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Ninja vs Ninja recap: Tough competition leads to grueling wins

This episode featured a punishing final round.

Eddy Chen/USA Network

Welcome to round three of the American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja playoffs! Iron Grip and Labreckfast Club have already secured their places in the final episode. In round three, Party Time, Tri-Hards, Hashtag Ninjas, and the Lizard Kings fought it out to join them.

TL:DR: Party Time made quick work of the Hashtag Ninjas, sweeping them out of the game. The Lizard Kings won one of their matches against the tough Tri-Hards, but they too went home. In the final round, Party Time and Tri-Hards fought through all five rounds, with exhaustion definitely becoming an issue. In the end, Party Time pulled together to move on to the finals.

The match-ups:

  • Tri-Hards vs Lizard Kings
  • Party Time vs Hashtag Ninjas

The obstacles:

  • Sonic Swing
  • Tick Tock
  • Parallel Pipes
  • Floating Tiles
  • Hanging Staircase
  • Warped Wall
  • Salmon Ladder
  • Rumbling Dice
  • Zig Zag Climb

The rules are the same that were used during qualifiers. Each match-up is a best of five format. If there is no winner after three individual heats, we move to relay races. The winning teams face each other in a final round on the extended course. The first team to three points moves into the finals.


Party Time

Watch March #ninjavsninja on @usa_network March 1 #partytime

A post shared by Brian Arnold (@brian_arnold_ninja) on

  • Brian Arnold
  • Barclay Stockett
  • Jake Murray

Hashtag Ninjas

  • Nicholas Coolridge
  • Larissa Cottle
  • Jesse LaFlair

Heat one:

  • Jake Murray vs Nicholas Coolridge

Jake zipped through the Parallel Pipes, gaining a strong lead when Nicholas was stuck on the swing to the first pipe. Nicholas ended up falling and discontinuing his run at that obstacle. But Jake was already up the Warped Wall anyway.

Point = Party Time

Heat two:

  • Barclay Stockett vs Larissa Cottle

Barclay had a lead through the Sonic Swing and held on to it through the Parallel Pipes. While Larissa didn’t make any grave errors, she was lagging behind Barclay. Barclay took quick trips through the Hanging Stairs and up the Warped Wall for the win.

Point = Party Time

Heat three:

  • Brian Arnold vs Jesse LaFlair

The Hashtag Ninjas had fought their way back in the wildcard round, but now they were on the verge of a sweep. Brian had a slight lead from the starting line and was through the Pipes in a blink. Jesse, known for his parkour speed, was right behind him. Brian took an early dismount on the Hanging Staircase to give himself some room. It worked and the Hashtag Ninjas took another defeat as Jesse hit the water on the dismount.

Point = Party Time

  • Party Time WINS.
  • Hashtag Ninjas are OUT.



@NinjaWarrior x #headtohead racing + thirst for Glory = #NinjaVsNinja A whole lot of action is coming your way real soon! Welcome to the break-neck speed of modern Ninja racing. Welcome, to the future. If you know me, you know I LOVE speed So tune in, starting march 1st on on @usa_network to see our Team, The #Tri-Hards take on the rest of the #Ninja galaxy in an #allout, adrenaline soaked, full throttle, action packed series of side by side, head to head wars! You've never seen Ninja like this before! ▪▪▪ Honored and inspired to have teamed up with the likes of these cats: @rebekahbonillaninja, The Fire: she spreads the Joy, the fiery spunk and just enough youthful spontanaeity & unbridled, breath-of-fresh-air exuberance to keep me grounded and to remind me to not take things too seriously. Plus, peep the 's - INSANITY!@papalninja, The Wind: One hell of a competitor and as focused as anyone I've ever met - he knows how to stay calm and resilient in the most trying of times; a true leader. Sean knows how to turn it on when it really counts! Grateful to you two for joining forces to create this team together. #goodtimes You can't miss us - bright orange uniforms and bringing back the #shortshorts Psyched to weather the coming storm with these two - LESGOOO!! by the incredible Patrick Randak of @usa_network Such a pleasure working with a true professional - this shoot was fun! #NinjaWarrior #anw #ninjavsninja #ninjalife #fullsteamahead #goingforgold #fast #speed #sidebyside #TriHard #rebekahbonilla #papalninja #berocksolid

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  • Sean Bryan
  • Rebekah Bonilla
  • Adam Rayl

Lizard Kings

Heat one:

  • Hunter Guerard vs Sean Bryan

Hunter was able to complete the Parallel Pipes first. He wasn’t putting up the cleanest run, but he was fast. He tripped on the edge of the Floating Tiles, still surging forward. Suddenly, Sean made a bid for the lead and was able to pass on the Hanging Staircase. He flew up the wall for an unexpected win.

Point = Tri-Hards

Heat two:

  • Sarah Schoback vs Rebekah Bonilla

Both Ninjas missed the first transition on the Pipes, however, Rebekah had the lead. She was able to dismount and move down the course. Sarah was stuck on the Parallel Pipes. Rebekah was on the Hanging Staircase as Sarah completed the third obstacle and made her move. At the Warped Wall though, Rebekah opened a door for Sarah when she missed her first attempt. Sarah saw the opening and lunged for it. Both ran towards the wall. Sarah actually grabbed the ledge first, but Rebekah pulled herself up and over for the win.

Point = Tri-Hards

Heat three:

  • Kyle Soderman vs Adam Rayl

The Lizard Kings sent in the speedy Kyle to prevent a sweep. The Ninjas were tied and sprinting from the start. Adam missed his first grab on the pipes. Kyle was absolutely flying down the course. Adam ended up falling on the Hanging Staircase while trying to catch Kyle. Kyle hit the buzzer in less than 31 seconds, one of the fastest finishes of the season.

Point = Lizard Kings

Heat four - relay:

Sarah and Rebekah took position one. Kyle and Sean were in the middle. Hunter and Adam were at the end.

Rebekah led the first leg and tagged in Sean. Sarah quickly brought in Kyle who burst to catch up. In a shocking twist, BOTH Sean and Kyle fell on the Floating Tiles. This triggered an even re-start on the last leg. It would be a two obstacle sprint for Hunter and Adam. Adam took the lead and made sure he didn’t lose it. Hunter fought hard, but it was a win for the Tri-Hards.

Point = Tri-Hards

  • Tri-Hards win.
  • Lizard Kings are OUT.


  • Tri-Hards vs Party Time

We now moved to the extended course for the last match-up of the night. This added in the Salmon Ladder, Rumbling Dice, and Zig Zag Climb.

Heat one:

  • Jake Murray vs Adam Rayl

Adam took the lead and looked strong through the Parallel Pipes. When Jake missed the first transition, Adam was able to get far ahead. Jake got wet on the floating tiles, but he was still in it. Adam was beginning the Salmon Ladder as a soaking wet Jake attempted the Warped Wall. The lead looked pretty insurmountable now. Jake was on the Salmon Ladder as Adam began the final climb. Unless Adam fell, there wasn’t much hope for Jake. There were no falls for Adam in this heat.

Point = Tri-Hards

Heat two:

  • Barclay Stockett vs Rebekah Bonilla

Barclay had a slight lead into the Pipes. Both had a little trouble on the obstacle. Barclay still led into the Hanging Staircase, but on the extended course, it can be anyone’s game at this point. Barclay opted to take some rest on the back part of the course. She waited until Rebekah was right behind her to start the Salmon Ladder.

Barclay moved doggedly through the Rumbling Dice with Rebekah showing an equal amount of grit. Barclay took a huge leap to get off the obstacle and began the Zig Zag Climb. Rebekah ended up taking an awful fall on the Dice. While the point already went to Barclay, she was still in the midst of the climb. She was SO close to finishing the course that she actually touched the platform. There was no buzzer, but there was a win.

Point = Party Time

Heat three:

  • Brian Arnold vs Sean Bryan

After a fast start, Sean was clearly ahead across the Floating Tiles. Brian evened things out on the back part of the course. Both were on the Rumbling Dice at the same time. Sean completed the obstacle first and looked exhausted as he approached the final climb. He paused to catch his breath and Brian was able to start the climb. He moved with precision while Sean attempted to catch up, struggled, and ultimately fell.

Point = Party Time

Heat four - relay:

Tri-Hards suddenly found themselves on the bubble. Rebekah and Barclay were at the starting line. Brian and Adam were in the middle. Sean and Jake stood at the top of the Warped Wall.

It was tied up at first, with Rebekah getting out of the Pipes first and tagging Adam. Brian had to play catch up as Adam tore ahead to maintain the lead. Sean was quickly tagged in, with Jake on his heels. To make up time, Jake skipped rungs on the Salmon Ladder and kicked it into overdrive on the Dice. Sean reached the Zig Zag Climb first. Jake got there as well and both started sliding all over the obstacle. At one point, Jake even tried to wipe his shoes. Sean was struggling to reach the top. He could touch the platform but he was so shakey. We thought a fall was about to happen when he was just barely able to roll his body over the edge and get the buzzer.

Point = Tri-Hards

That race was declared the Mitsubishi Drive of the Night. The last leg was absolutely grueling. Jake and Sean had to dig deep to find just enough strength to pull that off.

Heat five - relay:

It all came down to a tie-breaker. The Tri-Hards moved the exhausted Sean to the middle leg of the race. Now Adam and Jake would race on the back half.

This race was all about Party Time. Barclay had a great start and gave Brian the first tag. Sean was close on the Hanging Staircase, but Jake was still tagged in first. Adam pushed to catch up and brought it to a tie on the Salmon Ladder. But in another tough shock of the night, Adam fell from the Salmon Ladder! Jake completed the Rumbling Dice to move on to the finals.

  • Party Time moves to the finals!
  • Tri-Hards are OUT!

Next week:

On June 11, the final four teams will look for the last slot in the upcoming championship episode!

  • Team Ronin
  • Lab Rats
  • The Ballers
  • Young Bloods