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These Ninja vs Ninja heats where anything but predictable

Watch highlighted runs from Ninja vs Ninja’s eighth week of qualifiers.

Eddy Chen/USA Network

On week eight of American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja, four teams fought for one of the two remaining spots in the playoffs. The night was full of unexpected upsets. Najee Richardson’s Phoenix Force pushed out Noah Kaufman’s Think Tank. Team TNT, led by Travis Rosen, were swept by newcomers Frostbite, led by Nick Hanson. When Phoenix Force and Frostbite faced off, the teams battled through all five heats, with an exhausted Phoenix Force moving on.

You can read a recap of the episode here.

Watch some of the highlighted runs here.

Michael Torres vs Matt Wilder

Matt Wilder is a tough competitor when it comes to team competition. He’s not one who loses easily. Michael had to pull out all the stops, including climbing over Matt on the Pole Grasper, to squeak out a win.

Najee Richardson vs Noah Kaufman

Noah had years of experience on Najee, but that’s not always a deciding factor. The Ninjas kept up a fast pace down the course. Both had stumbles; Najee on the Floating Tiles and Noah on the Pole Grasper. Najee’s speed gave him the advantage, especially when Noah’s wet shoes caused him to slip on the Warped Wall.

Zhanique Lovett vs Emily Durham

These Ninjas went head to head for real. They paced one another down the course, trading the lead back and forth. Even though Emily went for the Warped Wall before Zhanique, she missed her first attempt. Zhanique took a breath, beat the wall, and claimed the win.

Nick Hanson vs Travis Rosen

Travis had led Team TNT to the second place position on Team Ninja Warrior for the past two seasons. Nick had never been on this type of course before, but he was ready. Travis had a strong lead, and his win looked like a sure bet. However, when he missed his first grab at the Warped Wall, Nick appeared from seemingly nowhere to whip past him for the win.

Nick Hanson vs Najee Richardson

This one-on-one race was a picture of athleticism. It was anyone’s game as Nick and Najee went obstacle for obstacle on the extended course. Both were looking tired as they progressed into the back portion. Najee went for the Zig Zag Climb first but stopped for one more breath. It looked like he would slow down. Najee suddenly exploded up the final climb so quickly, Nick could only look up at him and watch.

On Monday, April 23, the final four teams will take their shot at the final spot into the playoffs. After that, we’re off to the wildcard rounds!

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