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The first Mega Wall of the season was also Scott Willson’s first buzzer

He might use the $10k for an army of penguins. Who knows.

Michael Becker/NBC

American Ninja Warrior kicked off its season with the Los Angeles Qualifiers where the show checked off a lot of firsts for the year. Of course, there were the first buzzers and the first splash downs. There was also the first Power Tower race and the first Speed Pass winner.

Additionally, fans got to see the first Ninja of the season to topple the whopping 18-foot Mega Wall.

The accomplishment went to Scott Willson. Not only did he complete it, he did it on his first try, guaranteeing himself the full $10,000 prize. Season 11 is Scott’s fifth year on the show. His trip up the Mega Wall also happened to be his first American Ninja Warrior buzzer ever. Talk about making it count.

We stopped Scott for a little Q & A session after his run.

What keeps you coming back year after year?

SW: You get to play on an adult playground. Why wouldn’t I come back?

How were you feeling before the Qualifying course?

SW: I was feeling a lot of things. At first, when it was pouring rain, I was kind of frustrated and disappointed. All I’ve ever wanted to do was hit the 18-foot wall. There’s never really anything where I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, totally got that.’ That’s the only thing I’d be willing to say, ‘Yeah, I could do that.’ I was more confident trying for that dry, than I was than say, the thing I scorpion-ed on last year. (In season 10, Scott took a nasty fall off the balance obstacle.)

What did you think of the new first obstacle, the Shrinking Steps?

SW: I really appreciate (the first obstacle) because now there is no stopping. It’s much faster, and it’s not hard either. I think if anything, it becomes mental. I think that’s a good first obstacle where if you just believe in yourself, you’re going to make it through. Just don’t second guess yourself and decide to tip-toe.

Michael Becker/NBC

With the new Mega Wall rules in place, were you worried at all about getting stuck there?

SW: No, because if I made it there, I’m already going to the City Finals and I’d be more worried about what I’d think of myself if I didn’t try for it after feeling so good about it. I’d rather go at it three times, look like an idiot, and say I tried.

Were you surprised you landed it on the first try?

SW: Yes and no. After seeing people fail, people that I train with and really respect, there’s definitely that thought in my mind of, ‘Huh, maybe it is really, really bad. There’s something I don’t know about.’ Then when I got it, I was like, ‘What? No, we’re okay.’

So what’s the cash for?

SW: I told Matt and Akbar a prank fund to see what their reaction would be. They gave me a, ‘What?’ face. I was happy with that. I’m going to just make up a different story every time someone asks me. I’ll tell one person I’m assembling an army of penguins, I’ll tell another person I’m starting a fund, but in all reality, I’m probably just going to not touch it for a year.

This is your first buzzer and you made it a grand one!

SW: It felt good. It felt good to finally do what I knew I could do. It was definitely frustrating to always fall on the fifth, or derp somewhere. It wasn’t a lack of skill, it was just... derp-ing. Messing up.

How are you feeling thinking about the City Finals now?

SW: I could trip into the water and not care. Of course I want to go to Vegas, but I’ve already done something that I’m really happy with so there are no nerves. I like to always run these things without any need for accomplishment. Just realize that I get to play on multi-million dollar obstacles that I wouldn’t get to play on otherwise. It’s going to rule either way. Of course I want to go to Vegas.