American Ninja Warrior All-Star Spectacular 2022
A brand-new season of American Ninja Warrior is just around the corner!!!!
But before we get to that, we’ve got the annual All-Star Spectacular filmed at last season’s National Finals.
Spring Forward Tag
Ninjas chase each other on a circular Spring Forward course.
The first ninja to get tagged or fall off the obstacle is eliminated.
Jake Murray vs Kaden Lebsack
By Murray’s own admission, this matchup is Lebsack’s to lose.
Murray let Lebsack make the first move.
And Murray was faster on the springs.
But according to Akbar, Kaden was pulling a “rope-a-dope:” run Murray around the course until he wore down.
And the strategy worked as Murray fell off the obstacle.
Hunter Guerard vs Kyle Soderman
These guys opened their own gym together.
Soderman was the first to make ground on the Springs.
And Soderman connected, tagging Guerard’s foot and moving on.
Joe Moravsky vs Jay Lewis
It’s mentor vs student in the third matchup of the night.
It was even at first.
But Lewis started to gain ground.
The chase was on with the student tagging the master and moving on.
RJ Roman vs Amir Malik
Roman once loaned a pair of pants to Malik during a competition.
Malik had the speed early.
And he kept that speed going until he got going a little too fast.
Malik missed a grab and Roman moves onto the next round.
The semifinals will be later in the show.
It’s the power tower except both ninjas must jump from wall to wall on their way up.
Max Feinberg vs Josiah Pippel
Max and Josiah have developed a strong bond competing against each other over the years.
Early hesitation by Pippel gave Feinberg the lead.
But Pippel caught up quickly and passed him.
Pippel’s lead would only lengthen as he hit the buzzer first and moved onto the finals.
Isaiah Thomas vs Elijah Browning
Thomas got out to a quick lead.
And that lead only grew as “Fly Boy” led from start to finish on his way to the Finals.
Cat Grab Finals: Josiah Pippel vs Isaiah Thomas
They were even on the first half of the course.
Towards the top, Pippel started to pull away.
And he held onto to the lead all the way to the Cat Grab championship!!!
Cat Grab Winner: Josiah Pippel
Big Dipper Freestyle Challenge
It’s time for one of the signature events of the All-Star competition.
Yamauchi broke out the University of Illinois gymnastics uniform for his jump.
And Yamauchi broke out the “Iron Cross” on the rings before entering the water with a triple something (not sure what they were calling it).
Basketball (because it is an indoor sport) is very popular in the rural town in Alaska that Hanson is from.
Sporting the 70’s headband, Hanson attempted to take an alley-oop pass and dunk it in a hoop in the water.
But while Hanson was upside down, he was unable to get a hold of Chris DiGangi’s low pass.
The axe thrower will be playing the part of the ax as she attempts to hurl herself into a target.
And she nailed the bullseye!!! (though I’m not sure if she was supposed to go all the way through the target).
(During the break) Playing “Biceps McCoy,” Bryan managed an 18.
Hard to believe “The Phoenix” has yet to win a skills competition (three 2nd places, ouch!!!).
Well, he made a strong case with his first attempt catching a rope, hitting the Spiderman, and then doing a 540 backflip into the water.
Score: 27 (Only 27???)
Attempt Number 2
The first round leader started with a cannonball before moving to a belly flop (I don’t think that was intentional).
Score: 16 (two round total of 45)
Playing Santa Claus, Hanson did multiple flips on his way into the water.
Score: 26 (two round total of 39)
Impersonating Tyler Yamauchi from earlier, Bryan hit a twisted double somersault.
Score 25 (two round total of 43)
Rowe called on help from Jessie Graff where they did a double-blind butterfly (literally they were dressed like a butterfly) into the water. And the result moved Rowe into the lead.
Score: 29 (two round total of 50)
“The Phoenix” needs a 23 to tie and a 24 to win.
And when went full “Phoenix” in midair, he had his first skills competition win sealed!!!
Score: 30 (two round total of 57)
Big Dipper Freestyle Challenge Winner: Najee Richardson
Spring Forward Tag Semifinals
RJ Roman vs Jay Lewis
Lewis found a nice rhythm early.
But Roman picked up his speed and kept a nice distance from Lewis.
It was a stalemate for quite a while.
As both ninjas tired, both stopped.
Roman gave his arms a break by swinging on top of the spring.
He waited there until Lewis’s arms wore down and he fell.
Kyle Soderman vs Kaden Lebsack
Soderman was aggressive early coming close to running down Lebsack.
Lebsack tried his strategy from round one by baiting Soderman in hopes that he would wear down.
But that didn’t happen here as Soderman ran down and tagged Lebsack, setting up a great Final!!!
Spring Forward Tag Finals: RJ Roman vs Kyle Soderman
The pair was even early.
Then Roman picked up speed and was closing in.
But Roman fell before he could get there, making Soderman the champ!!!
Spring Forward Tag Champion: Kyle Soderman
Striding Steps Challenge
Tiana Webberley vs Flip Rodriguez
Flip brought “Sweet T” into ninja.
On the way down, the pair was even.
But Flip didn’t hesitate and took the lead all the way to the literal flip on the buzzer.
Jessie ‘Flex’ LaBreck vs Chris DiGangi
The last time the Ninja power couple competed, DiGangi won.
“Flex’ did DiGangi’s laundry for a month.
This time, the loser does all the dishes for a month.
This won came down to the wire.
They were stride for stride with each other, but DiGangi hit the buzzer a split second before ‘Flex.’
Isabella Wakeham vs Isaiah Wakeham
Isabella looked like she had her brother beat on the way back.
But Isaiah was faster up the platform and hit the buzzer a split second ahead of his sister.
Jessie Graff vs Michelle Warnky Buurma
Another even race on the first half.
Graff had the advantage and looked on her way to a win going away.
But Warnky Burma closed the gap significantly towards the end.
It wasn’t enough as Graff hit the buzzer first.
Striding Steps Semifinals
Flip Rodriguez vs Chris DiGangi
Flip was fast out of the gate.
DiGangi pushed to keep up.
But he slipped and fell as Flip moved onto the Finals!!!
Jessie Graff vs Isaiah Wakeham
Another race where the ninjas were even on the way down.
But it was Graff and gained her balance first.
She won this race going away to advance to the Finals!!!
Striding Steps Finals: Flip Rodriguez vs Jessie Graff
Just like his other races, Flip was the fastest out the gate.
Though Graff made up some ground on the back half, Flip led from start to finish on his way to the Striding Steps championship!!!
Striding Steps Champion: Flip Rodriguez