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Wildcard captains reflect on their Ninja vs Ninja comebacks

They might have been down, but they never considered themselves out.

Eddy Chen/USA Network

On the last episode of the Ninja vs Ninja wildcard round, eight teams faced their final chance to move on in the competition. The teams, all stacked with American Ninja Warrior talent, were hungry for victory. That determination and drive gave us some of the most nail-biting runs we’ve seen so far.

Team Wolfpack swept the Hazard Brigade. The Ballers bumped out the Three Wishes in four heats. The Hashtag Ninjas posted three clean wins against the Big Dog Ninjas. The Beasts from the East reigned over the Wisco Warriors after a relay round.

You can read a full recap of the episode here.

We asked the winning team captains to share some of their favorite moments and memories from the episode.

Ian Dory: Team Wolfpack

Eddy Chen/USA Network

“I told my team I wanted them to do their best and give it their all. I wanted them to know that I believed in them and to leave the past in the past. Today is a new day and victory is possible. “Fast is smooth, smooth is fast” is our motto.”

“Bungee pipeline is my style. Climb has prepared me to move quickly through that obstacle and I feel that I can make up any lost ground if needed.”

“Watching Dan pull a magic move on the bungee pipeline. I thought we had lost that race and he just never gave up. It like watching a magic trick.”

James McGrath: Beasts from the East

Eddy Chen/USA Network

“Going in I felt confident knowing I had a strong team. After the first round, it was clear to me that Erica and I were definitely performing subpar. With both of us coming off of major injuries and surgery, we were not at full strength, which made us hesitant on the course. So, we needed to have a plan to let our strengths shine. She was having a real problem with the Floating Tiles and I wasn’t doing well at moving quickly on the upper body stuff. Still, we had Dave and when in the relay, I felt, one of the strongest teams.”

Eddy Chen/USA Network

“Given our weaknesses (Erica’s leg and my arm), I knew we would win the matchup as long as we could take it to a relay because there Erica and I could avoid the obstacles that would give us the most trouble and rely on Dave to do his thing. I saw Dave as our MVP and as such wanted to give him what I thought was the more difficult matchup in Andrew (he had more experience in this style of competition) and I went with Drew. Not that Drew isn’t strong, I just felt that I had the advantage in experience and foot speed.”

“It was an amazing feeling and I was so proud of how my teammates had done. That said I feel like the other team had exposed mine and Erica’s weaknesses to the teams paying attention. Moving forward, I knew we’d have to rely on Dave to continue to make things happen for us so Erica and I could stick to our strengths in the relays.”

Lorin Ball: The Ballers

Eddy Chen/USA Network

“We were beyond excited. Any extra opportunity to crush obstacles is like Christmas again and again.”

“We already had a solid strategy that played to our strengths previously that usually worked. Personally, I feel like I get a boost of speed on balance obstacles. So long as I can stay right on my opponent to the floating tiles, it usually results in me pulling ahead.”

“Thomas Stillings has always said he wanted to race me. And I always knew he was very fast. So that whole match up was pretty exciting! I’m glad it was a good clean race too with neither of us going out on something technical.”

Eddy Chen/USA Network

Nicholas Coolridge: Hashtag Ninjas

Eddy Chen/USA Network

“Although Larissa is one of the strongest female ninjas, her confidence level was lacking so going into this next round, Jesse and I coached her a bit on the importance of confidence.”

“Personally, I wasn’t afraid of [Bungee Pipeline] but I know that Jesse, being more strictly a parkour guy, was a little concerned.”

“I still think we have one of the strongest teams on the show so I wouldn’t be surprised if we took the title!”

Team Wolfpack, Beasts from the East, The Ballers and the Hashtag Ninjas will all return to the course to take on the Ninja vs Ninja playoffs!