Whoa, did this episode deliver. The Titan Games gave us the first of the regional finals and the last of the Central region competition. Pro bowler Joe Thomas has absolutely dominated Mount Olympus so far, but he met his equal in a riveting rematch with Matt Chan, who also happens to be the oldest competitor in the series at 42.
Dani Speegle needed to defend the title she earned just one episode ago and she solidified all her qualifications as the Central Region Champion.
We break down the action below.
The Titans: Joe Thomas and Dani Speegle
The returning challengers:
Men: Matt Chan, Steven Shelby, Kaleb Redden
Women: Jamie Seeman, Chantae McMillan, Claressa Shields
How it works:
All the previous Central region athletes who lost on Mount Olympus have returned. First, all three will face off. The last to complete the challenge is out of the games for good. The two remaining challengers will take on one more contest. The winner gets their shot at Mount Olympus and the reigning Titan. The Titans standing at the end of the episode will represent the Central region in The Titan Games Championship at the end of the season.
Game one - Hammer Down - Men’s challenge
The challengers: Matt Chan, Steven Shelby, Kaleb Redden
All three grabbed their hammers quickly and got to work. Kaleb and Matt stayed nearly tied, with Matt finishing the challenge shortly after Kaleb. Steven put up a good showing, but was in last place for the whole game.
Out: Steven Shelby
Advancing: Kaleb Redden and Matt Chan
Game two - Hammer Down - Women’s challenge
The challengers: Jamie Seeman, Chantae McMillan, Claressa Shields
Chantae quickly found her rhythm in this challenge and snapped up the lead and the first finish. Jamie lagged behind Claressa to the point where we wondered if it would be a shut out. However, when Claressa fell from the golden pole, Jamie had an open door to make up ground, sending one of the original elite Titans packing.
Out: 2X Olympic Gold Medal winner and undisputed boxing middleweight world champion Claressa Shields
Advancing: Jamie Seeman, Chantae McMillan,
Game three - Resistance - Women’s challenge
The challengers: Jamie Seeman, Chantae McMillan
In a shocking reversal, Chantae, who has made almost all the challenges look effortless, never even got her footing in this match up. She staggered and floundered between her own exhaustion and Jamie’s tugs. Chantae was unable to get a single barrel out of the ring while Jamie completed the game.
Out: Chantae McMillan
Advancing: Jamie Seeman
Game four - Resistance - Men’s challenge
The challengers: Kaleb Redden, Matt Chan
After starting the match with both contenders attempting to overpower the other, it quickly became a game of strategy. Matt, while staying low and steady, would line up his barrels, tossing them out two at a time. While Kaleb did quickly remove two from the arena, he was no match for Matt.
Out: Kaleb Redden
Advancing: Matt Chan
- Dani Speegle vs Jamie Seeman
Dani took an immediate lead and ran a race as smooth as glass. Jamie struggled early on Iron Ascent and could never close the gap. Dani strolled the Ball and Chain to the Titan Tomb and shortly after, locked in her second Mount Olympus win.
Central Region Champion: Dani Speegle
- Joe Thomas vs Matt Chan
This was the rematch of rematches! In the season’s first episode, Matt Chan lost to Joe Thomas “by a turn” when the NFL pro bowler swooped in for the win at the last second. But that also means Joe was VERY close to losing that match.
After starting the match as almost mirrors of one another, Matt clawed for the lead in Cage Crawl, but was well aware the Joe historically comes out strong on the arena floor. Both ended up slamming their hammers against the Titan Tomb at the same time. We didn’t even know who to cheer for as both dug furiously for their relics. In the end, Matt Chan rose up with his in hand and earned his redemption.
Central Region Champion: Matt Chan
West region - part one
Monday, June 15 at 8pm EST/PST on NBC
Yup, that means its time to see American Ninja Warrior’s Jessie Graff on the mountain as the region’s elite Titan!