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American Ninja Warrior Season 8 Finale recap: Something amazing is about to happen

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The end of this season will leave you breathless with anticipation of what’s to come.

David Becker/NBC

We finally got to see the Season 8 finale of American Ninja Warrior and we have a LOT to talk about. While no one was able to make to to Stage Four, we saw these Ninjas putting up a heck of a fight against a course that was downright brutal.

Michael Torres struggled on the Giant Ring Swing and ultimately lost his grip there.

Najee Richardson fell on the Down Up Salmon Ladder.

Ethan Swanson followed suit and also fell on the Down Up Salmon Ladder.

Adam Rayl was the first to show us the unique challenge that is the Wave Runner.

Josh Levin made his climbing coach Stacey so proud by making it to the Double Wedge.

Grant McCartney wasn’t sure of his technique on the Down Up Salmon Ladder and fell there.

Neil Craver lost his grip at the Wave Runner.

In a shocking turn of events, Flip Rodriguez was disqualified for not touching the second board of the Wave Runner, even though he was able to successfully dismount.

Chris Wilczewski was another victim of the Double Wedge.

Joe Moravsky created a first for himself this season by not making it to Stage Three, falling on the Wave Runner.

Brian Arnold also fell at the Double Wedge.

Thomas Stillings ended his run with a small error on the Down Up Salmon Ladder.

We didn’t get to see what Jake Murray would have done at the end of this course, as he went out on the Double Wedge.

Nicholas Coolridge stumbled at the Wave Runner.

The run everyone waited for, Jessie Graff, was unable to hit the buzzer, but still made history by making it to the Wave Runner.

Only Daniel Gil and Drew Drechsel would complete Stage Two and move on to Stage Three, though neither would complete the course.

Here’s What You Missed:

Stage Two Completions: 2

Stage Three completions: 0

Ninjas taken out by the Down Up Salmon Ladder: 4

Ninjas taken out by the Wave Runner: 6

The Stage Two course:

  • Giant Ring Swing
  • Down Up Salmon Ladder
  • Wave Runner
  • Butterfly Wall
  • Double Wedge
  • Wall Flip

The Stage Three course:

  • Keylock Hang
  • Floating Boards
  • Ultimate Cliffhanger
  • Curved Body Prop
  • Hang Climb
  • Walking Bar
  • Flying Bar

Heartbreaker Moment:

As the American Ninja Warrior season wound to a close, you couldn’t help but feel for Drew Drechsel. Even though he was able to complete Stage Two, he fell from the Hang Climb on Stage Three.

He was initially calm about the experience, but the weight of it soon sank in. We saw Drew drop his head into his hands as he realized how close he had been to his dream, and would now wait another year to make it true.

In a post run interview with Kristine Leahy, Drew admitted that he was taking his fall hard, especially because his students had come out to watch him. It’s hard to watch the Ninja who made it the farthest this season feel like he’s let someone down.

Drew is a fantastic Ninja with more to give. No doubt that both he and Daniel Gil will work right this result next season!

Heart-pounding Moment:

This is going to Jessie Graff! She has done so much for American Ninja Warrior this season that you can’t help but cheer for her.

No one seemed phased that she fell on the Wave Runner. The very fact that she walked on to the Stage Two course was an unforgettable moment. She herself said she’s yet to discover her limits and we agree with that.

In her time on the show, Jessie has done nothing but learn, develop and advance. This season she became the first female to ever qualify for Stage Two, and she then made it half way through the course.

We have a feeling that Jessie is already hard at work incorporating that she learned during that run. This makes us absolutely anxious to see how far she goes next season.

Lesson of the night: It’s never over and that’s why we love it.

This season of American Ninja Warrior began with more pressure than any other. We had seen Mt. Midoriyama defeated and we were thirsty for it to happen again. We were glued to the stories and strengths of the Ninjas, anxious to see one of them make it all the way.

In the end, it didn’t happen. And that’s okay. That’s why we all love this challenge. It’s almost like the course is alive, learning, growing and adapting as the Ninjas raise the bar. This season isn’t a set back. It’s a set up for the great things that are about to happen.

Jessie Graff is poised to change the way all women are thought of in sports. Drew Drechsel now has the drive to push himself that little bit further. Daniel Gil, 23 years old, is only now beginning to learn his potential.

That’s just a tiny sampling of the Ninjas ready to roar back with more strength than ever. Personally, we thought the ending of this season was perfect. It means we’re gearing up to see some really amazing things from these athletes. Bring it on.