Welcome back! After a thrilling American Ninja Warrior All-Stars Skills Challenge, we moved on to the Team Competition. Hosts Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Kristine Leahy each selected teams of three Ninjas to compete on the stages of the National Finals.
Read the results of the 2018 Skills Challenges here.
In 2017, Kristine’s team took the medal. In the year before that, Akbar was the winner. So needless to say, Matt wanted a win.
- Team Kristine
Jessie Graff, Flip Rodriguez, JJ Woods
- Team Matt
Jamie Rahn, Lance Pekus, Jesse Labreck
- Team Akbar
Allyssa Beird, Jon Alexis Jr., Tyler Yamauchi
All three teams ran Stage One as a relay race. The fastest team moved directly on to Stage Three. However, the other two teams would need to fight it out on Stage Two to determine who joined them.
First up, Team Matt:
Jesse Labreck was the first of the three on the course. Lance Pekus was in the second position. Jamie Rahn was on the anchor run.
Jesse opted for accuracy over speed at first. Lance picked up the pace once he was tagged in. He had a little trip on Parkour Run, but recovered and even skipped the rope. Jamie was tagged in at the top of the Warped Wall. Jamie took huge swings on the Flying Squirrel and climbed with all his might to turn in a time of 1:14.82.
Tyler was in the first position. Jon was in the middle. Allyssa planned on closing it out.
Tyler missed the rope on the Propeller Bar once, adding precious moments on to the team’s time. Jon was tagged in after the Double Dipper and took off running. He also skipped the rope on Parkour Run, but stumbled a bit on the way to the Warped Wall. Once Allyssa was tagged in, she had to hurry. While on the Flying Squirrel, she had less than ten seconds left to beat Team Matt’s time. She didn’t quite make it and the team clocked in at 1:26.33.
Flip was up first. JJ was positioned in the middle. Jessie was waiting to handle the final obstacles.
Flip absolutely flew over his obstacles with no issues on Snake Run, the Propeller Bar, or the Double Dipper. JJ tore off with equal aggression. At that point, the team was four seconds faster than Matt’s. JJ skipped the Parkour Run rope and was up the Warped Wall to Jessie. She was moving at a lightning pace. On the Flying Squirrel, she had 20 seconds left to take the top time. It was close, but they hit the buzzer at 1:13.83. Less than a second faster than Matt’s team.
Team Kristine was through to Stage Three.
- Team Akbar vs Team Matt
Jon took on the first few obstacles. Allyssa was ready to go second. Tyler was in the final position.
Jon kept it smooth on the Giant Ring Swing and was explosive on the Salmon Ladder. He had two uneven hiccups but brought in Allyssa. Allyssa was calculated on the Wave Runner, completing the tricky obstacle. But when only one of her legs made the landing on the Swing Surfer, she was out and Team Akbar was left in a precarious position.
Jesse was at the starting line. Jamie was in the middle. Lance was ready for the last few obstacles.
Jesse needed a few swings to get to the landing pad on the Ring Swing but was otherwise unbothered by it. She thoughtfully approached the Salmon Ladder to tag in Jamie. Jamie didn’t need to stress about time, he just needed to complete the Swing Surfer. He did it, giving Team Matt the win. However, Lance didn’t want to be left out. He still finished the final obstacles and hit the buzzer at 3:12.70.
Team Akbar was OUT.
- Team Kristine vs Team Matt
Stage Three went undefeated in season nine. Joe Moravsky was the last Ninja standing when he fell from the Time Bomb. Now the team members would need to handle three grueling obstacles each, except for the last position, which would be responsible for two obstacles.
They chose the order: Lance, Jamie, Jesse
Lance moved carefully on the Floating Boards. He smartly navigated the Keylock Hang. He still looked strong on the Nail Clipper, which he completed to bring in Jamie. This was Jamie’s first time on Stage Three, but you couldn’t tell. He did extremely well on the Ultimate Cliffhanger and the Curved Body Prop. He was slow but focused on the Peg Cloud, inching his way to Jesse.
Jesse missed a transition on the Time Bomb, but recovered and surged forward. She became the first person to beat the obstacle! The Flying Bar was another first for female Ninjas, and Jesse was ready for it. She had a look of pure joy on her face as she leapt to the last cradle. She hit the buzzer at 6:17.96 for Team Matt!
Time was now a factor for the Ninjas. They needed to be careful AND quick to keep up with Matt’s team.
They selected the order: Jessie, Flip, JJ
Jessie looked calm on the Floating Boards and the Keylock Hang. She was a little slower than Lance through the Nail Clipper, but she was able to tag in Flip without issue. On the Ultimate Cliffhanger, Flip was 26 seconds behind Matt’s team. He didn’t let that bother him and by the time he was on the Peg Cloud, he was trailing by only five seconds.
When JJ was tagged in, the team was ahead of pace. However, on the Time Bomb JJ struggled several times with the first transition. Once he nailed it, he never looked back. As he moved on to the Flying Bars, Flip shouted out an update on the time. JJ took it to heart, cleared the obstacle and hit the buzzer at 6:12.06!
Winner: TEAM KRISTINE
Once again, Kristine Leahy’s team took home the title of All-Stars Champions! The team celebrated their win with another dive into the water. This time, their captain joined them while a slightly jealous Matt and Akbar looked on.
The American Ninja Warrior 2018 All-Stars Special was everything we could have asked for! But the fun doesn’t stop there. We still have Celebrity Ninja Warrior on May 24 and season 10 is SO close, with the premiere taking place on May 30!