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American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja

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Flip Rodriguez, Geoff Britten and the other captains try to get their teams to the finals.

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Wow. Huge comedy of errors from some of our favorite ninjas. Flip Rodriguez got killed by the Ring of Fire. TWICE. The second time, he got the win because he got to the obstacle first, and Geoff Britten fell at the same time. Speaking of Geoff, he only got one win on his one. That came in the first round against the Towers of Power (the firefighter team captained by Brandon Mears), and then he let his wife Jessica run the tiebreaker. Not only did she flame out early, she shook herself up to the point where a substitute was brought in for the elimination round.

In the end, the Towers of Power went head-to-head with Team Ronin (Flip, JJ and Tiana, same as last time). JJ ran anchor, overcame a deficit, and sealed the win. At that point, I just wanted it to be over. As for Geoff? Whether he stays in the ANW circuit or becomes a full-time father and husband, I don't hate him.

Wild Card round is next week. I don't know who made it. I would think the top four runners-up, but the credits gave conflicting information. I think SuperHero Squad and Lab Rats are in there.

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Tiana is one of my favorite female ninjas.  I hope she does well this season. 

Hope Jessica Britten is okay.  That looked painful.

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I think Geoff Britten is a very nice guy who loves his wife.  I also think he's not anywhere near as driven to win as most of the others because he's already done the ultimate feat.  He seems to be having fun no matter what happens.  If he really, really wanted to win these events, he wouldn't have Jessica on his team because she's just not as good as most of the other women.  I don't think he cares.  He just wants her to participate too.

I was glad Flip's team took the win over Towers of Power.  I don't actually dislike those guys but their constant "bro" stuff gets old in a hurry.  I respect that they're firefighters but they seem a little old for all the BFF carrying on.

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Weird to see so many ninjas go out on the Ring of Fire (Rodriguez and Bitten side-by-side was funny).  I wonder, though, whose idea it was to have the two women run the Sudden Death and if one of the captains had run it instead.  Seems like if one captain picks a woman, the other captain has to follow, and I'd bet Towers of Powers picked Selena, knowing Ms Britten was comparatively weak.

Edited by jhlipton
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Ring of Fire is tricky. Logically, if you "jump" both gaps, you nail it. But if you clear the first and get snagged on the second, the jarring stop might force you into the water if you don't clear it. There's a case to be made about hitting both notches to reduce speed and "fatal" impact, but then your opponent might clear it faster.

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I can see that.  It's just after the first few falls, the ninjas would be looking out for the snag.  Just as later ninjas learn from the earlier ones mistakes on ANW.

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On 6/1/2017 at 2:42 AM, mlp said:

I think Geoff Britten is a very nice guy who loves his wife.  I also think he's not anywhere near as driven to win as most of the others because he's already done the ultimate feat.  He seems to be having fun no matter what happens.  If he really, really wanted to win these events, he wouldn't have Jessica on his team because she's just not as good as most of the other women.  I don't think he cares.  He just wants her to participate too.

I agree. I've observed this since season 1 of TNW. He seems to be having so much fun, regardless of his fails and losses. It's nice to see him so happy and It's refreshing to see someone just enjoying it.

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I'm surprised at how underwhelming Lorin Ball did. He's known for his speed and I expected he'd excel at the TNW course. On the other hand, I'm so happy to see Paul Kasemir back on the course again, even for just the team competition. I'm so glad Lorin picked him. 

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I thought this entire season was going to be the College Madness thing which I have no interest in so I just started watching these eps. 

There are some people you just know are going to fall and Rose Wetzel and MaryBeth whatever-her-name-is are among them. Meagan bunny-hopping on the bungee steps was cute.

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I was really surprised that Graff lost to Kirsti Pratt! Way to go, the Machine. Nicholas Coolridge had a great run, liked when he ripped of his shoes and socks to run the warped wall.

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3 hours ago, slf said:

 Meagan bunny-hopping on the bungee steps was cute.

If you time it right, it looks like the fastest way over, but the opportunity for failure is probably a lot higher.

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Geoff Britten is my absolute favorite ninja because he really just enjoys it. It's too bad his wife doesn't have the same feeling for it.

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Another wacky episode where things go sideways on the ninjas, and the losers from the first round meet in the final. Biggest Lesson: Jamie Rahn is a damn superhero. I know, he's got the hero gimmick, the green hair, and those tattoos . . . but he ran four times, and he had enough energy to get the win for Superhero Squad over The Wings. Oh, and it turns out that the wild card is structured like last year's final; four more teams compete for a second chance next week, and the winner faces SHS in a play-in for the semifinals. If both episodes are filmed on the same day, that means Jamie would have to exert himself six times in competition. Hardcore shit right there.

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Meiling Huang should have gotten 16 points for dismounts!  First, swinging almost 10 feet on the Swinging Spikes; then crashing into the wall on the Rings of Fire!!  So awesome!!!!

And Sean Darling-Hammond shows the danger of "bunny-hopping" on the Floating Tiles.

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I think you have to have a lot of spring in your legs for the bunny hop. Time it right, you can hit the next obstacle quickly, and maybe get an awesome roll out of it. Those that are tall -- not exactly John Alexis, Jr. -- would have to hit the pads the way the production crew intended.

Speaking of John . . . nice to see a guy excel on ANW who isn't that compact, but he kinda shot his team in the foot, didn't he?

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[[Speaking of John . . . nice to see a guy excel on ANW who isn't that compact, but he kinda shot his team in the foot, didn't he?]] (No quote feature here) I think it's Jon, and yes, repeatedly.

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Thanks, @OnceSane. The teams vying for the wildcard this week are Lab Rats, Towers of Power, Karsten's Fast Kats and NorCal Ninjas. The winner this week faces off against the white-hot Jamie Rahn and his Superhero Squad.

ETA: Another wild week. Karsten's Fast Kats swept the Lab Rats. Norcal Nnjas defeated the Towers of Power, 3-1, but Brian Kretsch got hurt and had to be replaced by Sean "Papal Ninja" Bryan. The Kats and Towers split the first two runs, including a leg where Selena Lanel actually waited to see if Joy Strickland (Kats) could clear the spikes. She couldn't, Selena tried it, and she failed, giving Joy the point. Karsten outraced Brandon Mears for the win. In the other semi, it came down to David "The Godfather" Campbell barely nipping Brian Wilczewski ( filling in as captain in place of brother Chris) to give the Norcal Ninjas a 3-1 win.

In the first final . . . well, the Kats could've had a better day. Joy fell in the water in the first leg, giving the Ninjas the ten second headstart. Karsten tried to keep it close, but then Kevin Klein fell of the salmon ladder, giving the Norcal Ninjas the win. David Campbell climbed the rope fifty feet in a unnecessary gesture.

Second final? All Norcal Ninjas, as they beat Superhero Squad to advance to the semifinals.

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On 6/13/2017 at 2:09 PM, Lantern7 said:

Another wild week. 

David Campbell climbed the rope fifty feet in a unnecessary gesture.

You left all the bumps and bangs as ninjas jockeyed for position on the Swinging Spikes.  The wildest was when Campbell was going for a long dismount but the other ninja cut him off and he had to go another three spikes.  One guy was bumped as he was letting go but it didn't affect him.

I think accidental contact is allowed, but I don't think you can deliberately swing into someone to mess up their dismount.

A very wild and fun week.

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To review, as we careen towards the finish line:

Team Ronin vs. Think Tank: Of course, JJ Watts Woods aces his run, as does Tiana. Flip figures out the Ring of Fire, but Matt Wilder beats him to force a tie. Since JJ is basically a rock star, he gets sent in and wins up winning, as Matt splashes down twice.

Storm Team vs. Iron Grip: Josh Levin puts Storm Team on the board, as Nate Burkhalter hurts himself. Barclay Stockett rallies from behind on the tire swing to outdo Allyssa Beird, and I'm certain Matt and Akbar needed two pairs of pants. In the tiebreaker, Joe Moravsky upsets Daniel Gil.

Team Ronin vs. Iron Grip: With Nate out, Iron Grip goes to Scott Willson, aka "Chess Ninja." I'm guessing there's a pool. I wonder if questions had to be asked? "Do you accept Jesus Christ and/or Sam Sann in your life?" "Um . . . check. I mean, yes." And then the unthinkable happens, as Scott upsets JJ. Barclay and Daniel get the other wins, and Team Ronin gets the unexpected exit. I'm guessing Flip's struggles have led to him taking his time in the Los Angeles qualifier.

Storm Team vs. Think Tank: It's all Storm Team . . . Josh and Allyssa get the wins, and Matt's Hail Mary leap towards the tires came up short, giving Storm Team the sweep.

Relay Showdown: Iron Grip vs. Storm Team: Barclay (who also came up huge on Monday night) and Scott gave Daniel a small lead, but the Kingdom Ninja couldn't combat Josh's climbing skills, and Storm Team advances to the final.

Next Week: Golden Hearts! Team TNT! Norcal Ninjas! Real Life Beasts! And a trophy is at the end. No "Bronze Buzzer" for these pros!!

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Those were some fantastic runs tonight. I didn't know who to root for at times. However, I was impressed that Scott beat JJ, for having come onto the course cold. One of the women's race was fantastic as well, though I don't remember the names. And that final race was incredible. Matt and Akbar really got into them as well.

 

Does anyone know if the warp wall is shorter in the team competition than the regular course? Women seem to be getting up this wall on a regular basis.

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After Tiana figured out the way for the women to beat the Tire Swing (bring the next tire back to push you forward, I expected the other women to do the same, but I think only one did.  Barclay's inverted grab was pretty awesome though.

21 hours ago, Richness said:

Does anyone know if the warp wall is shorter in the team competition than the regular course? Women seem to be getting up this wall on a regular basis.

I think it's standard height -- just more women have figured out the foot placement and how to get the power needed.

At the start of the Team games, Ackbar was saying "She's the third woman to make it up the Wall!"  "She's the fourth woman!" "Ah, screw it, they're all getting up it now!!!!"

Edited by jhlipton
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1 hour ago, jhlipton said:

At the start of the Team games, Ackbar was saying "She's the third woman to make it up the Wall!"  "She's the fourth woman!" "Ah, screw it, they're all getting up it now!!!!"

That's partly what prompted my question. I also seem to recall there being one run where both women made it up the wall, which was awesome. However, I thought all this was said and done last season? I wasn't sure, since I only caught the last season in reruns just before this season started. I'm just thrilled that they're making it up with more frequency. I just though the wall might have been lowered for the team competition, or was the shorter one from the first few seasons.

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I think the number doubled last year . . . from four in ANW to eight after TNW1. I might be wrong. Always fun to see Matt and Akbar freak the freak out, even though women climbing the wall isn't as mindblowing these days.

ETA while I'm thinking about it: should Ring of Fire make it into the rotation on ANW? I know that it would be less stressful for competitors even in Las Vegas with the countdown, but it's still a bitch of an obstacle. If Flip falters this year, it'll be because he merely thought about it. Ring of Fire probably haunts him worse than that awful facial hair.

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17 hours ago, Lantern7 said:

should Ring of Fire make it into the rotation on ANW? I know that it would be less stressful for competitors even in Las Vegas with the countdown, but it's still a bitch of an obstacle. If Flip falters this year, it'll be because he merely thought about it. Ring of Fire probably haunts him worse than that awful facial hair.

I'd like to see it in a city qualifier/final rather than a Vegas stage; it fits with past and present Obstacle 2's.

LOL about the facial hair.

Edited by jhlipton

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I really don't like Brandon Mears. He and his teammate seem like utter meatheads with all their "bro"-ing. Ugh.

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In case you forgot, here are the four teams vying for a shot: Golden Hearts (captain: Neil "Crazy" Craver), Team TNT (Travis Rosen), Norcal Ninjas (David Campbell), and Real Life Beasts (Drew Drechel). Winning team enters the Relay Showdown against Storm Team (Joe Moravsky).

ETA: Helluva finale.

Team TNT vs. Real Life Beasts: James McGrath gets the point for RLB over Brett Sims. Marybeth Wang got the point over Erica Cook on a double splashdown to even the score. Drew Dreschel puts it in another gear, beating Travis Rosen to get the win for RLB.

Golden Hearts vs. Norcal Ninjas: Substitute Sean "Papal Ninja" Bryan shocks Grant McCarthy to open the match. Natalie Duran pulls the Hearts even with an epic come-from-behind win over Anna Shumaker. In the rubber run, David Campbell takes the lead, only to fall on the tires. Neil Craver completes those to given his team the win.

Norcal Ninjas vs. Real Life Beasts: In a battle with "The Beast," the Papal Ninja comes up short.  Anna draws Norcal even as Erica hurts herself badly. Drew Dreschel runs like Drew Dreschel, sending RLB to the final.

Golden Hearts vs. Team TNT: Neil runs leadoff for the Golden Hearts, only to get beathen by Brett. Natalie takes a lead, only to really injure herself . . . to the point where the match has to be stopped to take her off the course. Marybeth completes the tires and the Warped Wall (her first) to put TNT up, 2-0. Travis puts the final nail in the Hearts' coffin, as Grant's Hail Mary jump for the tires ends badly.

Final: Team TNT vs. Real Life Beasts: With Erica out, RLB brings in Sarah Schoback. How does she do coming in cold? She splashes on the Ring of Fire. TNT probably didn't even need it, as they take the win with authority.

Grand Final: Storm Team vs. Team TNT: Lots of stories here. Travis is still smarting from coming up short to Party Time last year, and Marybeth was Joe Moravsky's teammate. She winds up splashing hard. Maybe she and Joe had an "agreement." Naaaaaaaah. The rest is all Storm Team, as America's Favorite Athletic Weatherman gets the win, with Josh Levin taking it home, and Travis comes up short for the second straight season.

I like TNW, but I'm thinking maybe it could be adjusted to prevent serious injuries. I think there were more this year, and that's a bit concerning, though that could have been due to the increased field. Also, I'm thinking each team should have subs ready to go. It looks like there's a pool, and the chances of getting somebody good seem slim. I know that Jake Murray's sub won with Party Time last year, but it seems like an iffy proposition.

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Enjoyed the episode. Hate that a time delay occurs on the final relay. Also hate that there were so many injuries in the final episode. However, most of the alternates seemed to do well for their team.

 

My only "complaint" is the Matt or Ackbar using the phrase "sell out" when describing ninjas needing to give it their all to win. To me, "sell out" has negative connotations when a pop star or other celebrity compromises their character or integrity. 

 

Next year, may I suggest going to a single thread for the entire season? There doesn't seem to be enough comments to warrant a new thread for each episode.

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That was a lot better than either Spartan or ANW this week.  Far fewer pointless backstories, far less filler, just really good athletes soaring through the course.  I did feel sorry for Travis Rosen - second year in the finals and still the runner up!  But I do like Joe Moravsky, particularly without his annoying cousin in tow.

The injuries were upsetting, though.  I hope the competitors can still do ANW this year.

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Travis Rosen and Joe Moravsky are two of my very favorites so I didn't know who to root for.  Both of them are nice, clean cut, family guys with day jobs who you'd never suspect of being athletes if you just saw them on the street.  I was sort of pulling for Travis because of his loss last season but I was happy for Joe.  Overall, it was an exciting final episode.

I wish they'd have given us an update on Natalie and the other woman who got hurt.  

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Yeah, I liked both teams so found myself just cheering everybody on.  I swear this show makes me exhausted just watching all these ninjas going at top speed all hour long.  Fun season, except for all the injuries.  Natalie competed in LA on ANW, so she seems to have recovered fine.  Hope Erica made out ok, too.  I do hope they do something new next year to curb some of these injuries.  I know it's probably part and parcel of them all going so fast, but still.

One last fun bit that I found a while ago.  I thought it might pop up on the show during the season, but it didn't, so here's Meghan Martin's team vs. Jessie Graff's team in a bonus run

Edited by JenMD
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Thanks for posting that link.  Meagan Martin has been my favorite female ninja for ages although I've now added Jessie Graf.  I enjoyed seeing them compete in fun.  Nicholas Cooleridge too. :)

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On 6/27/2017 at 9:52 PM, Lantern7 said:

Anna draws Norcal even as Erica hurts herself badly.

Natalie takes a lead, only to really injure herself . . . to the point where the match has to be stopped to take her off the course.

On 6/28/2017 at 3:55 PM, mlp said:

I wish they'd have given us an update on Natalie and the other woman who got hurt.  

I like TNW, but I'm thinking maybe it could be adjusted to prevent serious injuries.

I know that Jake Murray's sub won with Party Time last year, but it seems like an iffy proposition.

I wish they'd given us an update too.

I don't know how they can totally prevent the injuries that happened on this episode.  The ninjas are always going to go for long dismounts, and the odds are high for twisting or even breaking something from coming down hard on a 20 foot jump. 

Sean "Papal Ninja" Bryan did as well as any of the non-subs.  David Campbell was the weak link on the Norcal Ninjas.

On 6/28/2017 at 8:17 PM, JenMD said:

 I thought it might pop up on the show during the season, but it didn't, so here's Meghan Martin's team vs. Jessie Graff's team in a bonus run.

That is fun.  I would have loved to see Meghan and Jessie do the full course (up to the Wall).

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I enjoyed watching the college teams. It seems like a good way to bring in new viewers, and it was fun to see new people.

I wasn't sure about Kacey when she was introduced as a host. The show tends to over promote her (which is the fault of the show, not her).  I don't blame her at all for taking the opportunities they give her.

This episode was actually a great way to use her. They didn't overdo it at all.

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I admit, I was rooting for MIT as well. I'm not sure I like the Cinderella story though. That seems to be a bit of a discredit to the team. They proved themselves strong right from the start.

I am really glad they won that last round. The other team (forgot what school they were) seemed to be largely carried by one guy. I felt bad for that one guy though. He'd be great on another team or on his own.

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I like the science doctor ninja guy (or whatever his nickname was), but it seems unfair to have someone who was on the other show here. Maybe it's really not any worse than those who train under Ninja Warriors.

Did the relay race rules change or something. In a previous episode, people tagged before they were all up. Here, they waited until in they were on top. It doesn't really matter so long as both teams do the same thing.

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Did not know this was airing now. Got caught up today. The format has been tweaked. We have two three-person teams facing off, but things are different.

  1. There are only three matches. Teams that win face each other in the end. No "losers of this bracket face winners from the other" anymore.
  2. Each ninja-on-ninja showdown is one point. No more two-pointers. First team to three points wins. If they wind up with a 2-1 score, the teams face off in a relay. If things are tied after that? Another relay.
  3. The extended parts of the courses are opened for the final round of an episode, including the one-on-one matches.

Beasts of the East (James McGrath, Erica Cook, Dave Cavanagh) vs. Hashtag Ninjas (Nick Coolridge, Larissa Cottle, Jesse Laflair)

Hashtag takes the lead when Nicolas beats James (who is without BFF Drew Dreschel; the "Real Life Ninja" isn't doing the show this time). Larissa wins her heat, completing the course after Erica wipes out. Dave forces a relay as Jesse wipes out, but Hashtag takes the relay to win 3-1

Team Ronin (Flip Rodriguez, JJ Woods, Meagan Martin) vs, West Coast Warriors (Alan Connealy, Lindsey Eskildsen, JB Douglas)

To review; Tiana Webberly was the rising star of Team Ronin . . . and now she's on another squad, and Meagan takes her place. Definite overkill. JJ completes the course beating JB, and Meagan and Flip win as their respective opponents wipe out. Meagan bangs her head on a platform as she transitions to another, but she's okay. I had to rewind to see it . . . and then I heard it. Not a good sound. Oh, and Alan has an unbearably sweet Bernese Mountain Dog/Poodle mix named Kenobi. I have to find a picture, because he is so cute.

Final: Hashtag Ninjas vs. Team Ronin

Nicholas gets the surprise win as JJ wipes out. Nothing again Nicholas, but JJ had been quite aflame last year. Meagan evens things up as Larissa wipes out. Flip wipes out to give West Coast Warriors the lead, 2-1. But the Ronin take the Relays (with JJ running anchor both times) to advance.

Next week: Lance Pekus! Tyler Yamauchi! Jon Alexis, Jr.! And another guy who's name I didn't get. Please let me not be the only one watching.

ETA: Here's a Kenobi highlight reel. Holy shit, he looks so weird and so cute!

Edited by Lantern7
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Okay I just watched the final relay and I was really disappointed by Meagan's poor sportsmanship. I know technically it's not against the rules to totally block your opponent from being able to do the ring cross, but it was really off-putting to me. It was the first time I really disliked Meagan.

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@ClareWalks: I think there's more of an emphasis on confrontations like that, to make things more exciting. Here's my concern: there were a lot of injuries last season. You don't see those often on "regular" ANW. I'd hate to see one of the power players have to miss a season for a little glory. Probably explains why I didn't see Joe Moravsky and Jessie Graff on any teams in this link. I am amused that Sean Bryan -- "Papal Ninja" -- was a substitute last year, and he wound up making it to Stage Three.

Looking at the link . . . how is Jon Alexis the captain of Labreckfast Club? I don't remember him being hot last year. Didn't he hold Jesse back from advancing?

Edited by Lantern7

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There are a LOT of teams and a lot of people I don't recognize or think look vaguely familiar but I can't recall anything about them.  Most of the pictures are bad.  Grant McCartney looks half bald.  

I'd like to know how the teams are chosen.  I wonder if they just draw names from a hat.  I noticed that Brett and Grace Sims are on different teams.

They need an event for Alan Connealy's darling dog.  :)

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2 hours ago, mlp said:

There are a LOT of teams and a lot of people I don't recognize or think look vaguely familiar but I can't recall anything about them.  Most of the pictures are bad.  Grant McCartney looks half bald.  

I'd like to know how the teams are chosen.  I wonder if they just draw names from a hat.  I noticed that Brett and Grace Sims are on different teams.

They need an event for Alan Connealy's darling dog.  :)

Yeah, when you have 72 ninja guys, those without the stats and/or gimmicks will blur. Ditto with the women . . . without Jessie, it's basically those ranked #2-37, and I might remember eight names, even after recalling Kacy retired. As for the teams? I don't know if you've watched the prior seasons, @mlp, but a lot of them are close-knit. Seeing Team Ronin, I was surprised Tiana Webberly wasn't with them, because she got started working with Flip and JJ. Brian Arnold and Jake Murray are on Party Time for a third season. The Wolf Pack have an official team this year: Ian Dory, Dan Yager and Jeri D'Aurelio. And the Wilczewski brothers team up with Michelle Warnky to form Lab Rats once again. I kinda like the informal teaming, as opposed to having an unofficial draft.

@Fukui San: Thirty-six teams, 108 ninjas total. I reckon ANW is a great joining of the worlds of Parkour, climbing, gymnastics, and whatever else you can think up.

Edited by Lantern7

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On 2/26/2018 at 12:37 PM, OnceSane said:

*The show has been renamed "American Ninja Warrior:  Ninja vs. Ninja".

?

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