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Ninja vs Ninja recap: It can’t be party time for everyone

When you have this many driven Ninjas on the course, someone has to fall.

Eddy Chen/USA Network

Welcome to the third week of qualifiers for American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja! This week, we saw the return of the season one champions, Party Time, as they faced the rookie team, Brazi Bros. Karsten Williams brought his Fast Kats back to the course against the All-American Ninjas.

TL:DR: After Brian Arnold suffered an impossibly close loss to Alexio Gomes, Party Time came back with a mission, winning the next three heats. The Fast Kats suffered some surprise falls, handing the win to the All-American Ninjas. In the final round, Party Time dug deep and swept the match up against the talented Olympians, moving on to the playoffs.

The match-ups:

  • Brazi Bros vs Party Time
  • Fast Kats vs All-American Ninjas

The obstacles:

  • Sonic Swing
  • Tick Tock
  • Tilting Ladders
  • Floating Steps
  • Flying Monkey Bars
  • Warped Wall
  • Salmon Ladder
  • Rumbling Dice
  • Zigzag Climb

You can find more information on the rules of Ninja vs Ninja here. It follows a best-of-five, single elimination format. The last team standing moves on to the playoffs.


Brazi Bros

  • Lucas Gomes
  • Brittany Reid
  • Alexio Gomes

Party Time

  • Brian Arnold
  • Barclay Stockett
  • Jake Murray

Heat one:

  • Alexio Gomes vs Brian Arnold

This was the story of a young gun against an original competitor. Brian has been on all three seasons of this show, while Alexio was making his debut. At the start, Alexio was out ahead. They were almost tied on the Tilting Ladders, but Alexio leaped for the dismount first and headed across the Floating Tiles. Brian was in hot pursuit. Alexio may have been across the Flying Monkey Bars first, but Brian was tying it up quickly. They both lunged for the Warped Wall at the same time, hitting the buzzer so close together that they had to review the footage to tell who won. Alexio claimed the win by a stunning four-tenths of a second.

Point = Brazi Bros

Heat two:

  • Brittany Reed vs Barclay Stockett

Brittany had a definite height advantage over the five-foot Barclay, but that wasn’t the ultimate key to the race. Barclay showed zero hesitation from the moment they took off. While they ended up on the Tilting Ladders together, Brittany opted to wrap her legs over the bars, majorly slowing herself down. Barclay was moving smoothly along. Brittany did untangle herself, but also hesitated before the Floating Tiles, tripping at the end and losing the run. Barclay went on to complete the course.

Point = Party Time

Heat three:

  • Lucas Gomes vs Jake Murray

Both Ninjas started off with some speed. Jake was a little faster to exit Tick Tock. On the Ladders, Lucas joined Jake but really needed to pour on some speed. Jake, always a risk taker, opted for a 12-foot dismount, giving himself a handsome lead. Lucas gave it his all, but couldn’t catch up after that. When Jake hit the buzzer, he pulled off his shirt, revealing a Brazi Bros tank underneath.

Point = Party Time

Heat Four - RELAY:

Barclay and Brittany took the first two obstacles. Jake and Alexio handled the middle. Brian and Lucas were on the final segment.

Barclay was a little faster from the jump, allowing her to tag in Jake first. Alexio lunged in right behind him. Jakes pulled off another huge 10-foot laché to create a lead again. Alexio tried to copy the tactic and fell into the water. This meant Lucas had a five-second delay after Brian was tagged. Lucas pushed hard, catching up to Brian on the Monkey Bars, but Brian was up the Wall first.

Point = Party Time

  • Party Time WINS
  • Brazi Bros are OUT


Fast Kats

  • Karsten Williams
  • Lauren Keen
  • Kevin Klein

All-American Ninjas

  • Jonathan Horton
  • April Steiner Bennett
  • Paul Hamm

Heat one:

  • Paul Hamm vs Kevin Klein

Talk about an intimidation factor. Kevin was facing a Ninja with three Olympic medals, including a gold. But the motivation worked for him. Kevin got the early lead and was quickly on the Tilting Ladders. Paul met him there but, Kevin was off first and had no trouble getting to the Monkey Bars. Paul fell on the tiles and was able to save himself. In the meantime, Kevin was up the Wall all alone.

Point = Fast Kats

Heat two:

  • April Steiner Bennet vs Lauren Keen

This was our first abbreviated run of the season. April took an immediate lead. Lauren got close on the Monkey Bars but was unable to complete it, giving April the win.

Point = All American Ninjas

Heat three:

Jonathan Horton vs Karsten Williams

Karsten had a height and experience advantage over Jonathan, but we all know that doesn’t guarantee a race. Karsten got the lead off Tick Tock. Then they were both on the Ladders. Jonathon was pushing Karsten’s pace. Suddenly Karsten was in the water, meaning this heat went to Jonathan.

Point = All American Ninjas

Heat four - RELAY:

April and Lauren waited at the starting line. Paul and Kevin stood just behind Tick Tock. Jonathan and Karsten were ready for the Flying Monkey Bars and Warped Wall.

The Fast Kats needed a point to stay in the competition. April slipped from the Tick Tock and was able to bring Paul in first. Kevin was right there as well. Things were tied on the Tilting Ladders. Kevin used his speed to get to Karsten first, with Jonathan barreling down behind him. With another splash, Karsten was in the water on the Floating Monkey Bars. Jonathon completed that obstacle and the Warped Wall.

Point = All-American Ninjas

  • All-American Ninjas WIN.
  • Fast Kats are OUT.


  • Party Time vs All-American Ninjas

Round three takes place on the extended course of nine obstacles, adding in the Salmon Ladder, Rumbling Dice, and the Zig Zag Climb.

Heat one:

  • Brian Arnold vs Paul Hamm

Brian did NOT want to lose by a moment again as they both shot from the start line. They were so close together all the way through the Tilting Ladders. Brian dismounted first and headed across the Tiles. He maintained a lead into the back half of the course, where it looked like he stopped to catch his breath. When Paul completed the Warped Wall, Brian finally started the Salmon Ladder. Paul also took a small break before the Salmon Ladder. By that time, Brian was on the Rumbling Dice. Paul looked exhausted on the Salmon Ladder, while Brian plugged away at the Dice. Paul ultimately fell on the Rumbling Dice while Brian completed the Zig Zag Climb.

Point = Party Time

Heat two:

  • Barclay Stockett vs April Steiner Bennet

April wanted to prove herself on this course and she drove a hard bargain. April opted to use her legs on the Tilting Ladders, but it didn’t slow her much. Both Ninjas left the obstacle at the same time. Barclay sprang down the Tiles with April right behind her. Barclay had a lead on the Floating Monkey Bars, but April was catching up with a burst of speed! April went for the Warped Wall BEFORE Barclay but missed the grab. Barclay nailed her attempt and faced the back half of the course. Again, April was relentless, finishing the Wall and starting the Salmon Ladder first. April ended up falling there, and as Barclay touched the Rumbling Dice, the point went in her favor.

Point = Party Time

Heat Three:

  • Jake Murray vs Jonathan Horton

The All-American Ninjas were not going to just sit by and take a sweep. Jonathon and Jake sprinted from the start line, with Jake gaining a slight lead. He was on the Tilting Ladder first, but Jonathan was not backing down. However, Jake pulled another big dismount, flew through the Monkey Bars and right up to the Warped Wall. While Jonathan was navigating salvaging a fall on the Floating Tiles, Jake was taking down the back half. He hit the buzzer with Jonathan back by the Floating Monkey Bars.

Point = Party Time

  • All American Ninjas are OUT.
  • Party Time heads to the playoffs!

Jake’s incredible last run earned him the Mitsubishi Drive of the Night. He gained an insurmountable lead over Jonathan and never let up on the gas pedal.

Next week:

On March 22, it will be another round of newbies against experienced teams!

  • Young Bloods
  • Tré Amigoz
  • Team Wolfpack
  • NorCal Ninjas