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Sean Bryan’s return might be thanks in part to production’s delay

He used the extra time to train after rehabbing his shoulder.

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

American Ninja Warrior’s third night of Qualifiers featured an exhilarating Power Tower match up between R.J. Roman and Sean Bryan. Both of the Ninjas put up great runs to the buzzer, with Sean taking the second fastest time of the night. This was especially impressive considering that we witnessed Sean endure a serious injury on Stage One of the National Finals last year. On the Jumping Spider, he dislocated his shoulder. The injury required surgery and careful rehab.

His triumphant return proves once again how diligent Sean is on the Ninja Warrior course. We spoke with Sean after his run, and before he walked to the Power Tower to face R.J. Roman in a heated race. It turns out, we might have the delay in production due to the pandemic to thank for Sean’s return.

On his team of Father Stephen Gadberry and David Womelsdorf

“Coming into this difficult year with very little training because of the pandemic, we all had lower expectations of ourselves coming into this. But everyone was fired up and training really hard for the couple of weeks we had when they notified us.

I was somewhat confident going into it. To watch DWom go down on the third obstacle was just devastating. He just looked so professional, so awesome going into it. He just missed his hand.

To see both of them go down early, there’s a lot on the line for the Power Tower. We’re hoping for a fun little narrative about being baptized and redeemed, and being brought back to new life.”

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

On coming into season 12 after an injury

“Coming into season 12, I was a little under prepared because I’m coming off a shoulder surgery. That’s why I wasn’t slated to compete in Los Angeles. Then they shut down production right before Los Angeles happened and no one knew from there. I was somewhat relieved because I knew I had more time to train. But at the same time, no one knew what was going to happen. If we were going to have access to gyms or not.

Fortunately, I’m building a gym right now and we are considered supporters of essential workers because we are the main tenets of a warehouse facility that has people who are considered essential workers. That gave us an opportunity to continue to build during the pandemic and I was able to train.

In spite of coming back slowly because of my injury, I was still able to train, which I think has shown so far.”

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

On what he wants to accomplish this season, with no National Finals looming

“The goal, as always, is to do the best I can and to stay focused. To somehow, someway, bring people joy and hope. What I say is, ‘Be courageous.’ I try to help people to focus on their hope and overcome any fear that might be getting in the way. Fear, doubt, shame, all those things just get in the way. Take courage is my message.”