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‘NXT LEVEL UP’ 04.08.2022 Recap + Review – Chase U vs. Lauren & Donovan, Ivy Nile vs. Thea Hail, Bernal vs. Raaj

COMMENTATORS: Sudu Shah & Nigel McGuinness

Class is in session this week on NXT Level Up as Chase U’s Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward take on Channing Lauren & Troy Donovan in the main event. Diamond Mine’s Ivy Nile is also in the action against the debuting Thea Hail, and Javier Bernal takes on Guru Raaj.


  • NXT CHAMPION: Bron Breakker
  • NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne)


  • Javier Bernal vs. Guru Raaj (*3/4) [RECAP]
  • Ivy Nile vs. Thea Hail (**) [RECAP]
  • Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward vs. Channing Lauren & Troy Donovan (**1/2) [RECAP]





Javier Bernal vs. Guru Raaj

Bernal grabs a side headlock to start, holding on through Irish whip attempts and bringing Raaj to the canvas with a takeover. Raaj finally escapes, Bernal slides under and flips him inside, locking in the side headlock once more and taking him back to the canvas with a springboard headlock takeover. Bernal & Raaj roll around the ring trying to get the quick pin, finally they break free and Raaj connects with a dropkick followed by a colliding headbutt and snap suplex. Raaj grabs a surfboard, knee to the spine, Bernal almost escapes but Raaj makes him pay with a knee to the midsection and reapplies the hold. Bernal flips through and kicks Raaj away, Bernal blocks forearm attempts and connects with a dropkick followed by kicks to the hamstring. Bernal brings Raaj to the canvas with a Russian legsweep followed by a sliding clothesline and a CODEBREAKER for the 1…2…3!

Javier Bernal defeated Guru Raaj via pinfall (5:09)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. Felt like a dark match to warm up the crowd, except they put it on TV. Crowd seems to love Javier already though so he’s got that going for him. (*3/4)


Ivy Nile [w/ Malcolm Bivens] vs. Thea Hail

Hail is making her NXT debut and at 18 years old has to be one of, if not the, youngest member of the WWE roster. Nile is amused at her energetic entrance and optimism. This will pass when the bell rings.

Nile controls things early with a top wristlock, Hail flips through and counters into one of her own. Nile catches a kick, Hail backflips out and grabs a waistlock, Nile escapes and rolls through into fireman’s stun gun across the top rope. Hail tries to fight back, Nile clubs her with a right, Hail turns a slam into a crossbody but Hail doesn’t let go, rolls through, and turns it into a fallaway slam. Hell yeah. Nile belts Hail in the corner with a Superman punch, Hail pushes her away, Nile comes running back in with a big boot for the 1…2…Hail kicks out. Nile stuns Hail with a back elbow and connects with a flipping cutter, then Gator Rolls Hail into a snap suplex. Nile goes to pick Hail up, Hail surprises her with an inside cradle for the 1…2…Nile kicks out. Hail builds up momentum, connecting with a dropkick. Hail goes for an O’Connor, Nile rolls through and traps her in a Dragon Sleeper forcing Hail to immediately tap.

Ivy Nile defeated Thea Hail via submission (4:08)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: NXT has been tucking away Ivy Nile’s matches on Level Up which is a shame because they are very fun. Watching Nile f*ck Hail’s day up was tremendously entertaining but Hail did manage to get some offense in and show what she can do in her debut. And as always high five to Malcolm Bivens for simply existing. (**)

After a replay of the finish Bivens puts the sunglasses back on Nile and the crowd goes WILD. 


-LAST MONDAY ON RAW: Cody Rhodes addresses the WWE Universe, vows to become World Champion in honor of his father Dusty Rhodes, and shakes hands with the man he defeated at WrestleMania, Seth Rollins. Not sure what the last part of that was about.

Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward vs. Channing Lauren & Troy Donovan

Chase grabs a wristlock on Lauren to start, Lauren escapes with an armdrag and tells Chase “U…SUCK!”. The Chase U students in the crowd did not like that. Lauren grabs a wristlock of his own, Chase rolls through repeatedly and reverses, then trips Lauren up and almost connects with a right but Lauren backs away in the nick of time, Chase calling this a teachable moment. Lauren charges, Chase connects with a side Russian legsweep and spells out C-H-A-S-E-U with stomps. Quick tags from Chase U, Hayward rolling Lauren up with a slingshot sunset flip for a two-count. Lauren stuns Hayward with a right and tags in Donovan. Donovan floats over Hayward in the corner and connects with an armdrag, Hayward quickly counters into an armbar. Chase tags in and Lauren distracts him, leaving him open to a dropkick from Donovan. Donovan rains down rights and soaks in the jeers from the crowd. Lauren tags in and the duo connect with a double back elbow, Lauren following up with a snap suplex but only getting a one-count. Donovan tags in, Lauren sends Chase into his arms for a scoop slam for the 1…2…Chase bridges out and Donovan slows it down with an armbar, wrenching the neck at the same time by pulling the chin. Chase almost escapes, Donovan connects with a belly-to-back suplex. Lauren tags in but misses a slingshot senton, Donovan gets sent into the post by Chase. Lauren grabs his wrist, Chase rolls him through and gets the hot tag to Hayward. Hayward BOWLS Lauren over with shoulder tackles followed by a scoop slam, Donovan tries to interject and Hayward slams him on top of Lauren! Donovan charges, Hayward connects with a powerslam. Chase tags in, Hayward picks Lauren up in a Gory Special and Chase peels him off into a Flatliner (called the FRATliner by Nigel during the replay) for the 1…2…3!

Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward defeated Channing Lauren & Troy Donovan via pinfall (6:53)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Before watching NXT more frequently I thought the Andre Chase/Chase U stuff was dumb as f*ck but now having watched more…it’s still dumb but it’s MY kind of dumb and I am super into it! Chase looking like an Animal House frat guy is hilarious and Hayward being the overzealous student is perfecting casting, though it makes me wish he was around when Bo Dallas was still doing his Bo-Lieve stuff (also they look pretty much alike). Entertaining tag match, Channing Lauren & Troy Donovan are natural heels by virtue of being so damn pretty. Love that Fratliner finish Chase & Hayward did too. SO MUCH ENERGY. (**1/2)




I will forever mourn the death of 205 Live but NXT Level Up makes a lot of sense and I love that they’re using it as a developmental show of sorts for the brand, debuting new talent and also letting some of their greener talent get reps in. Solid work all around, the debuting talent all handled themselves well (Channing Lauren is going to be HUGE as a heel if they let him), and it flew by. Will be keeping this as part of my weekly regimen for the time being.

  • FAVORITE MATCH: Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward vs. Channing Lauren & Troy Donovan
  • FAVORITE MOMENT: Ivy Nile’s bemused look while Thea Hail made her very energetic and peppy entrance. Her eyes screamed “can’t wait to murder this weirdo”.


Javier Bernal defeated Guru Raaj via pinfall (5:09) (*3/4)

Ivy Nile defeated Thea Hail via submission (4:08) (**)

Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward defeated Channing Lauren & Troy Donovan via pinfall (6:53)


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1 Comment

  1. […] vs. Thea Hail was my favorite match on the show, with Hail getting to show a lot more here than she did against Ivy Nile a couple weeks back. It was also surprisingly stiff as both Henley and Hail laid into each other, which I appreciated. […]

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