American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja – Season 1: Episode 4 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…
For some reason, I keep typing the format every week. Well, here it is again:
-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 races 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: Sonic Swing, Tick Tock, Criss Cross Ring Toss, Floating Tiles, Flying Shelf Grab, Warped Wall
Matchup 1: NorCal Ninjas (David Campbell, Anna Shumaker, Brian Kretsch) vs Young Bloods (Tyler Gillett, Bree Widener, Kevin Carbone)
Race One: Brian Kretsch (NorCal Ninjas) vs Kevin Carbone (Young Bloods)
Carbone is the man who created “Wing Nuts,” an obstacle that doomed many a ninja last season.
Carbone had the early lead going into Criss Cross Ring Toss. But Ketsch blocked Carbone’s way on that obstacle, taking the lead.
Unfortunately for Ketsch, he used all his energy on the Ring Toss and fell on Flying Shelf Grab.
Carbone’s decision to stay put on the Ring Toss while Ketsch swung wildly paid off as he passed Ketsch and completed the course to give the Young Bloods the early lead.
Young Bloods 1 NorCal Ninjas 0
Race Two: Anna Shumaker (NorCal Ninjas) vs Bree Widener (Young Bloods)
On paper, this a much more even matchup than the women’s races in the previous three weeks.
However, Shumaker raced out in front, taking the lead into Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Shumaker (the former gymnast) nearly fell on the Floating Tiles. She held on, but the fall allowed Widener to catch up.
Shumaker discarded the wet shoes from the fall, but she was unable to make it up the Warped Wall with bare feet.
That delay was enough for Widener to pass Shumaker and hit the buzzer, giving the Young Bloods a 2-0 lead.
Young Bloods 2 NorCal Ninjas 0
Race Three: David Campbell (NorCal Ninjas) vs Tyler Gillett (Young Bloods)
Campbell (the Godfather) enters must win mode for his team against the youngest athlete in the matchup.
And the Godfather’s long strides gave him an early lead.
But that early lead has yet to stand for the NorCal Ninjas tonight.
However, the 40 year old kept the lead from start to finish, hitting the buzzer and keeping his team alive.
Young Bloods 2 NorCal Ninjas 1
The women started the race and ran even before tagging to Campbell (NorCal) and Carbone (Young Bloods) respectively.
Campbell’s long legs gave his team the lead when he tagged Ketsch.
But Gillett closed quickly for the Young Bloods on the Warped Wall, requiring a photo finish.
Turns out it was Gillett who touched the buzzer .02 of a second before Ketsch, giving the Young Bloods the win.
Young Bloods advance 3-1!!!!
Matchup 2: Wolfpack (Ian Dory, Jeri D’Aurelio, Dan Yager) vs Tre Amigoz (Tremayne Dortch, Meghan Beatty, Andrew Lowes)
Race 1: Ian Dory (Wolfpack) vs Andrew Lowes (Tre Amigoz)
The Wolfpack sent their top dog to the course right off the bat.
But Lowes took the early lead into Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Lowes dominant performance continued all the way through to the Warped Wall, where Andrew Lowes pulled off the biggest upset of Ninja vs Ninja so far.
Tre Amigoz 1 Wolfpack 0
Race 2: Jeri D’Aurelio (Wolfpack) vs Meghan Beatty (Tre Amigoz)
D’Aurelio raced out in front entering the Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Both ninjas struggled with Ring Toss, but D’Aurelio was able to keep her lead all the way to the Shelf Grab.
Beatty fell on the Shelf Grab, giving D’Aurelio the win. Of course, she didn’t stop there, climbing the Warped Wall and hitting the buzzer.
Tre Amigoz 1 Wolfpack 1
Race 3: Dan Yager (Wolfpack) vs Tremayne Dortch (Tre Amigoz)
Yager took an early lead into Criss Cross Ring Toss after Dortch got caught up in a net.
Dortch tried to get in front of Yager, but Yager pushed through, maintaining his lead.
Pressing on the Flying Shelf Grab, Dortch fell, giving Yager the win and the Wolfpack the lead going into the relays.
Wolfpack 2 Tre Amigoz 1
D’Aurelio (Wolfpack) gave her team an early lead.
But her teammate (Yager) fell on Floating Tiles, giving Lowes (Tre Amigoz) the chance to pass.
Dortch had a slight lead on the Warped Wall, but he fell on his first attempt up.
However, Ian Dory fell too, creating another tight finish at the end.
Dortch slipped trying to hit the buzzer, allowing Dory to sneak in and give Team Wolfpack the win.
Wolfpack wins 3-1!!!!
Next Round Matchup: Young Bloods (Tyler Gillett, Bree Widener, Kevin Carbone) vs Wolfpack (Ian Dory, Jeri D’Aurelio, Dan Yager)
The Course: Sonic Swing, Tick Tock, Criss Cross Ring Toss, Floating Tiles, Flying Shelf Grab, Warped Wall, Salmon Ladder, Rumbling Dice, ZigZag Climb
Race 1: Kevin Carbone (Young Bloods) vs Dan Yager (Wolfpack)
Carbone raced out in front, but Yager pulled ahead on Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Yager’s lead grew as he climbed up the Warped Wall and moved on to the second part of the course.
Carbone really struggled on the Salmon Ladder, allowing Yager the chance to grow his lead. But Carbone passed him on the last part of the obstacle.
Carbone’s second wind was enough to power his way up the ZigZag Climb and give the Young Bloods the 1-0 lead.
Young Bloods 1 Wolfpack 0
Race 2: Bree Widener (Young Bloods) vs Jeri D’Aurelio (Wolfpack)
The two ladies were neck and neck as they jockeyed for position on the Criss Cross Ring Toss.
Despite her feet getting wet, D’Aurelio raced ahead as she attempted the Flying Shelf Grab.
But D’Aurelio had a shocking exit falling off the trampoline on Flying Shelf Grab.
Widener took advantage, completing Shelf Grab and putting the Young Bloods one win away from advancing.
Young Bloods 2 Wolfpack 0
Race 3: Tyler Gillett (Young Bloods) vs Ian Dory (Wolfpack)
Gillett raced out in front, but Dory passed him on Criss Cross Ring Toss.
The lead continued to pass back and forth as Gillett passed Dory on Shelf Grab.
Gillett stayed ahead all the way through the Zig Zag Climb, hitting the buzzer and giving the Young Bloods a clean sweep into the playoffs.
Young Bloods win 3-0!!!!
The Young Bloods may be the deepest team in the competition so far. I look forward to seeing how they stack up with some of the stars who’ve advanced already.
Next week, Grant McCartney and Thomas Stillings take the course!!! See you then.
Photo Credit: USA Network
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