American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja – Season 1: Episode 1 Recap
(If you just want to see who won what round, the points, and obstacle list, check out our Stats & Database about the episode)
Live from Los Angeles, California…
Before we get started, let’s go over the format:
-The field is 36 teams, 3 ninjas each.
-For each matchup, everyone runs head to head.
-The first team to win 3 races will be victorious
-If neither team can get to three points after everybody’s run, relays races will decide the winner.
-Each episode will feature two opening matchups. The winners will face in the night’s final matchup for a shot at the playoffs later in the season.
Tonight’s Course Includes: The Criss Cross Ring Toss, Floating Tiles, Shelf Grab, and Warped Wall (6 obstacles total)
Matchup 1: Beasts from the East vs Hashtag Ninjas
Race One: James McGrath (Beasts Captain) vs Nicholas Coolridge (Hashtags Captain)
“The Beast” is convinced no one can beat him head to head while Cooldridge spends his days hanging on random objects and posting the pictures on Instagram.
Coolridge took the lead midway through the race after McGrath fell into the water on Criss Cross Ring Toss. He made it up the Warped Wall to give the Beast his first loss ever head to head.
Hashtags 1 Beasts 0
Race Two: Erica Cook (Beasts) vs Larissa Cottle (Hashtags)
Cook is returning from a knee injury in 2017 and is sporting a knee brace.
But Cook showed no signs of that early as she took an early lead, which only grew on Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Unfortunately for Cook, she fell in the water at Floating Tiles, giving Cottle the win.
But Cottle didn’t just win the race, she made it all the way up the Warped Wall for the first time.
Hashtags 2 Beasts 0
Race Three: Dave Cavanagh (Beasts) vs Jesse LaFlair (Hashtags)
The firefighter and four-time walk-on is the last shot for the Beasts as he tries to take down the YouTube star.
This race was neck and neck until Cavanagh pulled ahead and on Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Cavanagh hit the buzzer, sending the matchup to relays.
Hashtags 2 Beasts 1
The girls start first and are dead even. The second leg is a switch-up with Cavanagh facing Coolridge. The fireman had a brief lead, but Coolridge jumped in front of him and tagged LaFlair to put the Hashtags in front.
That lead was enough for LaFlair to outrun McGrath up the Warped Wall and send the Hashtags to the next round.
Hashtags win 3-1!!!!
Matchup 2: Team Ronin vs West Coast Warriors
Team Ronin appears stacked with both Flip Rodriguez, Meagan Martin, and the strong upper body of JJ Woods.
Race 1: JJ Woods (Ronin) vs JB Douglas (Warriors)
No intro videos for these guys as Douglas races out in front.
Woods catches up and passes Douglas on the Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Woods carried that lead up the Warped Wall, giving Team Ronin the early lead.
Team Ronin 1 West Coast Warriors 0
Race 2: Meagan Martin (Ronin) vs Lindsey Eskillsen (Warriors)
Now, of course we’re going to get a video package of the lovely Meagan Martin. And she’s another unbeaten ninja in head to head races. Could it be another jinx like it was for “the Beast?”
It was not. Martin gives Team Ronin a 2-0 lead as this matchup is feeling like the Macho Man vs the Brooklyn Brawler on Saturday morning wrestling.
Team Ronin 2 West Coast Warriors 0
Race 3: Flip Rodriguez (Ronin) vs Alan Connealy (Warriors)
Awesome video package before this race highlighting Flip’s lobbying efforts in Washington fighting sexual assault.
Also, Connealy’s dog Kenobi is amazing!!!! (Why the hell is that dog not in the crowd for this?)
Connealy surprisingly raced ahead. But the lead didn’t last as he fell on Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Rodriguez climbs the Warped Wall, giving Team Ronin the sweep.
Team Ronin wins 3-0!!!
Next Round Matchup: Team Ronin vs Hashtags Ninjas
Tonight’s final matchup extends to nine obstacles with the Salmon Ladder, the Rumbling Dice, and the ZigZag Climb.
Race 1: Woods (Ronin) vs Coolridge (Hashtags)
Woods loses a ring, so he slides over onto Coolridge’s side to stay in it.
Unfortunately for Woods, he fell on the Shelf Grab, giving Coolridge the win.
Hashtags 1 Team Ronin 0
Race 2: Martin (Ronin) vs Cottle (Hashtags)
Can Cottle pull off the upset?
She could not as Martin hits her second buzzer of the night and ties the score.
Hashtags 1 Team Ronin 1
Race 3: Rodriguez (Ronin) vs LaFlair (Hashtags)
Which stuntman will give his team the edge going into the relays?
The two men fly through the first part of the course with Flip taking a decent lead.
But Flip shockingly fell on the Shelf Grab, allowing LaFlair to pass him for the win. Team Ronin is one loss away from elimination!!!
Hashtags 2 Team Ronin 1
The girls start first with Martin giving Ronin the lead. For the second time, Cottle gives Martin no resistance on the Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Rodriguez keeps the lead and Woods races up the ZigZag Climb to tie the score.
All tied up at 2-2.
Relay Race for the Marbles
Time to do all again. But this time, it’s winner take all!!!
And in the deciding relay, Cottle won’t let Martin leap. But Martin still makes it to Flip with the lead.
The race runs identical to the last relay with JJ Woods racing up to the top, hitting the buzzer and advancing Team Ronin to the playoff.
Team Ronin wins 3-2!!!
It didn’t come as easy as expected, but it is Team Ronin advancing on to the playoff round.
Next week will feature Lance Pekus, Tyler Yamauchi, Jon Alexi Jr., and Ben Melick. See you then.
Photo Credit: USA Network
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