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The Mega Wall returns, but with significant new rules

Ninjas will need to weigh the pros and cons to make their decision.

Bill McCay/NBC

A few months ago, American Ninja Warrior specifically stated that the rules around the Warped Wall would change for season 11. Now, we finally have the chance to share those rule changes with you.

A quick refresher: The 18-foot Mega Wall was introduced in season 10. (It’s placed at the end of the course, before the buzzer.) If a Ninja could top the Wall in one attempt, they earned $10,000. If they didn’t get the Wall in one go, they moved back to the 14.5-foot Warped Wall and had one attempt there to complete the course.

For season 11, three attempts at the 18-foot Mega Wall will be allowed (instead of just one), but there is a catch. A couple of them, actually. The Mega Wall is now all-or-nothing. If you try the Mega Wall, you cannot move back to the 14.5-foot Warped Wall.

Those three allowed attempts also have a diminishing return on finances. (Although, any cash is good cash, right?) The $10,000 at the top of the Mega Wall is only good for the first attempt. On the second attempt, the Ninja can earn $5,000. On the third attempt, the wall is worth $2,500.

Here it is, simply put:

  • Once a Ninja attempts the Mega Wall, they cannot return to the 14.5-foot wall.
  • Ninjas have three attempts on the Mega Wall
  • Attempt #1: $10,000
  • Attempt #2: $5,000
  • Attempt #3: $2,500
  • The Mega Wall is still only in play during the Qualifiers. It is not an option in the City Finals.

While this reads pretty straight forward, it does offer some points the competitors will need to think about. In season 10, lots of Ninjas tried the Mega Wall without success and needed to return to the Warped Wall. Without the ability to return to the 14.5-foot wall, they wouldn’t have reached the buzzer and called themselves Qualifying course finishers.

We do think that attempting the Mega Wall three times is going to get A LOT more athletes to the top. So many were very close last season. Jesse Labreck, Drew Drechsel, and Joe Moravsky come to mind. With a few more tries, we’re sure they could have beaten the wall.

However, this will affect their overall course time. If a Ninja is looking to secure a top time on the course, they might want to forgo the Mega Wall and zip up the Warped Wall, if it’s a sure bet for them. Having the fastest time on the Qualifying course plays into the competitor’s ability to participate in the Power Tower race, which has its own, very valuable, prize on the line.

Three attempts might seem like it would make the Mega Wall a sure bet for some Ninjas, but are they willing to take the risks it brings with it? What do you think of the new rules? Comment below!