American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja – Season 1: Episode 8 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…
We are almost done with qualifying, so you only have to remember this format for one more week:
-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 Includes: Sonic Swing, Tic Toc, Pole Grasper, Floating Tiles, Spin Cycle, Warped Wall
Matchup 1: Phoenix Force (Najee Richardson, Cassie Craig, Michael Torres) vs Think Tank (Noah Kaufman, Leila Noone, Matt Wilder)
Race One: Michael Torres (Phoenix Force) vs Matt Wilder (Think Tank)
Torres raced out to the early lead.
He increased the lead on Pole Grasper.
But Wilder closed the gap and was running neck and neck with Wilder as the two men headed up the Warped Wall.
Torres got there a step ahead of Wilder, hitting the buzzer and giving Phoenix Force the early lead.
Phoenix Force 1 Think Tank 0
Race Two: Cassie Craig (Phoenix Force) vs Leila Noone (Think Tank)
A lot of pressure on Noone here as “the Phoenix” is the heavy favorite in the 3rd race.
Craig took an early lead.
But she didn’t get a good grip on Tic Toc and fell on the second obstacle.
Once Noone grabbed the net on obstacle two, the matchup was tied!!!
Phoenix Force 1 Think Tank 1
Race Three: Najee Richardson (Phoenix Force) vs Noah Kaufman (Think Tank)
Can Kaufman pull the upset over one of last season’s top ninjas?
Richardson raced out to a big lead.
“The Phoenix” slipped on Floating Tiles, allowing Kaufman to close the gap.
But Kaufman also got his feet wet earlier in the course, and those wet shoes prevented him from making it up the Warped Wall.
Richardson’s wet sneakers proved not to be a hindrance as he hit the buzzer and gave his team the lead going into the relays.
Phoenix Force 2 Think Tank 1
Craig was deliberate starting the relay. She fell anyway.
But Torres overcame the five second head start as he tagged “the Phoenix.”
And Richardson took Torres’s tag and raced to the buzzer, advancing Phoenix Force to the next round.
Phoenix Force wins 3-1!!!!
Matchup 2: Team TNT (Travis Rosen, Emily Durham, Brett Sims) vs Frostbite (Nick Hanson, Zhanique Lovett, Jackson Meyer)
Race 1: Brett Sims (Team TNT) vs. Jackson Meyer (Frostbite)
Meyer took the early lead into Pole Grasper.
The lead was small until Sims slipped on Pole Grasper.
And the race ended when Sims fell on Floating Tiles.
Meyer hit the buzzer and danced a little to celebrate his team’s 1-0 lead.
Frostbite 1 Team TNT 0
Race 2: Emily Durham (Team TNT) vs Zhanique Lovett (Frostbite)
The 2017 rookie (Lovett) took the early lead.
Durham kept the pressure on and passed Lovett on Floating Tiles after Lovett fell.
Neither woman has made up the Warped Wall before, and Durham got the first shot.
She didn’t make it, but Lovett did giving her team a 2-0 lead.
Frostbite 2 Team TNT 0
Race 3: Travis Rosen (Team TNT) vs Nick Hanson (Frostbite)
“The Legend” vs “The Eskimo Ninja” in a classic matchup!!!
Rosen had a slight lead going into Pole Grasper.
The lead grew on Pole Grasper and grew even more as Rosen used his long legs to clear Floating Tiles.
But Rosen shockingly couldn’t make it up the Warped Wall.
Hanson came from behind, making it up the Warped Wall and hit the buzzer to complete the sweep.
Frostbite wins 3-0!!!
Next Round Matchup: Phoenix Force (Najee Richardson, Cassie Craig, Michael Torres) vs Frostbite (Nick Hanson, Zhanique Lovett, Jackson Meyer)
The Course: Sonic Swing, Tic Toc, Pole Grapser, Floating Tiles, Spin Cycle, Warped Wall, Salmon Ladder, Rumbling Dice, ZigZag Climb
Race 1: Michael Torres (Phoenix Force) vs Jackson Meyer (Frostbite)
Torres’ night of fast starts continued as he took a big lead early.
Meyer really struggled to make it past the Pole Grasper, allowing Torres to grow his lead.
Torres took his time to finish the second part of the course, hitting the buzzer and giving Phoenix Force the early lead.
Phoenix Force 1 Frostbite 0
Race 2: Cassie Craig (Phoenix Force) vs Zhanique Lovett (Frostbite)
Lovett took the early lead.
Craig was careful through Pole Grasper, and Lovett’s lead grew.
Lovett made it up the Warped Wall as Craig fell on Spin Cycle.
Phoenix Force 1 Frostbite 1
Race 3: Najee Richardson (Phoenix Force) vs Nick Hanson (Frostbite)
The two stars were neck and neck going into Pole Grasper, where Hanson took the lead.
“The Eskimo Ninja” made it up the Warped Wall first, but Richardson raced past him on Salmon Ladder.
Richardson seemed to be letting Hanson catch-up on the last obstacle until he started racing up the ZigZag Climb.
The Phoenix flew at a pace Hanson didn’t even try to catch up to, giving his team a 2-1 lead.
Phoenix Force 2 Frostbite 1
Lovett continued her dominate performance tonight as Craig fell yet again.
Hanson made the most of the five second head start.
But Meyer had to hold off the Phoenix to tie things up.
And it looked like the Phoenix was about to pass Meyer until he fell on the ZigZag Climb.
Phoenix Force 2 Frostbite 2
Frostbite switched Meyer and Hanson for the final race.
Lovett gave her team the lead, and Craig’s struggles continued as she fell again.
Meyer kept the lead, but Torres cut into lead as he tagged a tired Richardson.
Richardson and Hanson entered the ZigZag Climb neck and neck.
The Phoenix was heavily cramping as he passed Hanson and hit the buzzer, advancing his team on to the Playoffs.
Phoenix Force wins 3-1!!!!
Sean Bryan, Mike Bernardo, and Jamie Rahn take the course in next week’s final qualifying round. See you then!!
Photo Credit: USA Network
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