This week’s NXT Level Up matches were taped last Tuesday at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, with Sudu Shah and Nigel McGuinness on the call.
Diamond Mine (Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley) defeated Sloane Jacobs & Erica Yan
This was a solid squash match putting over the Diamond Mine duo as a technically sound unit compared to their opponents.
Paxley was wearing a LeBron James-esque black face mask, protecting an injury attributed to a rough training session with Nile. Paxley started with Yan and used her Diamond Mine training to employ a technical advantage.
Nile tagged in and kept the advantage with the crowd firmly behind her. Yan drove Nile into the corner and tagged in Jacobs, but Nile did a very cool punch-kick combination to cut them off as they went for a double-team.
Paxley tagged back in but took a facebuster from Jacobs as they took advantage of Paxley’s injury. Nile quickly got a hot tag and cleaned house. A Nile high kick and an assisted twisting senton with Paxley scored the win for the Diamond Mine.
Bronco Nima and Lucien Price were backstage with Kelly Kincaid. Nima had on a Protect Ya Neck Records t-shirt on, which endeared him to me. They talked about how they have been friends since childhood which will make them ready for anything in NXT.
Duke Hudson entered the frame and told them that their friendship won’t last in NXT. Price challenged Hudson to a tag match, but Hudson declined and countered with a singles match against either one of them. Nima accepted.
Duke Hudson defeated Bronco Nima
This was a solid veteran (Hudson) leading the rookie (Nima) through one of his first singles matches. What we got was a spirited effort and a solid match.
Nima has a great name and I could picture him being an NWA Southern States Champion in 1987-era NWA. Hudson isn’t a bad name either.
So, these two tall guys with great names locked horns on NXT Level Up. Hudson had trouble fighting a guy his own size as the Bronco chants from the crowd got under his skin. Hudson pulled his hair early on, so Nima pulled on Hudson’s hair to get a bit of comeuppance. Nima dropped Hudson with a clothesline and a big Samoan drop for a nearfall, but Hudson took control and slapped on a headlock to try and keep the big man contained.
Nima turned the headlock into a back suplex and went on a frenzy of offense, but a missed fist drop allowed for Hudson to hit an inside-out German suplex and a big boot for the win.
Indi Hartwell defeated Amari Miller
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
This main event was inoffensive, but completely unmemorable.
The bubbles from Miller’s entrance were still hanging in the air as the bell sounded to start the match. Miller continually kept control of Hartwell’s arm until Hartwell used her size to repeatedly bodyslam Miller.
A hotshot into the middle ropes gave Hartwell further control, but Miller fought back with a sunset flip. Miller fired up and went for a sidekick, but Hartwell ducked and hit a spinebuster for the win. Hartwell worked with some intensity here. I think if she leaned into that more, she could become an effective heel on the NXT roster.