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Team Ninja Warrior recap: Part one of the finals

One half of the championship relay has been decided!

For the past nine weeks, we’ve watched 28 teams of the top Ninja Warriors go head to head on the Team Ninja Warrior course. It’s been thrilling and totally unpredictable. And it’s all led to this.

We’re arrived at the season two finals! The eight finalist teams will now compete for one reason, to take home the trophy and the title of champion.

TL:DR: An injury changed the line up of Iron Grip, but it wouldn’t shake their confidence. Iron Grip and Storm Team swept their Knockout match ups, sending Team Ronin and Think Tank home. Storm Team brought the thunder to the relay race, sending themselves to the final relay race next week.

The match ups:

  • Team Ronin vs Think Tank
  • Iron Grip vs Storm Team

Haven’t seen Team Ninja Warrior before? You can review the rules of the game at bottom of this article.

The obstacles:

  • Sonic Swing
  • Ring of Fire
  • Swing Jump
  • Floating Tiles
  • Tire Swing
  • Warped Wall

The Teams

Team Ronin

  • Flip Rodriguez
  • JJ Woods
  • Tiana Webberley

Think Tank

  • Noah Kaufman
  • Matt Wilder
  • Asya Grechka
Brandon Hickman/USA Network

Heat one:

  • Team Ronin’s JJ vs Think Tank’s Noah

JJ leapt off the devastating Ring of Fire first, but Noah wasn’t far behind. They stayed close to each other all the way down the course. On the Tire Swings, they looked to be about dead even. They launched for the Warped Wall at the same time, but it was JJ who sped ahead, nabbing the win.

Point= Team Ronin

Heat two:

  • Team Ronin’s Tiana vs Think Tank’s Asya

Tiana had the lead after the Ring of Fire. Asya got her feet wet transferring to the cargo net. While Tiana had a strong lead, her pause at the Tire Swing allowed Asya to catch up. However, Asya was deeply delayed while figuring out how to move the tires. This let Tiana regroup, dismount and get the point.

Point= Team Ronin

Heat three:

  • Team Ronin’s Flip vs Think Tank’s Matt

Matt Wilder was simply unstoppable with this run. He tore through the course with zero hesitation. Flip certainly redeemed his previous performances by nailing the Ring of Fire and sticking close to Matt. Both went for the Wall at the same time, but Matt would take the win, putting the match into Sudden Death.

Points= Think Tank

Sudden Death:

  • Team Ronin’s JJ vs Think Tank’s Matt

JJ pushed Matt hard even just through the Sonic Swing. They were totally even on the Ring of Fire. But both of them were in for hard landings. When the ring ripped out of their hands, JJ did a full spin, but landed on the pad. Matt ended up half in the water, but also saved it. However, he might have been a little shaken. He went out on the next obstacle, the Swing Jump, giving the match up to Team Ronin.

Point= Team Ronin

Winner of Round One: Team Ronin

The Teams

Iron Grip

  • Daniel Gil
  • Nate Burkhalter
  • Barclay Stockett

Storm Team

  • Joe Moravsky
  • Josh Levin
  • Allyssa Beird

Heat one:

  • Iron Grip’s Nate vs Storm Team’s Josh

Both were smooth through the Ring of Fire. However, Nate took a hard fall on the Floating Tiles. He didn’t fall into the water, but looked to be injured. While that was happening, Josh busied himself completing the course.

Point= Storm Team

Heat two:

  • Iron Grip’s Barclay vs Storm Team’s Allyssa

Barclay was off the Ring of Fire first, but missed her first grab at the cargo net on the Swing Jump. This let Allyssa tie it up. Barclay was across the Tiles first, but again, Allyssa made it even by the Tire Swing. It would be Allyssa who dismounted first, but Barclay was right behind her and sprinting at the Wall. Allyssa missed her first Wall attempt, while Barclay sailed through.

Point= Iron Grip

Heat three:

  • Iron Grip’s Daniel vs Storm Team’s Joe

It was time for the captains to face off! Joe got off the Ring first and was racing as fast as he could. It was any one’s game on the Tire Swing, but Joe actually skipped the last tire, making a big lache to the landing pad. This gave him the important two points and a new course record of 30.85 seconds.

Points= Storm Team

Winner of Round Two: Storm Team

Knockout One

Team Ronin and Iron Grip were in for potentially the most important heats of this season. If they couldn’t seal the deal here, all their hard work would be for nothing.

Heat one:

  • Team Ronin’s JJ vs Iron Grip’s Scott Willson

Nate had hurt his shoulder in his last race and was unable to continue. Iron Grip brought in their alternate, Scott Willson. Scott has experience on the American Ninja Warrior course.

JJ had a fall from the Ring of Fire, which was a bit surprising given his consistency. However, he was still in the competition. Scott tripped at the Floating Tiles, but also kept it moving. He was on the Tire Swing first and ended up at the buzzer first. This would be JJ’s first loss all season.

Point= Iron Grip

Heat two:

  • Team Ronin’s Tiana vs Iron Grip’s Barclay

Both were smooth through the Ring of Fire, keeping them tied at the start of the race. Barclay crossed the Floating Tiles first, but they were tied again at the Tire Swing. Barclay made another sprint for the Warped Wall and beat out Tiana by moments. This was Tiana’s first loss in two seasons of competing.

Point= Iron Grip

Heat three:

  • Team Ronin’s Flip vs Iron Grip’s Daniel

If Flip didn’t win here, his team would be out. Both team captains pushed hard down the course. Daniel was across the Floating Tiles first, but it looked like the Tire Swings would be the deciding obstacle. In the end, it was Daniel who edged out Flip, giving his team a clean sweep of the match up.

Points= Iron Grip

Team Ronin is OUT.

Knockout Two

Would Storm Team or Think Tank join Iron Grip in the relay race?

Heat one:

  • Storm Team’s Josh vs Think Tank’s Noah

Josh got an early lead while Noah was hung up on the Ring of Fire. Once he freed himself, he didn’t make it much farther. Noah went out on the Swing Jump. Josh would complete the course.

Point= Storm Team

Heat two:

  • Storm Team’s Allyssa vs Think Tank’s Asya

Asya had the lead after a great ride through the Ring. Allyssa quickly caught up. Asya was on the Tire Swing first, but Allyssa came through with eyes on the prize. She managed to pass Asya and run up the Wall, despite having wet feet.

Point= Storm Team

Heat three:

  • Storm Team’s Joe vs Think Tank’s Matt

Both these Ninjas knew what was on the line and what they needed to accomplish. It all came down to Matt’s decision to go for a huge leap on to the Tire Swings. His goal was to be in a position to pass Joe. However, he missed the grab and plunged into the water.

Points= Storm Team

Think Tank is OUT

Relay Race

In the relay, all three team members will be on the course at the same time. Each will complete three obstacles, meaning the course is extended. It’s up to each team to decide which member runs when.

It was Iron Grip vs Storm Team in the first relay of the finals! Both these teams were incredibly strong and had swept their last match ups. This was going to be an intense race.

Iron Grip had Barclay take the first leg of the race against Storm Team’s Allyssa. After the Swing Jump, they would tag in Scott (Iron Grip’s alternate) and Joe. At the top of the Warped Wall, Daniel and Josh would come in and take on the final three obstacles.

  • Dueling Salmon Ladders
  • Globe Graspers
  • 40 foot Rope Climb

Allyssa and Barclay were both strong on the Ring of Fire. Barclay tagged in Scott first, but only a second before Allyssa brought in Joe.

Scott maintained his slight lead and quickly had Daniel in the race. But Joe had Josh in right behind him.

Now it came down to Daniel vs Josh. They were fairly even on the Globe Graspers until Josh pulled slightly ahead. They were tied again on the Final Climb, but Josh put his rock climbing skills to work and added a little more speed.

Josh hit the buzzer just as Daniel reached the top of the Final Climb.

With that, Iron Grip was OUT and Storm Team advanced to the final relay!

On June 27, the last four teams in the finals will try to join Storm Team in the very last relay of the season!

  • Golden Hearts
  • Team TNT
  • Real Life Beasts
  • NorCal Ninjas