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What if season 11 had no Safety Passes?

How would the National Finals have played out in an alternate reality?

David Becker/NBC

This article was published prior to Drew Drechsel’s arrest. NBC and American Ninja Warrior have since cut ties with him.

It’s “What If” week over at SB Nation. We’re taking a moment to wonder what would happen if one element or event in our various sports didn’t exist, or played out differently.

For American Ninja Warrior, what if season 11 had no Safety Passes?

Remember, the Safety Pass, earned by winning the Power Tower race in the City Finals, allowed the competitor a re-do if they fell or timed out on Stage One or Two at the National Finals. Six Ninjas entered the National Finals with a Safety Pass in hand. As a refresher, here’s what happened with those Safety Passes.

  • Flip Rodriguez: He used the Safety Pass on Stage One after a painful fall on the Diving Boards. He then completed Stage One and ultimately timed out on Stage Two in a heartbreaking run.
  • Drew Drechsel: He used the Safety Pass on Stage One after falling on Tire Run. Drew completed the stage and then went on to become the season’s Grand Champion.
  • Karson Voiles: After falling on Snap Back on Stage Two, he used the Safety Pass to advance to Stage Three through a second run. He ended the year on Cane Lane.
  • Dave Cavanagh: Dave used the pass after a fall from Walk the Plank on Stage Two. However, after falling on the Extension Ladder, his season was over.
  • Michael Torres: He earned the Safety Pass in Cincinnati and the only competitor to not need it. He advanced to Stage Three without a do-over. He fell on the dismount from Stage Three’s Ultimate Cliffhanger.
  • Mathis “The Kid” Owhadi: He used the Safety Pass on Stage Two after falling on Grim Sweeper. He then advanced to Stage Three and fell on the Ultimate Cliffhanger.

What if the Safety Passes weren’t there during season 11? Would the Ninjas have taken more care and avoided the mistakes that caused the need for the passes? Would Drew still have become the Champion? Would someone else have taken the title?

Tell us how the National Finals would have played out in this alternate reality. Share your thoughts in the comments below.