153) Indi Hartwell vs. Sloane Jacobs (10.07.22) SQUASH 

152) Erica Yan vs. Arianna Grace (09.02.22) 1/2*

151) Joe Gacy vs. Quincy Elliot (03.25.22) 1/2*

150) Amari Miller vs. Arianna Grace (04.29.22) 1/2*

149) Ru Feng vs. Bryson Montana (07.22.22) 1/2* 

148) Thea Hail vs. Brooklyn Barlow (07.22.22) 1/2*

147) Quincy Elliot vs. Bryson Montana (06.24.22) 1/2*

146) Kiana James and Arianna Grace vs. Fallon Henley and Sol Ruca (10.07.22) 1/2* 

145) Thea Hail vs. Amari Miller (12.30.22) 1/2* 

144) Fallon Henley vs. Sol Ruca (07.29.22) 1/2*

143) Sol Ruca vs. Elektra Lopez (08.12.22) 1/2*

142) Thea Hail vs. Jakara Jackson (10.28.22) 1/2* 

141) Amari Miller vs. Indi Hartwell (09.16.22) 1/2* 

140) Odyssey Jones vs. Damon Kemp (12.09.22) 1/2* 

139) Bodhi Heyward vs. Guru Raaj (01.14.22) 1/2*

138) Thea Hail vs. Dani Palmer (11.18.22) 3/4* 

137) Sloane Jacobs vs. Sierra St Pierre (06.10.22) *1/4

136) Fallon Henley vs. Brooklyn Barlow (06/03.22) *

135) Indi Hartwell vs. Valentina Feroz (09.23.22) *

134) Ivy Nile vs. Kiana James (03.25.22) *  

133) Sanga vs. Dante Chen (05.13.22) *

132) Lash Legend vs. Erica Yan (02.11.22) *

131) Elektra Lopez vs. Sarray (02.25.22) *

130) Nikkita Lyons vs. Erica Yan (01.07.22) *

129) Thea Hail vs. Elektra Lopez (05.13.22) *

128) Brooks Jensen vs. Bodhi Hayward (02.04.22) *

127) Draco Antony vs. Javier Bernal (01.21.22) *

126) Trick Williams vs. Ikemen Jiro (02.11.22) *

125) Dante Chen vs. Damon Kemp (04.29.22) *

124) Javier Bernal vs. Bryson Montana (05.20.22) * 

123) Dante Chen vs. Trick Williams (05.27.22) * 

122) Duke Hudson vs. Hank Walker (07.22.22) *

121) Trick Williams vs. Guru Raaj (03.11.22) *

120) Kianna James vs. Brooklyn Barlow (06.24.22) *

119) Channing Loreonzo vs. Hank Walker (07.01.22) * 

118) Ivy Nile vs. Brooklyn Barlow (03.11.22) *

117) Ivy Nile vs. Sol Ruca (11.04.22) * 

116) The Dyad vs. Lucien Price and Bronco Nima (12.16.22) * 

115) Thea Hail vs. Arianna Grace (08.05.22) * 

114) Amari Miller vs. Kianna James (08.26.22) * 

113) Valentina Feroz vs. Sol Ruca (09.09.22) * 

112) Thea Hail vs. Sol Ruca (12.02.22) * 

111) Duke Hudson vs. Bryson Montana (10.21.22) * 

110) Sol Ruca vs. Dani Palmer (12.23.22) *

109) Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley vs. Erica Yan and Sloane Jacobs (09.16.22) *1/4

108) Dante Chen vs. Bodhi Hayward (04.22.22) *1/4

107) Thea Hail vs. Arianna Grace (06.17.22) *1/4

106) Roxanne Perez vs. Sloane Jacobs (04.15.22) *1/4

105) Valentina Feroz vs. Arianna Grace (06.10.22) *1/4

104) Dante Chen vs. Oba Femi (11.18.22) *1/4

103) Dante Chen vs. Myles Borne (10.14.22) *1/4 

102) Myles Borne vs. Guru Raaj (10.07.22) *1/4

101) Guru Raaj vs. Myles Borne (06.17.22) *1/4 

100) Sloane Jacobs vs. Tatum Paxley (06.03.22) *1/2

99) Channing Lorenzo vs. Tavian Heights (12.02.22) *1/2

98) Tiffany Stratton vs. Erica Yan (03.04.22) *1/2

97) Sloane Jacobs vs. Thea Hail (05.06.22) *1/2

96) Dante Chen vs. Javier Bernal (03.04.22) *1/2

95) Kianna James vs. Sol Ruca (07.15.22) *1/2 

94) Dante Chen and Guru Raaj vs. Bryson Montana and Damaris Griffin (08.05.22) *1/2

93) Andre Chase and Bodhu Hayward vs. Bryson Montana and Damaris Griffin (05.27.22) *1/2

92) IKEMEN JIRO vs. Ru Feng (06.24.22) *1/2

91) Jame Drake vs. Bodhi Hayward (01.21.22) *1/2

90) Joe Gacy vs. Xyon Quinn (02.11.22) *1/2

89) Joe Gacy vs. Draco Anthony (01.28.22) *1/2

88) KUSHIDA vs. Damon Kemp (02.04.22) *1/2

87) Josh Briggs vs. Damon Kemp (01.28.22) *1/2

86) Thea Hail vs. Fallon Henley (04.22.22) *1/2

85) Andre Chase vs. Myles Borne (09.23.22) *1/2 

84) Valentina Feroz vs. Thea Hail (09.30.22) *1/2

83) Amari Miller vs. Arianna Grace (05.27.22) *1/2

82) Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley vs. Lash Legend and Jakara Jackson (11.11.22) *1/2

81) Tatum Paxley vs. Kiana James (04.15.22) *1/2

80) Amari Miller vs. Elektra Lopez (11.25.22) *1/2

79) Channing Leronzo vs. Tank Ledger (10.28.22) *1/2

78) Bodhi Heyward vs. Dante Chen (03.18.22) *1/2

77) Ivy Nile vs. Elektra Lopez (06.17.22) *1/2

76) Ivy Nile vs. Thea Hail (04.08.22) *1/2

75) Amari Miller vs. Sloane Jacobs (07.01.22) *1/2

74) Sol Ruca vs. Valentina Feroz (12.09.22) *1/2

73) Myles Borne vs. Hank Walker (11.04.22) *1/2

72) Javier Bernal vs. Guru Raaj (04.08.22) *1/2

71) Myles Borne vs. IKEMEN JIRO (10.21.22) *1/2

70) Ivy Nile vs. Arianna Grace (08.19.22) *1/2 

69) Javier Bernal vs. Myles Borne (07.29.22) *1/2

68) Tatum Paxley and Ivy Nile vs. Fallon Henley and Kayla Inlay (02.18.22) *3/4

67) James Drake vs. Damon Kemp (04.01.22) *3/4

66) Bronco Nima and Lucien Price vs. Oba Femi and Bryson Monata (12.30.22) **

65) Oro Mensah vs. Channing Lorenzo (11.18.22) ** 

64) Bronco Nima vs. Duke Hudson (09.16.22) ** 

63) IKEMEN JIRO vs. Quincy Elliot (07.15.22) ** 

62) IKEMEN JIRO and Tank Ledger vs. Bryson Montana and Duke Hudson (10.14.22) ** 

61) Channing Lorenzo and Troy Donovan vs. Dante Chen and Javier Bernal (05.06.22) ** 

60) Dante Chen vs. Bryson Montana (09.23.22) ** 

59) Troy Donovan vs. Damon Kemp (04.15.22) **

58) Lash Legend vs. Fallon Henley (01.21.22) **

57) Ivy Nile vs. Valentina Feroz (01.14.22) **

56) Valentina Feroz and Elisa Leon vs. Lash Legend and Amari Miller (01.28.22) **

55) Dante Chen vs.  Javier Bernal (08.19.22) ** 

54) Malik Blade and Edris Enofe vs. Bronco Nima and Lucien Price (08.26.22) ** 

53) Trick Williams vs. Javier Bernal (05.13.22) ** 

52) Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward vs. Bronco Nima and Lucien Price (08.12.22) ** 

51) Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley vs. Erica Yan and Sarah (05.06.22) **

50) James Drake vs. Xyon Quinn (02.25.22) **

49) IKEMEN JIRO vs. Channing Lorenzo (09.09.22) **

48) Xyon Quinn vs. Damon Kemp (03.18.22) ** 

47) Ivy Nile vs. Lash Legend (10.14.22) ** 

46) Duke Hudson vs. Myles Borne (09.02.22) ** 

45) Hank Walker vs. Trick Williams (12.23.22) **

44) Joe Gacy and Harland vs. Jacket Time (02.25.22) **

43) Ivy Nile vs. Yulisa Leon (05.20.22) ** 

42) Javier Bernal vs. Ru Feng  (09.30.22) **

41) Dante Chen vs. Lyon Quinn (09.02.22) ** 

40) Oro Mensah vs. Xyon Quinn ** (11.04.22)

39) Kayden Carter vs. Tatum Paxley (04.01.22) **

38) Axiom vs. Xyon Quinn (08.19.22) ** 

37) IKEMEN JIRO vs. Trick Williams (12.09.22) **

36) Quincy Elliot vs. Xyon Quinn (08.05.22) ** 

35) IKEMEN JIRO vs. Javier Bernal (11.11.22) **

34) Dante Chen vs. Myles Borne (07.08.22) ** 

33) IKEMEN JIRO vs. Myles Borne (08.12.22) ** 

32) Bryson Montana and Damaris Griffin vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade (07.08.22) **1/4

31) Myles Borne and Javier Bernal vs. Chase University (07.15.22) **1/4

30) Javier Bernal vs. Andre Chase (10.21.22) **1/4

29) Ivy Nile vs. Lash Legend (12.16.23) **1/4

28) Xyon Quinn vs. Tank Ledger (11.25.22) **1/4

27) Arianna Grace vs. Yulisa Leon (07.08.22) **1/4

26) Javier Bernal vs. Oro Mensah (12.30.22) **1/4

25) Dante Chen vs. Damon Kemp (11.25.22) **1/4

24) Javier Bernal vs. Duke Hudson (07.01.22) **1/4

23) Dante Chen vs. IKEMEN JIRO (06.10.22) **1/4

22) Xyon Quinn vs. Dante Chen (04.0.122) **1/4

21) Malik Blade vs. Draco Anthony (01.07.22) **1/4

20) LDF vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe (03.04.22) **1/4

19) Oroh Mensah vs. Myles Borne (12.02.22) **1/4

18) Andre Chase and Duke Hudson vs. Xyon Quinn and Javier Bernal (12.16.22) **1/2 

17) Quincy Elliot vs. Josh Briggs (05.20.22) **1/2

16) Lash Legend vs. Valentina Feroz (03.18.22) **1/2

15) Odyssey Jones, Edris Enofe, Malik Blade vs. Xyon Quinn, Lucien Price, Bronco Nima (11.11.22) **1/2

14) Trick Williams vs. Brooks Jensen (10.28.22) **1/2

13) Andre Chase vs. Quincy Elliot (04.29.22) **1/2

12) Ikemen Jiro vs. Ru Feng (01.07.22) **1/2

11) Edris Enofe and Malik Blade vs. Quincy Elliot and Damaris Griffin (04.22.22) **1/2

10) Jacket Time vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe (03.25.22) **1/2

9) IKEMEN JIRO and Quincy Elliot vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade (07.29.22) **3/4

8) Edris Enofe and Malik Blade vs. Guru Raaj and IKEMEN JIRO (09.30.22) **3/4

7) Malik Blade and Edris Enofe vs. Javier Bernal and Dante Chen (06.03.22) **3/4

6) Chase University vs. Troy Donovan and Channing Lauren (04.08.22) **3/4

5) IKEMEN JIRO vs. Nathan Frazer (08.26.22) ***

-Frazer apparently comes out of Seth Rollins’ school, so let’s see what he’s got. Weird that he has been on NXT and NXT UK and now is just making his Level Up debut. Chain wrestling to start which JIRO controls. Monkey Flip from Frazer, but JIRO maintains the hold. They each flip out of moves and it’s a stalemate. JIRO hits a cartwheel because he can! Frazer with a side headlock, but JIRO escapes. Frazer runs the ropes with crazy speed and after three times hits a shotgun dropkick. Nice! Frazer goes to an armbar, but JIRO reverses which is reversed back. JIRO uses the ropes to flip out and gets a hiptoss. He lands an elbow to the face, but Frazer slides underneath and transitions into a Boston Crab. JIRO crawls to the ropes, but Frazer pulls him back and transitions to an STF. JIRO goes to the fingers to break, so Frazer switches to a side headlock. That lets JIRO gets a roll-up for two. JIRO backdrops out of an attempted move and runs wild with forearms and JACKET PUNCHES! Frazer misses a charge in the corner and then JIRO misses the springboard moonsault. Frazer off the top with a kick to the face and the crowd loves what they are seeing. “Level Up” chant from the crowd! They trade blows in the middle of the ring, but Frazer gets an armbar. JIRO rolls out but gets caught with a superkick trying a lionsault (a little sloppy but looked okay). Phoenix Splash finishes at 6:29.

Winner: Nathan Frazer via pin at 6:29
-One of the better matches we have had on Level Up in quite some time. The superkick spot got a little wonky as mentioned but still looked good. More of this, please!

4) Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter vs. Fallon Henley and Lash Legend (02.04.22) ***

-Briggs and Jensen are hanging around at the announce desk, but not on commentary. Carter and Henley start and Carter gets a takedown and walks over the back of Henley. She lands a few chops and climbs the ropes and springs around a bit before hitting a move. A blind tag was made to Catanzaro and she springs in with a seated Senton. I like this team! Lash Legend gets the tag and she easily overpowers Kacy and hits a slam. Kacy charges and gets pressed up, but lands on her feet and makes the tag to Carter. Legend ducks a double clothesline and hits a clothesline on each. She hits a heavy chop in the corner and makes the tag to Henley. Snap suplex from Henley and tag made to Legend. She connects with a powerslam for two. She hooks a bearhug and I will mention again this crowd loves this show as they are way into this which greatly helps. Henley back in and she hits an elbow in the corner and rams Kayden face first into the mat. Henley cuts off the ring, but Carter kicks off and makes the hot tag. She runs wild with kicks and gets a sliding trip on Henley. Running corner clothesline and she comes off top, but Henley avoids and lands a head kick. Tag to Legend and she drills Kacy with a pump kick. Carter back in to save and Legend misses a splash in the corner. Alley-oop Code Breaker from Kacy. Carter holds her in position for a neckbreaker while Kacy comes off the top with a 450 splash for the win at 6:15.

Winners: Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter via pin at 6:15
-This was all action and one of the best things I have seen on this show in months. I may be crazy and grading on a NXT2.0 Dark curve, but this was a ton of fun and these two need to be the NXT Women’s Tag Champions. Legend taking the pin seemed weird, but whatever.

3) Charlie Dempsey vs. Bodhi Heyward (09.09.22) ***

-Bodhi times the bell and lands some right hands as soon as it sounds. It seems these two have had issues in recent weeks on NXT as Dempsey was brought into Chase U to teach catch wrestling and he went too hard on Hayward. Dempsey controls with a side headlock, but gets shoved off and Bodhi gets a hiptoss. He lands another and lets Dempsey know he is dealing with Chase U. Again, the student section for these Chase U matches is a wonderful touch. Dempsey gets a hammerlock on the ground, but Dempsey gets to his head and tries to break a wristlock with a monkey flip, but Bodhi maintains the hold. Dempsey counters his way out, but Bodhi reverses into an armbar. Dempsey counters that, but Hayward turns it right back. Dempsey gets a Fireman’s Carry Slam, but Bodhi maintains wrist control. Finally Dempsey breaks and he talks chase to Andre on the floor. Suplex gets a one count so Dempsey goes to a standing, twisting armbar. Nigel drops some NWA Title history at Comiskey Park as I continue to love all the announcers bringing up all the history. Dempsey gets another gut-wrench suplex and this one gets two. Dempsey goes back to the twisting armbar, but Bodhi catches Dempsey and traps the arm. Dempsey rolls over and escapes. He pours down with hammer fists and then some knees to the ribs. They start exchanging forearms and Heyward hits a lariat. He gets the running shoulder tackle and again before hitting a standing splash for two. Dempsey transitions into a Fujiwar armbar, but Heyward rolls through which Dempsey rolls into a knee bar. This is fantastic! Dempsey transitions than into STF and he stares down Chase as Bodhi has no choice but to tap at 7:52.

Winner: Charlie Dempsey via submission at 7:52
-This was wonderful as I loved the transitions and counters to other holds. Dempsey just kept waiting Heyward out and ground him until he couldn’t escape.

2) Edris Enofe vs. KUSHIDA (02.18.22) ***

-I smell a tag match between these teams (Enofe/Blade and Jacket Times) coming at some point soon on this show and it will probably fun. For whatever reason the announcer’s mic volume is really low compared to the crowd and entrance music, so I don’t even know what they are saying. Feeling out process to start with neither man gaining an advantage. KUSHIDA gets a side headlock on the mat, but Enofe escapes. KUSHIDA gets Enofe on his back and transitions to a head scissor. Enofe escapes and they go again. Standing side headlock from KUSHIDA. Pace picks up as KUSHIDA snaps off a head scissors take down and then gets a hammerlock. He snaps the arm with his legs and hits a baseball slide on the floor. Back inside KUSHIDA runs into an elbow and Enofe gets a two count. He goes to a chinlock, but KUSHIDA breaks with ease. Enofe catches him charging again and rolls into a Half Crab. KUISHIDA breaks as he gets to the bottom rope. Snap suplex from Enofe gets another two count. He heads up top as the crowd tries to tally KUSHIDA. He answers as he meets Enofe up top, but he elbows KUSHIDA down. He comes off top, but KUSHIDA catches him with a dropkick on the way down. That draws a Holy Shit chant from the crowd. KUSHIDA starts to run wild with kicks but misses a clothesline in the corner. Tornado DDT into the Hover Lock, but Enofe rolls into a pin which forces KUSHIDA to break. They start trading blows and KUSHIDA wins that exchange. Handspring elbow is countered with a well placed dropkick to the back. Enofe heads up and hits The Shooting Star Press for the win at 7:07.

Winner: Edris Enofe via pin at 7:07
-This was a pretty sweet match as they let them loose a little bit here. KUSHIDA is KUSHIDA so you know what to expect, but Enofe showed out a little bit here and it was nice to see. Again, give me something like this in the Main Event of this show each week and it will go a long way in making this a solid show.

1) Charlie Dempsey vs. Myles Borne (12.23.22) ***1/4

-Lockup and nothing doing, so they can again. Borne shoots in and gets a take down, and they exchange on the mat. Hammerlock from Borne, but Dempsey counters, gets to his feet and gets an armbar. Borne counters which Dempsey escapes by bridging off his back. The pace picks up as Borne lands a dropkick, but Dempsey gets in a shot and takes a side headlock to the mat. Head scissors from Dempsey, but Borne kips out. Dempsey goes back to the hold and transitions to an armbar as the crowd starts a “This is Wrestling” chant. Sweet! Dempsey works the arm as Borne looks for another escape. He reverses into an top wristlock and they battle back and forth. Dempsey ties Borne up with a head scissors while keeping arm control. Borne escapes again and they start trading forearms from the mat. Hammerlock from Dempsey and he lands some elbows to the back on the head. He stretches Borne and throws some body blows. Cover by Dempsey gets two. Borne is able to quicken the pace, but gets caught with a hiptoss and Dempsey takes it right back to the mat. He works a keylock, but Borne fights off his back and is able to lift Dempsey onto his shoulders and drop backwards to break the hold. Nice! They start trading strikes again as the crowd is digging this one. Overhead belly to belly suplex from Borne. He sends Dempsey into the ropes and catches him with a powerslam (like Randy Orton naturally) for two. Borne up top, but a splash misses. Dempsey lands a strike to the back and finishes with a bridging head and shoulders suplex for the win at 8:13.

Winner: Charlie Dempsey via pin at 8:13
-This was fantastic and one of the best matches on this show all year (actually the best as it turns out). They just went out and wrestled and meshed well against each other. The crowd dug all the mat wrestling and they built things nicely. Borne tried the only high-risk spot of the match, missed, and Dempsey made him pay. More of this please!

-There is my list and as I stated this show isn’t really about having great wrestling matches, but when they do deliver something unexpected it’s a joy to watch. Thanks for reading!

article topics :

NXT Level Up, Robert Leighty Jr.