A day after discussing potential regional All-Star Teams, NBC gave us a sneak peek at the three squads that we will actually get to see compete in next Thursday’s episode!
For those who don’t remember, Matt, Akbar and Kristine draft three Ninjas each to compete in an exciting team competition to kick off the All-Star special. Last year, Kristine’s team outlasted the two commentators with a big result on Stage Three to seal the victory. She will look to continue her winning streak while Matt and Akbar try for redemption!
Here’s a quick preview of each host’s line up for May 17th.
Team Kristine: Flip Rodriguez, Jessie Graff, JJ Woods
Kristine returns both Flip and Jessie from the championship squad a year ago while adding a strong competitor in JJ Woods. All three of these competitors are Vegas Finalists with recent experience on Stage Two. Graff completed Stage Two in the USA vs. the World competition during an historic Season 8, while Flip and JJ came one obstacle away from doing the same during Season 9’s regular season.
Plus, you have to be excited about this team’s chemistry. As mentioned, Flip and Jessie competed together last year in this event and, through their combined strengths, defeated Stage Three. Meanwhile, JJ and Flip helped lead Team Ronin to the playoffs in Ninja vs. Ninja relay action earlier this year.
Team Akbar: Jon Alexis, Allyssa Beird, Tyler Yamauchi
Akbar, who won the first edition of this competition in 2016, has assembled a talented group of all-stars. These three Ninjas are each coming off their best seasons ever on the show. Allyssa Beird put her name into the history books when she hit the buzzer on Stage One in Vegas last summer. Alexis and Yamauchi also joined her on Stage Two. In their first trip to the course, the pair each made the final obstacle, Wing Nut Alley. Akbar’s team has strong versatility as well. Jon Alexis is perhaps the tallest competitor we’ve ever seen on Stage Two (especially if you count is hair) while Yamauchi is one of the shortest. That should position them well, regardless of the obstacles. This is a crew used to making history, so don’t be surprised if they leave with a victory on Thursday.
Team Matt: Lance Pekus, Jesse Labreck, Jamie Rahn
While Team Akbar and Team Kristine have each won this competition, Team Matt has been shut out. But based on the team he’s organized for this year’s event, Matt has a great chance to even up the score. Matt brings back Jesse Labreck from last year’s squad and adds fan favorites Jamie Rahn and Lance Pekus to the mix. Matt saw first-hand how strong Labreck could be in this competition – she delivered an impressive Stage Two performance on the difficult wave runner obstacle last year. She should be even stronger on the course this time, having picked up some key experience during her second season in the spotlight and maintaining an undefeated record in relay competition on Ninja vs. Ninja.
Jamie Rahn is literally a super hero on the course. Captain NBC finished the City Finals in Cleveland during Season 9 and made yet another trip to Stage Two in Vegas. We can expect him to fly around the course on Thursday. The Cowboy Ninja Lance Pekus adds a potent combination of strength and speed. He had the fastest time in Kansas City Qualifying and Night One of Vegas. Plus, he’s had the strength to defeat obstacles like the Wave Runner and Flying Squirrel.
Can Team Kristine defend their title? Will Team Akbar reclaim the throne? Or will Team Matt quench their thirst for victory? Let us know who you think will come out on top! These are three incredibly stacked groups that should lead to fireworks on the course.
Regardless of which team finishes first on Thursday, we as fans will definitely be the winners.