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  #51  
Old 09-22-2014, 03:50 AM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Originally Posted by DKW View Post
Round 2: Kanno, Shieff, Hall
A strange effort from Hitoshi Kanno. He sets a brisk pace through 5 obstacles (looking very solid on Jumping Spider)...and then slams into the wall. Literally, as he fails on Warped Wall three times, but on the fourth attempt...doesn’t even get close. He quietly bows out, something I didn’t imagine any of this contingent doing.
He was apparently pushing himself too hard, and was just out of breath when he got to the warped wall. After 3 efforts, he knew that to beat it, he'd need to rest too long for it to be competitive. Either the other competitors would fail before this point, or they'd make the wall faster. No sense sitting down and resting for five minutes to get up and complete the course. So, bow out. Makes sense, but utterly embarrassing.

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Elet Hall has been one of the strongest competitors we’ve seen, but outdoing Shieff’s Usain Bolt moment is just way too freaking much to ask. Whether due to pressure or simply going too fast, he splashes down on Silk Slider.
USA 1, Europe 1
The silk slider landing is very tricky. It is a combination of small, bouncy, and slippery. People not sliding down low on the silks have too much vertical energy and bounce off. People trying to get low and use their full body tend to have too much horizontal velocity and slide off. The best landings use feet and hands to absorb the energy. Elet went for a foot landing and got too much bounce. He was pushing for time, and I assume thought he could shave a few bits by not leaving his feet, but it backfired.


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It’ll probably come as no surprise that I’m not a fan of Rope Jungle. It’s exactly the kind of screwball gimmick ANW simply does not need. This isn’t like Survivor, where they need to keep changing the rules to keep the contest fresh. The athletes are the story here, and there’s enough drama inherent in getting to the end.
Yeah, the combination of puzzle with effort was a bit strange. They did mention that the arrangement was different than when the Americans ran it the previous week, so at least they didn't have that advantage, but I still think having been on it at all was some advantage over the others. A very weird obstacle.

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Ah, well. Yuusuke Morimoto kicks off the stage. Much like Kanno, he looks very good (he blazes up Double Salmon Ladder) right up to the point where he looks awful. That being the jump to Butterfly Wall, where he misses the top by at least four inches.
This one height seems to play a factor. He jumped far with no vertical.



Quote:
Round 5: Shieff, Matachi, Rosen
For some reason Shieff is doing this run instead of the final member of the European contingent.
There's no rule that they have to take turns, or go in sequence, or everyone has to take a turn. They have a team of five, but can choose any three to run.


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Overall it’s a pretty good effort, but the tricky Metal Spin proves to be his undoing, as he takes a much too low jump and is in the water less than halfway to the platform.
Here's the thing: watching the competitors the previous week, everyone was getting a really high grab on the chains, and then being off-balance and not able to get their feet onto the landing platform to stop their rotation. His strategy actually made sense, I was thinking it myself. Get a bit lower on the chain, have a little more slack in the chain, have room to get your feet onto the platform. He just missed the grab and ended up too low.

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Kuvakin has strength and grace, but on an upper body grinder like Stage 3 you have to think he’s going to meet his match at some point. His agility serves him well on Floating Boards, and he even manages Ultimate Cliffhanger. But as soon as he reaches Hang Climb, it’s clear that he has no idea how to do that upside down funny bump traversing thing.
That's a rock-climbing wall. The bumps are rocks, or rather cement forms that can be bolted to wooden platforms in any arrangement to create fake rock walls for climbing training. They are standard at rock climbing walls.


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Rosen goes first. The commentators note that he isn’t using his feet, but it doesn’t seem to hurt him. He misses the buzzer on his first swipe but gets it right after. Time: 35.77. That’s easily fast enough to clear Stage 4 on Sasuke, which has a shorter climb. Oh boy.
Rosen put on an amazing run. Unbelievably, he doesn't use his feet for the first 3 or 4 stories of the climb - he's hand over hand, just using one foot to trail the rope and keep track of it. When he swaps to using his feet, it is smooth and easy because he has control of the tail. Blistering fast.


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McColl has to be feeling the weight of a continent on his shoulders right now. As he goes up, he uses his feet and actually seems to outpace Rosen, but he slows as he nears the top. It’s going to be close...it’s going to be really, really close...five seconds left...three...two...one...
AND HE DOES IT! 35.46, a mere 31 hundreds of a second faster than Rosen!
McColl to me looked slower the whole way, yet somehow is a hair faster at the buzzer. I have no idea how that worked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
What do people think about the way the USA vs X competition is set up? I think having stage 3 worth 3x stage 1 is a bit silly. Someone who can only beat stage 3 is never going to win ANW, because you need to do stage 1 AND stage 2 AND stage 3. The rounds should all be worth the same, imho.
This isn't an individual event, this is a team event. Making the scores go up means nobody is knocked out early. If all stages are the same, then the first team to 5 points wins, even if that's the first 5 rounds. Thus stage 3 might not come into it at all. Making the points increase means stage 3 becomes critical, because it's anybody's ballgame at that point.

So the Americans won early, but a couple of good runs by the Europeans in the later stages and it was suddenly a very tight struggle for the Americans to stay in.


Quote:
(Also it seems weird to have 5-person teams but only 3 run on each round...)
It's have a pool of 5 to choose from, but pick 3 for any stage. Same way the olympic gymnastics team event runs. The girls had a team of 5, but Makayla Maroney was a vault specialist - she only competed on vault for the team event. You can either pick good all-arounders, or pick specialists, but you have a limited pool so you can't have all specialists. You basically get 1 specialist, and everyone else needs to have 3 events they shine on, so you can field 2 competitors per event. For Ninja Warrior, there's a little less specialization, but there is some. Rock climbing gives good upper body and grip strength, and there's a lot of that, but stage one is not really primed for that. It's got more running and jumping.
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  #52  
Old 09-22-2014, 05:50 AM
yarblek yarblek is offline
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Sean McColl is NOT goddamn French. He is French-Canadian. He just trains/lives in France.
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  #53  
Old 09-23-2014, 02:38 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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MaxTheVool - Two things. One, the tasks get harder in the later stages, so the producers obviously thought they should be worth more. Two, that "Golden Snitch" thing. Nobody wants this settled before the third stage is even over. Besides, there's more tension when there's more at stake. I'm not sure if 1-2-3-playoff is ideal, but I honestly can't think of anything better.

One change I'd like to see is for everyone to compete the same number of times, but someone can go more than once in the same Stage. Not sure if NBC is daring enough to go for it, though, especially since it's going to stretch out the contest.

yarblek - Dangit, I knew it was too good to be true! Seriously, this is the kind of thing that should come out during the profiles. We know they're working hard, we know there's a lot of pride at stake.
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  #54  
Old 09-23-2014, 10:40 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by DKW View Post
MaxTheVool - Two things. One, the tasks get harder in the later stages, so the producers obviously thought they should be worth more. Two, that "Golden Snitch" thing. Nobody wants this settled before the third stage is even over. Besides, there's more tension when there's more at stake. I'm not sure if 1-2-3-playoff is ideal, but I honestly can't think of anything better.
I was thinking about it some, and maybe there could be some cumulative time thing... so if the USA has been doing really well so far, and you come down to the last runners of the night, then the USA has a huge time lead and can be four minutes slower completing round 3 and still win, or something. So all the individual efforts matter and add up, but a sufficient choke on the final round could still make the difference.

(Although in that case I think you want to do something where if someone falls off, there's a time penalty added, then they or a teammate can start over... something where you end up with a total-time-to-complete-the-stage for the entire team. No point in building up a huge lead but then you lose the entire competition when someone chokes on the cannonball incline.)
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  #55  
Old 12-31-2015, 07:05 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Two updates:
Team Ninja Warrior starts Jan 19
USA VS the World II airs Jan 31
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  #56  
Old 01-01-2016, 08:46 PM
lalaith lalaith is offline
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Originally Posted by BeepKillBeep View Post
Any other fans of this show?

I love watching the athleticism. It is a very different type of athletics than you normally get to see. A very cool mix of parkour, rock climbing and gymnastics.

The big thing I like about this show is that you can cheer for everybody!

I end up yelling at my screen urging the competitors on.

Gooooooooo everybody!
I avoided this show. Based on its name I thought it would be a bunch of guys in black outfit playing with swords and throwing stars.

Then I caught the Las Vegas finals by accident and I was hooked.

I was hooked for exactly the reasons you described. I love the way the crowd cheers for everyone and the competitors cheer for each other.

Now I watch it when I get the chance. Today they were showing 2014 city competitions. Doesn't matter they're from last season. Still fun to watch.
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  #57  
Old 01-02-2016, 12:43 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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There was a preview snippet from Team Ninja Warrior during the ninja-thon today. Looks like the format is this:

-Teams are two men and one woman, with a team captain (seems like the team captain is usually one of the men, but is sometimes a woman)
-There's a single course, about the length of a preliminary course, built with two side-by-side tracks, ending at a warped wall (well, two warped walls)
-The three team members from team A compete one by one against the three team members from team B, on the course at the same time, side by side. Whoever completes the course fastest wins. Incidental contact with the water is not a loss, but falling into the water is. I assume that if neither ninja completes the course, whoever gets further wins, but that wasn't totally spelled out
-Some of the obstacles are set up so that two competitors slightly cross path or interact, although they're mainly in their own lanes
-The first two competitors earn 1 point for winning. The third ("anchor") earns 2 points. In the event of a tie there's an "instant death" tiebreaker of some sort.
-Four teams compete in each "normal" episode. A vs B. Then C vs D. Then the winners of each match against the LOSER of the other match. Then the winners of the second round play each other in the final match, winners advance to some final round later on

Things I like about this format:
-The head to head racing seems really interesting. The time pressure can make even really talented ninjas make mistakes. In the brief bit we saw, a lot of people who can normally make it up warped walls failed to do so, and people screwed up fairly easy things like swinging to a cargo net

Things I don't like:
-I don't like the second round with losers against winners, because it can easily incentivize a team to punt their first round match
-I like each team having a woman, but... I worry that the very small number of really elite female competitors are just way better than numbers 6 through 20 or whatever. There are plenty of men who can consistently make it through a fairly easily qualifying course, even the 30th or 40th best man can give the top guys a run for the money. But the qualifying course ends with a warped wall, and only 4 women have ever made it up a warped wall (if I recall correctly)


One thing that is so far unclear is how many different varieties of courses there are. Will all of the team-vs-team competitions each episode be on the same course?


Anyhow, looks like quite a bit of fun overall.
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  #58  
Old 01-02-2016, 07:05 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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I saw it a couple days ago, and got pretty excited for the new season.
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I assume that if neither ninja completes the course, whoever gets further wins, but that wasn't totally spelled out
We saw this happen in the preview. It's standard "furthest the fastest" rule. So, for example, one time we saw the leader of a leg fall on the unstable pegs (or whatever they're called.) The run continued, as the second place dude had to complete the unstable pegs in order to have gotten the furthest the fastest. As soon as he got past the obstacle, the horn was blown.

Quote:
Four teams compete in each "normal" episode. A vs B. Then C vs D. Then the winners of each match against the LOSER of the other match. Then the winners of the second round play each other in the final match, winners advance to some final round later on
This wasn't what I took away from it. I may have missed something from my aggressive FFWDing through the non-racing parts, but from what I could tell:

Round 1: A vs B
Round 2: C vs D
Round 3: Loser's bracket to determine 3rd and 4th
Round 4: Winner's bracket to crown the champ
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  #59  
Old 01-03-2016, 10:28 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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Eeeeennghhh. There it is again...lots and lots of nagging little doubts.

First off, let's remember the origin of this event, a Japanese one-day amateur competition called Sasuke. (That's where the "ninja" comes from, lalaith.) In the vein of most Japanese game shows, it features a whole bunch of weird and colorful contestants, a plethora of unusual-looking obstacles, and an overall freewheeling spirit of good fun. There are no prizes nor any special rewards for Total Victory; succeeding is supposed to be its own accomplishment. It's not a "competition" in any meaningful sense of the word, and in fact a lot of contestants obviously don't have a prayer and are just there for the publicity.

In its entire history, I have not heard of a single genuine controversy of any kind. Sasuke is not a serious sport and doesn't pretend to be, and it's exactly this irreverent spirit that frees it from getting bogged down in bitter divides.

So fast forward to September 2015, and Geoff Britten makes the climb for the ages. This, you'll recall, is something that NBC has been hyping up nonstop from literally the moment ANW began, and now it's finally happened.

So what does he get? Jack squat, because Isaac Caldiero got up in a slightly faster time, which means that he gets the million (which he totally deserved, don't get me wrong). Never mind that there was zero indication in any prior episode that they'd be competing against each other (because, again, this isn't supposed to be a competition), never mind that this doesn't even make much sense, never mind that pretty much everyone hated it. There's one king and everyone else is a peasant (because that worked so well for Dancing With The Stars). That's the rule, and the rules are sacrosanct, and they can never, ever bend in the slightest, never mind that NBC made up the stupid rules in the first place, and it doesn't matter how many millions of viewers are unhappy about it.

And now a team competition. With women competing on the same course as men.

One of the things I really liked about the way ANW was set up was that everyone competed on the same course. No handicaps, no chivalry. Pretty cool, and something that isn't really a viable option for most sports. More than that, though, each person is competing for himself or herself and gets to set his or her own goals, or no goals at all. We get to see boundaries pushed, seemingly unremarkable athletes accomplish what once seemed impossible, and truly inspiring feats of strength and resourcefulness. This was amateur athletics in its purest form. No divisions, no qualifying scores, no damned expectations, just watch and be thrilled by what you see.

All that is gone for this event. Now every second matters, every tiny stumble matters, every fall is disaster, because they're not just failing, they're letting down the team. USA vs. The World could get away with this because they were the best of the best, people who had established themselves and were used to pressure. I've seen no indications that the selections here will be as accomplished.

Then there's that nonsense about the 2-point "anchors". Great, scoring tomfoolery to ensure even more furious arguments and take another bite out of ANW's legitimacy as a sport.

And there are going to be women here? Look, I was as elated as anyone else at Kacy Katanzaro's historical conquest of the City Final, and also Catanzaro and Meagan Martin setting a new milestone in Stage 1. But these were impressive achievements for women, and I was happy because I could judge them by that standard. Failing at Warped Wall would rightfully not be considered anywhere near impressive for Brian Arnold, or Joe Moravsky, or Elet Hall, or Geoff Britten. And I've seen how the female contingent did the last time. Graff was really good, Martin uncharacteristically stumbled but made the most of her second chance, Catanzaro ran into a bit of bad luck but did the same, Warnky was so-so, there was that one in the military episode that wasn't too bad, and nearly everyone else flat-out stunk up the joint. Is NBC going to round up four who are willing to do this and won't embarrass themselves?

Little doubts. Hoping that the actual event is a decent contest.
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  #60  
Old 01-04-2016, 12:26 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by DKW View Post

So fast forward to September 2015, and Geoff Britten makes the climb for the ages. This, you'll recall, is something that NBC has been hyping up nonstop from literally the moment ANW began, and now it's finally happened.

So what does he get? Jack squat, because Isaac Caldiero got up in a slightly faster time, which means that he gets the million (which he totally deserved, don't get me wrong). Never mind that there was zero indication in any prior episode that they'd be competing against each other (because, again, this isn't supposed to be a competition), never mind that this doesn't even make much sense, never mind that pretty much everyone hated it.
I agree that it was crappy the way that played out. That said, I'm 100% sure that in previous years, when discussing the four stages of Mt. Midoriyama, they had said "and if anyone completes stage 3, they will go to stage 4, and race for (the prize, was half a million and then later a million). If multiple people complete stage 4, whoever completes it fastest will win". If anything, the problem was not that they had no procedure in place, it was that they had a procedure in place that turned out to suck... but presumably no one was seriously considering that two people would achieve ultimate victory in the same year, given that no one had ever even gotten to stage 4 before.

I really really hope that they'll give Geoff Britten a special reward, with some money, and change the policy for future years, because I agree that what happened really sucked.

That said, while ANW has its origins in Sasuke, it's clearly a different show, and stands or falls on its own merits. I think having a big prize is why so many really top-notch athletes have showed up to compete, so I don't mourn the loss of amateur-status-pureness or anything of that sort.


Quote:
Now every second matters, every tiny stumble matters, every fall is disaster, because they're not just failing, they're letting down the team.
Or, on the flip side, one fall does NOT immediately disqualify you because you have a team there to pick you up if you fail. A team sport always has a different dynamic than an individual sport.

Quote:
Then there's that nonsense about the 2-point "anchors". Great, scoring tomfoolery to ensure even more furious arguments and take another bite out of ANW's legitimacy as a sport.
There's a very simple reason for that, which is to make for better TV. Even if one team wins round 1 and round 2, round 3 still matters. And I don't see how it will lead to arguments, the rules are the rules. And ANW isn't a sport, it's a TV show. It's not trying to be a sport.

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And there are going to be women here? Look, I was as elated as anyone else at Kacy Katanzaro's historical conquest of the City Final, and also Catanzaro and Meagan Martin setting a new milestone in Stage 1. But these were impressive achievements for women, and I was happy because I could judge them by that standard. Failing at Warped Wall would rightfully not be considered anywhere near impressive for Brian Arnold, or Joe Moravsky, or Elet Hall, or Geoff Britten. And I've seen how the female contingent did the last time. Graff was really good, Martin uncharacteristically stumbled but made the most of her second chance, Catanzaro ran into a bit of bad luck but did the same, Warnky was so-so, there was that one in the military episode that wasn't too bad, and nearly everyone else flat-out stunk up the joint. Is NBC going to round up four who are willing to do this and won't embarrass themselves?
Not sure what you're saying here.

Women are always competing head-to-head with other women. Some women are better than other women. Whichever woman does best on the course wins a point for her team. Where's the objection? (Or are you echoing what I said, that there seems to be a steeper dropoff of talent between the best handful of women and the others? Because I obviously agree, but what other solution is there? Have no women at all? They're an integral part of ANW. Or only have 4 total teams, so that each team can have an elite woman?)
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  #61  
Old 01-21-2016, 02:16 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Hey, it's on, doncha know.

All right, the ground rules. I'll put this all in a single post so you can refer to it throughout the season. Three-member teams, one female. For the first three runs, the members (which I'll designate "leadoff", "woman", and "anchor" for simplicity) always compete in the same order. If the teams split the first two rounds, the anchor leg decides the winner of the match; the same is true of the same team wins all three rounds. If one wins the first two and the other the anchor, both teams get to choose a member for the tiebreaker round.

A competitor if out if he touches the water after completely losing his grip, or, if there is no water, if he touches the ground. As long as he's holding onto something, contact with the water is considered "incidental" and the run continues (something there's absolutely no mistaking as the announcers mentioned it about a hundred freaking times).

If neither competitor goes out, the winner is the first to complete the course by hitting the buzzer (which I'll call "finish). If one goes out and his opponent clears the obstacle he went out on, he wins ("distance"). If both go out on the same obstacle, the winner is the one who reached it first ("speed").

Each stage has four teams. For the first round, they're paired off in one match each. In the second round, the winner of the first match faces the loser of the second, and vice versa; the winners of the second round meet in the relay showdown. Note that this means the first round is strictly for placement; the winners gain no advantage whatsoever in the second round other than facing a (theoretically) easier opponent. The RS takes place on an extended course, with each member responsible for taking on three of the nine obstacles (they can go in any order), and I presume it follows the same rules for winning as the previous rounds.

The winners of the qualifying rounds compete head-to-head for the championship. So I guess that means there are 16 teams in all, although of course I welcome corrections.

So there you have it. And please note that I managed to remain completely neutral throughout this entire post and refrain from throwing my tedious opinions all over the place. (That'll come later! )
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  #62  
Old 01-21-2016, 02:25 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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[L-leadoff, W-woman, A-anchor, T-tiebreaker]

Obstacles: Sonic Swing, Log Grip, Swing Jump, Dancing Stones, Pole Grasper, Warped Wall, Dueling Salmon Ladders, Tilting Ladders, Tower Climb

Storm Team: Rob Moravsky, Marybeth Wang, Joe Moravsky
Average Jo Jo's: Jimmy Bogle Jr., Caitlin Shukwit, Jo Jo Bynum
Team TNT: Adam Arnold, Joyce Shahboz, Travis Rosen
G-Force: Travis Brewer, Jessie Graff, Nicholas Coolridge

= 1st match: Storm Team vs. Average Jo Jo's =
L: Bogle Jr. def. R.Moravsky (distance) - "The Adonis", never good on the balance obstacles, stumbles on Dancing Stones. Bogle had already cleared Pole Grasper at this point.
W: Wang def. Shukwit (distance) - Wang was clearly the stronger competitor and kept pulling further away. Shukwit did her best but ran out of gas on Pole Grasper.
A: J.Moravsky def. Bynum (finish) - A thrilling back-and-forth contest. Bynum actually made it to Warped Wall first but failed two attempts due to fatigue. Moravsky missed his first attempt but made good on the second.
STORM TEAM WINS

= 2nd match: Team TNT vs. G-Force =
L: Brewer def. Arnold (distance) - Close one...Arnold completely messes up Dancing Stones; Brewer just manages to get through.
W: Graff def. Shahboz (finish) - A laugher. Shahboz was completely clueless on Swing Jump, allowing Graff to cruise all the way to the buzzer.
A: Rosen def. Coolridge (finish) - A blazingly fast duel decided, much like the last anchor contest, on stamina. Coolridge took two shots at Warped Wall but couldn't make either count, and Rosen's one-and-done sealed it.
T: Arnold def. Brewer (distance) - ANW giveth, and ANW taketh away...and vice versa. Arnold makes it through Dancing Stones cleanly; Brewer does an impressive wipeout.
TEAM TNT WINS

= 3rd match: Storm Team vs. G-Force =
L: Brewer def. R.Moravsky (finish) - Moravsky leads early but hesitates badly on Dancing Stones, and Brewer surges ahead and doesn't look back. He actually blocks his opponent on Pole Grasper en route to a decisive win.
W: Graff def. Wang (finish) - It's a contest, but Wang's way too much tentativeness on Dancing Stones dooms her chances.
A: J.Moravsky def. Coolridge (finish) - Run of the day! Another speed burner, capped off with both men making it up the wall and the Weatherman prevailing by under a second.
T: J.Moravsky def. Coolridge (distance) - It seems like the emotion and pressure are simply too much for Coolridge. Has the lead going into Pole Grasper and just flat-out flubs the dismount.
STORM TEAM WINS

= 4th match: Team TNT vs. Average Jo Jo's =
Aw, geez, are we actually going to have this "while we were away" nonsense? Here?? They're ALL good, guys, you don't need to give the bum's rush to anyone! Even more egregious because we already know the order they're going, because it's the same every time, so who the hell do they think they are fooling. Hmph. Reality TV.
L: Arnold def. Bogle Jr. (distance) - Bogle falls behind at Dancing Stones and promptly bites off way more than he can chew at Pole Grasper. He falls, Arnold doesn't, Arnold prevails.
W: Shahboz def. Shukwit (speed) - Our first double-dip of the competition, with both ladies taking a splash at Swing Jump. Whoever's in charge of officiating rules that Shahboz made it to the obstacle first (it didn't look like it to me), so she gets the nod.
A: Rosen def. Bynum (finish) - It was pretty close up to Pole Grasper, where Bynum simply seemed to run out of steam. Gets up the wall this time, but too little, too late.
It's a clean sweep! That's...an accomplishment. I guess.
TEAM TNT WINS

= Final: Storm Team vs. Team TNT (both WLA) =
Fairly tight going into Swing Jump. Shahboz, to her credit, actually gets through (with what looked like a fairly risky jump!) but still makes the tag well after Wang. Arnold wastes no time closing the gap, powering through Dancing Stones and Pole Grasper, by far The Adonis' two weakest obstacles, and closing the gap. So now it's down two very strong competitors who haven't lost a round today, and man is it ever tight, and they hit the last obstacle at the same time...

...and somehow, Rosen is just better. Not that close.
TEAM TNT WINS

--Individual evaluations--
Rob Moravsky (0-2): The classic case of good getting beaten by really good. No knock on him...he did his best and he was focused...but it's clear he simply doesn't have the chops to stand up to the real ANW stars.
Marybeth Wang (1-1): Not much to say about her. Did as good as could be expected.
Joe Moravsky (3-0): An impact player, to be sure, but IMO one of those cases where he's "not as good as the record indicates". He was very lucky to have pulled out that round 2 double-tap.
Jimmy Bogle Jr. (1-1): Shown that he can beat second-tier talents like The Adonis, but otherwise made no real impact.
Caitlin Shukwit (0-2): Ms. Irrelevant, and neatly encapsulates my concerns about the strength of the female contingent. I have a feeling she's going to have company pretty soon.
Jo Jo Bynum (0-2): The fifty percent minus one man. Made it interesting, but just didn't have enough to topple the giants.
Adam Arnold (2-1): Faltered early, recovered, and ultimately contributed to the team's success. A very solid outing.
Joyce Shahboz (1-1): Ugh. If she's actually better than Shukwit, I've yet to see any evidence of it.
Travis Rosen (2-0): Stayed calm, kept up the pace, did what it took to win, and stepped up when it counted the most. What more could you want.
Travis Brewer (2-1): Deserves mad props just for gutting out a round 2 win so soon after his tiebreaker run.
Jessie Graff (2-0): She did her part. Showed why she's one of the strongest female ninjas...and, unfortunately, also showed why that doesn't mean a hill of beans in this contest.
Nicholas Coolridge (0-3): Snakebitten. Played his heart out and just came up a day late and a dollar short every time. I think he simply didn't realize how demanding this contest was and it threw him off just enough to give the edge to his opponents. I'd like to see him again to get some much-deserved redemption.

MVP picks: Brewer, Graff, Rosen

Looking back on this night, the one thing that stood out for me is just how important the anchor is. You can prevail with a weak leadoff man or woman, but if the clutch hitter isn't up to the task, you're doomed. Heck, look at G-Force, which was an 80% winner with the 1-pointers and still got clobbered. And even if your 1-pointers stink up the joint, as long as your dad can beat up their dad, he can do it again and put a W on your side. This is one of those weird contests where not only does one man often carry the team on his back, he's SUPPOSED to.

As for the first round being (largely) meaningless...y'know what, I'm actually hoping that it does create a big blowup somewhere along the line. It'd be poetic justice. "What, you actually took this seriously? Did you learn nothing from Geoff Britten?"
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  #63  
Old 01-21-2016, 02:58 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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This first episode was already broadcast as a preview a few weeks ago. I'm looking forward to next week's episode.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:31 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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[A bit late because I just switched to a new cable provider, and it took a while to get recording down. Had to pick up the repeat.]

So, there’s going to be six of these. Cool.

PRELIM #2

Obstacles: Sonic Swing, Log Grip, Swing Jump, Dancing Stones, Bungee Road, Warped Wall, Dueling Salmon Ladders, Tilting Ladders, Tower Climb

Golden Hearts: Grant McCartney, Natalie Duran, Neil Craver
Norcal Ninjas: Sean Noble, Rachel Mulvaney, David Campbell
Team Midoryama: Dan Yager, Meagan Martin, Ian Dory
Towers of Power: Dan Polizzi, Selena Laniel, Brandon Mears

= 1st match: Golden Hearts vs. Norcal Ninjas =
L: McCartney def. Noble (finish) - Noble builds an early lead but gets tied up on Bungee Road, which his opponent has no trouble with, and even a late surge at the wall can’t save him. Pretty sobering reminder of how one obstacle can make all the difference in the world.
W: Duran def. Mulvaney (distance) - Yeah, let’s just throw this one in there, why not? It’s mercifully quick, as Mulvaney flubs the transition at Swing Jump and crashes.
A: Craver def. Campbell (finish) - Campbell’s hopes are crushed immediately when he misses the jump at Sonic Swing. Craver expends just as much energy as he needs to hit the buzzer first.
Four-owe!! Suh-weep!! Absolute disaster for the Norcal Nin...oh, wait, this is the almost completely meaningless placement round. Never mind.
GOLDEN HEARTS WINS

= 2nd match: Team Midoryama vs. Towers of Power =
L: Polizzi def. Yager (finish) - Battle of the Dans. Luckily neither of them is wearing a pink gi, so it shouldn’t be too much of a slaughter. Ahem...another one which turned on a botched transition at Swing Jump, by Yager. He fights hard to close the gap, but a failed Warped Wall attempt is the nail in the coffin.
W: Martin def. Laniel (distance) - To her credit, Laniel looked good for a while; she even had a sizable lead going into Dancing Stones. Alas, that’s as close as she’d ever get, as she simply loses her footing and goes out on an uncomfortable-looking bellyflop. Martin actually went on to finish the whole shebang, which Gbajabiamila chalks up to the pride of the Warped Wall, which Martin confirms to be the truth. Broken clock, folks, broken clock.
A: Dory def. Mears (finish) - A seesaw battle where we both men’s strengths and weaknesses are on display. Dory is better where it counts (i.e. the last two obstacles) and gets a clean win.
TEAM MIDORYAMA WINS

= 3rd match: Golden Hearts vs. Towers of Power =
For some reason, 1. it’s actually legal to swap the leadoff and anchor positions as both teams agree to it, 2. necessitating, of course, that both teams find an advantage to doing so, 3. and that’s what’s happening here. Huh.
L: Craver def. Mears (distance) - What looks to be a good contest comes to a crashing halt as Mears bites the dust in Dancing Stones.
W: Duran def. Laniel (distance) - Duran maintains a slight edge up to Bungee Road and completes it first...then watches Laniel run out of gas and go straight down. That’s five straight wins for Golden Hearts.
A: Polizzi def. McCartney (finish) - Run of the night! (Dunno if I’m going to make this a regular thing. Maybe.) Not much to say; it was tight, both men gave it their all, and the winner juuuust pulled it off.
T: Polizzi def. Craver (distance) - Craver’s luck runs out in Dancing Stones, and the miracle comeback is complete. I’m sorry, who was ToP’s captain again?
Our first “steal” of the competition, and honestly...I’m not sure what to make of it. Maybe if it happens three or four more times I’ll have an informed opinion.
TOWERS OF POWER WINS

Laniel has an injured shoulder. If she can’t go for the final, alternate Traci Dinwitti will run in her place. I’ve seen what alternates did in the early days of UFC. I’m not optimistic.

= 4th match: Team Midoryama vs. Norcal Ninjas =
L: Noble def. Yager (distance) - Yager leads most of the way, looks good through Bungee Road...and just flat-out loses his grip at the end. I can’t explain it. His hands just slipped off.
W: Martin def. Mulvaney (distance) - No contest. Mulvaney was never in it and clearly didn’t have the arm strength for Bungee Road. And Martin goes up the wall again, because why the hell not. Remember, Mulvaney is supposed to be one of the 24 best female ANW competitors.
A: Dory def. Campbell (distance) - It looks like Campbell just didn’t have the energy. He fell behind early, tried to rush through Dancing Stones, and collapsed hard.
TEAM MIDORYAMA WINS

= Final: Team Midoryama (LWA) vs. Towers of Power (WLA) =
Let me get this out of the way right now. In any physical contest between two competitors that, athletically, are at least average in their respective fields, a man is going to destroy a woman. Period. I harbor no illusions about this whatsoever. Now, if it’s between complete clods or out-of-shape slugs, then yeah, it’s a toss-up. But a good man crushes a good woman, and an average man clobbers an average woman, maybe even a good one.

Men, provided they take the time to develop their physical abilities, will always be on a higher level than women. This has never been a big deal for me. It’s biological fact. I don’t recall there being any controversy over plants needing carbon dioxide to live or whales being air-breathers who live in water.

So as far as this “first ever male vs. female matchup”, is Yager going to leave Dinwitti hopelessly in the dust? Of course he will. And is Martin, for all her prowess, going to give up quite a bit of ground to Polizzi (who, admittedly, has absolutely been on fire today and would make a tough matchup for anybody)? Yes, yes, and more yes. Do I consider this a commentary on anything other than how screwball this whole contest is? HELL no. And I’m sure as hell not going to be the one to chest-thump about how grossly inferior women are and how they should stay on the ladies’ tees or whatever. Like I have anything to brag about. For crying out loud, I barely held my own in youth soccer. Pfft.

An-y-waaaayyy...it goes pretty much according to Hoyle until Dueling Salmon Ladders. Mears does his best but can’t close the gap, and gravity proves to be his nemesis on Tower Climb. Not close.
TEAM MIDORYAMA WINS

MVP picks: Polizzi, Martin, Dory

On a related note, am I right to be just a wee bit concerned with the constant horse race narrative? “It’s going to be close!” “They’re neck and neck!” “It’s really close!” “Synchronized swimming!” “Close, close, close, close!” Granted, most of the contest is specifically geared to have little or no effect on the final result, but you never know. Upsets happen, surprises happen, and every so often someone just runs away with it. That’s how sports is. What happens when a complete blowout happens? When a team wins two rounds and then cleans up in the Relay Showdown? Can the powers that be even accept it? Maybe a minor concern, but right now it’s definitely fingers crossed.
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  #65  
Old 01-28-2016, 09:38 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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What station is it running on? It's not NBC.
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  #66  
Old 01-29-2016, 12:30 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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What station is it running on? It's not NBC.
Esquire.
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  #67  
Old 01-29-2016, 01:14 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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They run lots of replays, so you can still catch the second week if you like (or both, for that matter).
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:10 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Turns out I don't get that channel. Looks like I'm SOL.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:16 PM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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NBC just (Jan 31) aired "USA vs the world" (well vs Europe and Japan anyway)

Brian
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  #70  
Old 02-01-2016, 10:09 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Spoilers for USA vs the World:











(a) It's become bizarrely comical how terribly Japan does at this competition (although there was a lot of failure from all teams this time)
(b) Poor Geoff Britten is cursed
(c) Ian Dory and Joe Moravsky are very very consistent. In that they consistently fail at precisely the same place every time
(d) Isaac Caldiero is very seriously the man. When he was talking a bit of trash about Sean McColl before his final run, after Sean had re-set the speed record on stage 2 and completed stage 3, and after seeing a clip of McColl defeat him in a straight climbing competition, it seemed like the peak of arrogance. But, sure enough, he delivered.

Probably the highlight of the evening was Drew Dreschl's unbelievable recovery on the running steps thing on stage 1.... and then he still came back and set the fastest time ever, which he had to do to beat Livewire. That certainly did not seem possible.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:45 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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Anyone know when this is playing again? I honestly had no idea this was happening (seriously, the YouTube channel had nothing, and these things are usually plugged weeks in advance). My mother, of all people, had to clue me in that it was on, and by the time I got to it they were already three events in. I'd love to do a recap of this, but it's the full event or nothing for me.

As far as I can tell, the problem with Japan is the same problem they have every Olympiad: they simply do not have the bodies. If there are physical restrictions, they have a chance (that's pretty much the main reason Ryoko Tani was able to be so dominating). In an open field, they're toast. Sure, one of them can get past Butterfly Wall or Ultimate Cliffhanger, but faster than two opponents? Not happening.
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  #72  
Old 02-02-2016, 06:28 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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As far as I can tell, the problem with Japan is the same problem they have every Olympiad: they simply do not have the bodies. If there are physical restrictions, they have a chance (that's pretty much the main reason Ryoko Tani was able to be so dominating). In an open field, they're toast. Sure, one of them can get past Butterfly Wall or Ultimate Cliffhanger, but faster than two opponents? Not happening.
The Japanese team included two 5'10" competitors this year. Neither scored a single point, though that's unremarkable because nobody on their team scored a point.
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  #73  
Old 02-02-2016, 12:04 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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For the record, during USA vs the World they referred to Geoff Britten as "one of the two American Ninja Warriors", while Isaac Caldiero was "the first champion of American Ninja Warrior", which seems reasonable.




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As far as I can tell, the problem with Japan is the same problem they have every Olympiad: they simply do not have the bodies.
I don't think that can be it. When they send a 17-time competitor who has made it to stage 3 14 times (or whatever), and then he fails at the jumping spider, there must be something else going on.

My initial theory was that the construction of the course in the USA was just not quite what they were used to... slightly different mini tramps, slightly different curve of the walls on the jumping spider, etc. At this point, seems like it also must be psychological. I believe that in three years of international competition, 3 runs each year, so a total of 18 stage-1 and stage-2 runs, no Japanese competitor has ever completed a run. Which is, fundamentally, insane.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:29 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Watched that show, because it was on NBC.

First off, I think the USA got screwed on one run, because Geoff Britten got pulled for running a fever, but they didn't get to substitute another runner for that heat. It wasn't stated that he started his run and failed, it seemed they were evaluating before his run began. Team Europe got points for that heat. Fortunately, it didn't matter in the end.

Second, it looked to me the reason people were having so much trouble with the jumping spider is because the mini-tramp had a different angle than the regular season. It seemed steeper than usual, though I didn't get a good comparison shot. Note that it wasn't just Team Japan that struggled with that event - Team USA vets were taken out by it, too.

I really hated the way Matt Eismann was saying "it all comes down to the final run" and "the final run is going to be the determining factor". Um, yeah, that's generally how it goes. I mean, theoretically Team USA could have won one more of the Stage 3 legs, in which case they would have been unbeatable. But then they wouldn't have had to run the third heat. And a tiebreaker climb off would be the final run, no?

Another thing that threw me off was the editing. Someone would put down an unbelievably fast run, and I'd wonder where they would find time to get faster, then the next competitor would be faster, leaving everyone amazed. It happened on Stage 1 and Stage 2. I actually backed up and watched them and watched the time cues to see where it happened on one run, and figured out where he caught up.

Because there was no time limit on stage 3, there was a lot of resting time edited out. It was seamless, except if you watched the time clock disappear, when it came back there would be a jump. Hard to tell just how much faster Isaac Caldeiro's run really was when the comparison runs had 4 minutes deleted from various rest breaks.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:01 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Watched that show, because it was on NBC.

First off, I think the USA got screwed on one run, because Geoff Britten got pulled for running a fever, but they didn't get to substitute another runner for that heat. It wasn't stated that he started his run and failed, it seemed they were evaluating before his run began. Team Europe got points for that heat. Fortunately, it didn't matter in the end.
I think you're confused (unless I'm confused). Britten went out, and was replaced by Joe Moravsky, who then almost immediately did a stage 2 run, finishing in record time... only to be out-record-timed by Sean McColl moments later. Team Europe got those points because they earned them.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:45 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Because there was no time limit on stage 3, there was a lot of resting time edited out. It was seamless, except if you watched the time clock disappear, when it came back there would be a jump. Hard to tell just how much faster Isaac Caldeiro's run really was when the comparison runs had 4 minutes deleted from various rest breaks.
There was no time limit on any run. They're racing each other, not the clock.

Also, I didn't see any rest breaks.
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:01 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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On time for a change!

TEAM NINJA WARRIOR PRELIM #3

Note: In the final, if someone goes down and the opponent makes it through the leg cleanly, the next one up gets a 10-second head start. (Presumably if both go down, neither team gains an advantage.)

It looks like the fifth obstacle is the only one that’s going to change; this time it’s Floating Steps (“Devil Steps” in previous contests). This strikes me as an unusual choice. Given both its length and complete reliance on upper body strength, it has the potential to open up some big gaps. Gonna be hard to keep up the “Close, close, close!!” narrative if that happens.

Team Alpha: Evan Dollard, Kacy Catanzaro, Brent Steffensen (Steffensen says that Catanzaro is “better than a lot of the dudes in this sport. Given that something like 75% go out on Quintuple Steps, that’s not exactly high praise.)
Stratis Faction: Mike Bernardo, Grace Jones, Ryan Stratis (Jones is a rookie...just started competing this year...which pretty much puts a 10-ton kibosh on any claims to this contest featuring the best of the best.)
Expendabulls: Alan Connealy, Luci Romberg, Kevin Bull (Wow, that’s some prime qualifying round footage of Romberg on the obstacle she went out on four years ago!)
Tre Amigos: Andy Lowes, Cassandra Dortch, Tremayne Dortch (I suppose if you’re going to team up with a loved one, TNW poses the least risk of her completely ruining it for you.)

Yeah...not exactly sold on the ladies. Guess I’ll just have to watch and hope, per usual.

= 1st match: Team Alpha vs. Stratis Faction =
L: Bernardo def. Dollard (finish) - Bernardo is simply stronger and takes the lead for good at Floating Steps.
W: Catanzaro def. Jones (speed) - I don’t think this one’s making it to YouTube. Speed is never Catanzaro’s forte, and her opponent, who might’ve actually had a chance, goes in way too tentative. It almost looks like a friendly practice run between a pair of friends at the park. Somehow both of them make it to Warped Wall, thus far the only women who’ve had to attempt it other than Jessie Graff (although Meagan Martin was kind enough to show us how it’s done). Catanzaro comes up a bit short. Jones comes up way short, barely halfway up. Repeat. And repeat again. And that’s it. Since Catanzaro got through Floating Steps well before her opponent, she gets the point. Well-deserved, I suppose, but I’m guessing most of the fans are not looking forward to seeing another ladies’ duel here.
A: Stratis def. Steffensen (finish) - Steffensen has always been a steady but unspectacular performer, and lately he’s had trouble with pure upper-body obstacles. Stratis trails most of the way but surges to the lead on Floating Steps and seals an easy win. Steffensen seemed to give up on Warped Wall.
STRATIS FACTION WINS

= 2nd match: Expendabulls vs. Tre Amigos =
L: Lowes def. Connealy (finish) - An extremely tight contest...until the end of Floating Steps. The more agile Lowes is able to make a much quicker dismount and almost casually hit the buzzer.
W: Romberg def. C.Dortch (distance) - No contest. Lady Dortch looks just plain lost out there and splashes down in Log Grip, the first person to go out that early. Romberg had almost completed Swing Jump by then.
A: Bull def. T.Dortch (speed) - Drama! Dortch takes the early lead, then Bull passes him on Swing Jump but is too fast on Dancing Stones and falls halfway through. So now all Dortch has to do is get through Dancing Stones with all the time in the world. He gives it some thought, makes his run...and misplaces a foot one step from safety and goes down! Expendabulls pull off the most improbable win we’ll ever see under the current rules!
EXPENDABULLS WINS

= 3rd match: Stratis Faction vs. Tre Amigos =
Another leadoff/anchor swap, oh joy. And by “joy” I mean “hope that this actually pans out somehow”.
L: Stratis def. T.Dortch (finish) - Man, Dortch just can’t catch a break today. Stratis bellyflops a stone on Dancing Stones but miraculously makes the recovery, and just like in the last round he’s off to the races in Floating Steps. Dortch gives it his best on the wall but can’t close the gap.
W: Jones def. C.Dortch (distance) - To her credit, Lady D got her head in the game and actually pushed Jones for a while. But Jones (who is a rock climber) had little trouble with Floating Steps, while Dortch clearly did not have the muscle for it. She takes the plunge, graciously sparing the world a second Warped Wall debacle.
A: Bernardo def. Lowes (distance) - Lowes looks good most of the way, but the pressure of having to win two is simply too much. He leaps for the fifth step on Floating Steps and doesn’t even come close. Bernardo gets through at leisure and locks down the sweep.
STRATIS FACTION WINS

= 4th match: Expendabulls vs. Team Alpha =
L: Dollard def. Connealy (finish) - Yep...run of the day. Not much to say about it, just an incredibly tight, incredibly hard-fought battle where neither man made any big mistakes and it came down to a race to the line. Margin of victory, .3 second.
W: Catanzaro def. Romberg (distance) - Romberg gets to Dancing Stones first but badly stumbles on the middle step. Catanzaro skips through for the point. But in a (probably predictable) twist, she keeps going! She wants to bee daah waaw, dangit! Aaaaaand...she gets it. Not the same when you have all the time in the world, but whatever, cool.
A: Bull def. Steffensen (finish) - What’s wrong with Steffensen? He sets a very good pace, and although behind through Floating Steps, makes up nearly all of it. So Bull goes up Warped Wall and comes up short. This is Steffensen’s chance to be a hero, to seal the deal...and he comes up WAY short. They go at it again, Bull barely making it, and Steffensen...failing again! Yet another horse race narrative blown to bits!
All right, if Steffensen has a shred of a speck of a smidgen of a fragment of a soupcon of something that qualifies as “nominal” sense, he’ll humbly step aside and give Dollard the tiebreaker. Right? Right?
T: Bull def. Steffensen (distance) - Yeesh. Bull is nearly as sharp as ever, while Steffensen looks downright clumsy. He falls behind quickly and crashes to defeat in Dancing Stones.
EXPENDABULLS WINS

Trivia: In the postmatch interview, Alex actually, honest-to-goodness says “Kevin, you carried this team on your back!” (“Also, the sun rose in the east! And the Pope is Catholic! And water is, in fact, wet! There’s also something about a bear and the woods, but I can’t can say it on television.”)

= Final: Stratis Faction vs. Expendabulls (both WAL) =
Both women set a predictably workmanlike pace. Jones makes the tag first and Bull takes off. Stratis...goes down on Dancing Stones! Bull makes the tag cleanly, giving Connealy a huge advantage, and all Bernardo can do is wait and fume. Connealy jumps out to a massive lead, and Bernardo, despite a tremendous...Connealy is completely dogging it! He looks like he’s barely making an effort and falls further and further behind! A 10-second advantage (and keep in mind, he started out completely fresh turns into a less than 1-second win!

Huh. What a day. Not much in terms of heroics, so instead I’ll go with...

--Biggest goats--
5. Andy Lowes - A non-factor, and if you think you can take the place of the captain, you need to put up.
4. Cassandra Dortch - No one with any sense expects the ladies to make any real impact, but going out on the second obstacle has to be embarrassing for anyone.
3. Ryan Stratis - How thin the line between champ and chump can be. He’s going to be living this one down for a while.
2. Tremayne Dortch - Choked, plain and simple. And we know you want redemption, big guy, but you gotta put the team ahead of yourself, and doing two runs in a row ain’t that.
1. Brent Steffensen - Sorry, but there’s no way to sugarcoat it...he sunk his team. Not making way for Connealy when it was clear he wasn’t up to the task was unforgivable. Hey, at the very least give someone else a chance to screw up.

MVP picks: Bernardo, Catanzaro, Bull

Today’s contest was...less than satisfying. Too much hinged on luck and bad decisions, and at no point did the eventual winner look really impressive. I think the ultimate lesson is that you just have to watch for the individual matches and enjoy the contestants who really stand out. If their squad ends up losing, que sera sera. Kind of like the post-Cold War Olympics, come to think of it.
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:32 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Today’s contest was...less than satisfying. Too much hinged on luck and bad decisions, and at no point did the eventual winner look really impressive. I think the ultimate lesson is that you just have to watch for the individual matches and enjoy the contestants who really stand out. If their squad ends up losing, que sera sera. Kind of like the post-Cold War Olympics, come to think of it.
Thanks for your summaries, they're quite enjoyable.

I think I enjoyed this episode a fair bit more than you did. Some very very tight contests, some epic chokes, and some really amazing displays on the overhead ladder. It was pretty stunning how much time some people (particularly Ryan Stratis and Kevin Bull, IIRC) were making up on it, against seemingly strong competitors.


I definitely like that someone falling on the relay doesn't just end the competition immediately... I'm curious to see what happens if two competitors fall on the same leg. Will whichever team went further get the 10 second head start?
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:07 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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I think you're confused (unless I'm confused). Britten went out, and was replaced by Joe Moravsky, who then almost immediately did a stage 2 run, finishing in record time... only to be out-record-timed by Sean McColl moments later. Team Europe got those points because they earned them.
That was a different set of three. They ran Japan, Europe, Britten, award points to Europe. Then Moravsky, Europe, Japan, IIRC.

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There was no time limit on any run. They're racing each other, not the clock.
Correct. I misspoke.

Quote:
Also, I didn't see any rest breaks.
Of course not, they were edited out. To be explicit, when the contestant is between obstacles, they are standing or hanging breathing, the clock in the corner drops off the screen. When the clock comes back, the time will have jumped longer than the 2 seconds or so the camera was jutting around to show other faces and hear the announcers yammering. I saw several 20 to 30 second clock jumps. Note the audio was seamless and the camera was cutting to other views.

Then there were a couple you could see, like the one Europe guy who hooked his legs between the wall and the bar to rest upside down, or the Japanese guy who hooked his feet through the bar to hang upside down, or several of them sitting on the bar right before the final obstacle. A number of them rested there far longer than the time we watched them on screen. The last two who made it each rested about 1 minute on that bar.
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:24 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Of course not, they were edited out. To be explicit, when the contestant is between obstacles, they are standing or hanging breathing, the clock in the corner drops off the screen. When the clock comes back, the time will have jumped longer than the 2 seconds or so the camera was jutting around to show other faces and hear the announcers yammering. I saw several 20 to 30 second clock jumps. Note the audio was seamless and the camera was cutting to other views.

Then there were a couple you could see, like the one Europe guy who hooked his legs between the wall and the bar to rest upside down, or the Japanese guy who hooked his feet through the bar to hang upside down, or several of them sitting on the bar right before the final obstacle. A number of them rested there far longer than the time we watched them on screen. The last two who made it each rested about 1 minute on that bar.
I'm confused. You're saying that they jumped time, and that they altered the time on the clocks? And even after doing both, the times still didn't sync up to match what we saw?

That makes no sense. Why would they alter the times to some new, random value that has nothing to do with anything?
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:29 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
That was a different set of three. They ran Japan, Europe, Britten, award points to Europe. Then Moravsky, Europe, Japan, IIRC.
Highly unlikely. You think the American team actually scheduled Geoff Britten to run two stage 2 runs? And in a row? I think the former highly unlikely, the latter comically so.

Are you sure you didn't just forget Drew Deschel's run?
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  #82  
Old 02-03-2016, 10:37 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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Max - You're welcome! It's a labor of love, truly...expounding at length on things I have a real interest in is one of my greatest joys...but it means a lot that others are enjoying it as well.

I guess I wasn't expecting to see this many letdowns. Steffensen stinking up the joing, Doytch choking in the clutch, the other Doytch barely making it out of the gate, Stratis taking a horrific stumble, Connealy getting complacent, and Bernardo allllmooost pulling off the miracle comeback (that would've redeemed everything, really) but coming up short. I mean, it wasn't painful to watch, just a nagging disappointment that justice wasn't served.

And guess which run got put up on YouTube. Sheesh, the gods are just messing with me at this point.
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  #83  
Old 02-04-2016, 04:00 PM
Wednesday Evening Wednesday Evening is offline
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I have to admit, I was really confused at first because there are two Ninja Warrior shows: Team Ninja Warrior and America Vs. The World. I think I finally got it figured out though...

We missed America vs. the World because we didn't know about it. Hopefully NBC will put it up for streaming.

We bought episode 1 of Team Ninja Warrior on Amazon because it was free (we don't have cable). Additional episodes are $2 each or $13 for the season. The kids want me to buy the season, but I'm not so sure.

I really enjoyed the Team Ninja Warrior format. I thought it was a lot more exciting than the regular American Ninja Warrior format.

My kids were lucky enough to take Ninja Warrior classes with Drew Dreschel this past fall so we'd at least like to watch his episodes. Nice guy, really good with kids.
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  #84  
Old 02-04-2016, 04:59 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Wednesday Evening View Post
I have to admit, I was really confused at first because there are two Ninja Warrior shows: Team Ninja Warrior and America Vs. The World. I think I finally got it figured out though...

We missed America vs. the World because we didn't know about it. Hopefully NBC will put it up for streaming.

We bought episode 1 of Team Ninja Warrior on Amazon because it was free (we don't have cable). Additional episodes are $2 each or $13 for the season. The kids want me to buy the season, but I'm not so sure.

I really enjoyed the Team Ninja Warrior format. I thought it was a lot more exciting than the regular American Ninja Warrior format.

My kids were lucky enough to take Ninja Warrior classes with Drew Dreschel this past fall so we'd at least like to watch his episodes. Nice guy, really good with kids.

If you're poking around looking for things online, see if you can find last year's USA vs the World, if you haven't seen it already. It's epic, and a good lead-in for this year's, because there are many rivalries and storylines that are being carried forward.
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  #85  
Old 02-10-2016, 12:09 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Re. USA vs. The World 2 repeat: NBC usually runs the repeat either just before the season or during an “off” week. You’re in for a long wait if you want to see the whole thing on YouTube.

The show begins with Iseman reporting that “Team Alpha with Kacy Catanzaro and Brent Steffensen was shockingly knocked out”, and Connealy won in a “close finish”. Critical details left out, obviously.

TEAM NINJA WARRIOR PRELIM #4
Fifth obstacle: Flying Shelf Grab. A horizontal bar, a small shelf, and two more horizontal bars, the last of which is shared by the competitors.

Team Ronin: J.J. Woods, Tiana Webberley, David “Flip” Rodriguez
Karsonic Boom: Brandon Berrett, Beth Higginbotham, Karson Voiles
Wild Bunch: Ben “Tarzan” Melick, Rose Wetzel, Lance Pekus
Think Tank: Matt Wilder, Asya Grechka, Noah Kaufman

Honestly, I don’t know who half these people are. That’s the problem with an event where one tiny misstep means no one sees you the rest of the year.

= 1st match: Team Ronin vs. Karsonic Boom =
L: Woods def. Berrett (finish) This one could’ve gone either way, mainly because they were both gassed by Warped Wall. Berrett messes up dismounts on Sonic Swing and Swing Jump and Woods, despite setting a fairly slow pace, actually makes it there first. Whereupon he fails. And Berrett fails. And Woods fails a 2nd time. Oh god, here it comes: “Bee daah waww!”. And Berrett fails a 2nd time! Just when things look their darkest, Woods makes his third attempt count and hits the blessed red button.
W: Webberley def. Higginbotham (distance) - Higginbotham gets shaken off like a leaf on Log Grip, and I’m sorry I was so hard on Cassandra Dortch. Sorta. Ish.
A: Voiles def. Rodriguez (finish) - Not much to say about this: Voiles is just plain stronger, winning in decisive fashion.
T: Rodriguez def. Voiles (finish) - Wow...I do believe this is the first time the “redemption” nonsense actually panned out! (And hey, kudos to the normally-mostly irrelevant teammates for making it possible! ) Voiles looks like he just didn’t have the stamina for two runs in a row, losing a close close close close close close one.
TEAM RONIN WINS

= 2nd match: Think Tank vs. Wild Bunch =
L: Wilder def. Melick (distance) - Dang, you’d think someone nicknamed “Tarzan” would handle a rope swing better. On Sonic Swing, he messes up the dismount on the second rope, then hits the water hard on his second attempt...and lets go of the rope! He’s the first competitor to go out on the FIRST OBSTACLE! Yeah, I’m as shocked as you that it wasn’t one of the women!
W: Grechka def. Wetzel (distance) - Complete mental blunder on Wetzel’s part. Grechka gets to the middle step on Dancing Stones first, and Wetzel tries to take the step from the side, with predictable results. Grechka is a little shaky but makes it through.
A: Kaufman def. Pekus (finish) - The highlight is easily both men putting a foot on the center Dancing Stones step...and getting through safely (yep, another first). Ultimately, conditioning would decide another one, as Pekus gets to the wall first but flubs all three attempts, while Kaufman makes good on his second.
A sweep! That’s nice!
THINK TANK WINS

= 3rd match: Team Ronin vs. Wild Bunch =
Gbajabiamila very boldly predicts that Wild Bunch will be stronger this time. Whatever NBC is paying this guy, I’m guessing it’s too much. And oh look, we have another leadoff/anchor swap. Which means that Pekus is doing two in a row and the very-well rested Melick has to sit on the sidelines. Um, guys, you’re supposed to do a strategic swap when it’s to your ADVANTAGE. Ad-van-tage. Meaning you expect to gain something out of it. And you know what it is you’re trying to gain. Sheesh.
L: Rodriguez def. Pekus (finish) - Pekus jumps to an early lead but trips up on the exit of Dancing Stones, allowing Rodriguez to catch up. Rodriguez takes an extra swing on the final bar of Flying Shelf Grab, allowing Pekus to attempt the wall first...and come up short. Rodriguez has no trouble with it and takes the half-two.
Oh, and apparently the runs are called “heats”. Whatever.
W: Webberley def. Wetzel (finish) - A typically slow-paced ladies’ duel with one remarkable twist. Webberley gets to the wall, and Iseman informs us that only four women have ever made it up. And Webberley makes it up. On the first try.
A: Woods def. Melick (finish) - Melick was just never in it. Trips up on Dancing Stones and seemingly grinds to a halt on Flying Shelf Grab. Woods wins in (almost literally) a walk.
Wild Bunch leaves the competition with a giant goose egg. Man, I can’t wait to see how NBC is going to completely sweep this under the rug.
TEAM RONIN WINS

= 4th match: Think Tank vs. Karsonic Boom =
L: Wilder def. Berrett (finish) - This one got bumped to a 3WA; thankfully, it looks like they’re only going to do this if the episode is running long. Wilder hits the buzzer, ho-hum.
W: Grechka def. Higginbotham (speed) - A pretty good contest decided on upper-body strength. Grechka is simply better with the nets and the bars and easily makes it to Warped Wall first. Which would turn out to be the difference, as Higginbotham makes it too...and both go 3 and out to the surprise of very few. Lightning don’t strike twice, folks.
A: Voiles def. Kaufman (finish) - And 3WA again. Looked like a runaway.
T: Wilder def. Voiles (distance) - Oh, Voiles...I know you’re the anchor and want to be a hero, but I have to agree with Gbajabiamila here (stop the presses!): four heats is just too much. Wilder jumps straight to the shelf on Flying Shelf Grab, and Voiles tries to do the same, but the energy is simply gone. Whiff, splash, defeat. Wow, a rested leadoff man can beat an exhausted anchor, whoda thunk?
THINK TANK WINS

= Final: Team Ronin vs. Think Tank (both WLA) =
None of the men are especially good or bad...just as well, since this one’s decided on the opening leg. Grechka completely screws up Log Grip, completely failing to get off the blocks on her first attempt, and that was all she wrote. Nope, no miracle comeback here, no drama.
TEAM RONIN WINS

MVP picks: Wilder, Webberley, Rodriguez

The surprise for me today was Rodriguez. I never thought he was superstar material, being too prone to mistakes and lacking the power of a Brian Arnold or the dependability of an Joe Moravsky. I was pleasantly surprised he pulled off that clutch win in the first match, and he did what he had to do against Pekus and in the final. I wasn’t sold on Team Ronin, but they could be tough to beat.
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  #86  
Old 02-10-2016, 02:52 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Originally Posted by DKW View Post
The surprise for me today was Rodriguez. I never thought he was superstar material, being too prone to mistakes and lacking the power of a Brian Arnold or the dependability of an Joe Moravsky. I was pleasantly surprised he pulled off that clutch win in the first match, and he did what he had to do against Pekus and in the final. I wasn’t sold on Team Ronin, but they could be tough to beat.
My take was the opposite. While I never give the parkour guys like Flip a snowball's chance in hell to finish stage 3, I fully expect them to dominate events like this with ease. And he struggled in pretty much every run. He definitely lost his leg in the relay final, winning by less than the lead he started with.

The only thing Ronin has going for it is a true legit woman who can make it up the wall. That's a massive advantage, but both guys are mediocre at best. Which is surprising, since I would have ranked Flip in the top 3 if I were ranking them before this started. The ER doctor -- who is not a speed runner -- was faster than Flip. That's never a good sign.

I expect Ronin to lose any future matchups 3-1, with their only scoring from the women's heat.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 02-10-2016 at 02:53 AM..
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  #87  
Old 02-10-2016, 10:22 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
My take was the opposite. While I never give the parkour guys like Flip a snowball's chance in hell to finish stage 3, I fully expect them to dominate events like this with ease. And he struggled in pretty much every run. He definitely lost his leg in the relay final, winning by less than the lead he started with.

The only thing Ronin has going for it is a true legit woman who can make it up the wall. That's a massive advantage, but both guys are mediocre at best. Which is surprising, since I would have ranked Flip in the top 3 if I were ranking them before this started. The ER doctor -- who is not a speed runner -- was faster than Flip. That's never a good sign.

I expect Ronin to lose any future matchups 3-1, with their only scoring from the women's heat.
I had exactly the opposite reaction. Flip was as fast as he needed to be. When he got behind he just EXPLODED up the wall. And I don't see how Noah Kaufman (who is an expert rock climber and a member of the most elite ninja training group there is) was particularly faster than him.

I think team Ronin is probably the most impressive team we've seen so far, with two fast and consistent men and a woman who can go all the way.


But it definitely depends whether the obstacles in the finals remain similar to these, or whether they're more stage-3-ish.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:30 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
I'm confused. You're saying that they jumped time, and that they altered the time on the clocks? And even after doing both, the times still didn't sync up to match what we saw?

That makes no sense. Why would they alter the times to some new, random value that has nothing to do with anything?
I can't understand what you think I'm saying. I am saying that they stop showing the clock on the screen. They flash to other views, like the crowd, or people waiting, they come back to the view of the contestant and restore the clock, more time has elapsed on the clock than the real time we experience in the audience at home. This is totally consistent with TV editing what they show to eliminate the contestant sitting and resting and just show us the activity, which helps fit into the time block.

I'm not saying they are doing anything hokey with the clock during the actual live event they are filming. I am not saying they are showing us the wrong times. I am saying they are not showing us all the parts where the contestants are resting in the middle of the run. Not that they need to, either, I was just pointing out that you can't go by how long it looked like it took. They do that in the regular competition as well.
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  #89  
Old 02-10-2016, 11:10 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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From what I've seen of Noah Kaufman, he has plenty of power, but he's just not the kind of competitor who can turn on the afterburners when things get desperate. Kevin Bull can, Mike Bernardo can, Joe Moravsky can. Kaufman either is unwilling to take risks or can't make them pay off. Is it true that he's the only member of the Wolfpack to never make it to Stage 3? That would explain some of it right there.

And while I'm not going to crown Team Ronin just yet, they're the first team I've seen so far that was...pretty dominant. Of course, this is Ninja Warrior, so any and all predictions are useless. Best just keep enjoying the show.
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  #90  
Old 02-11-2016, 02:52 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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I'm not saying they are doing anything hokey with the clock during the actual live event they are filming. I am not saying they are showing us the wrong times. I am saying they are not showing us all the parts where the contestants are resting in the middle of the run. Not that they need to, either, I was just pointing out that you can't go by how long it looked like it took. They do that in the regular competition as well.
It doesn't matter how long it looked like it took; when the clock comes back, we see the time.

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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Hard to tell just how much faster Isaac Caldeiro's run really was when the comparison runs had 4 minutes deleted from various rest breaks.
We could see exactly how much faster Isaac's run really was, because we saw the clock at the end of his run. The only thing that would make it hard to tell would be if they did something hokey by showing wrong times on the clock.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 02-11-2016 at 02:52 AM..
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  #91  
Old 02-17-2016, 01:58 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Day-um, it’s seemed like a long time since the last episode. Just not a whole lot of fun stuff in my life right now, I guess.

TEAM NINJA WARRIOR PRELIM #5
Fifth obstacle: Doorknob Arch. A long series of suspended doorknobs in a tall arch shape. (Man, is this going to ruin some good finishes... )

Ninja Brittens: Dustin McKinney, Jessica Britten, Geoff Britten
Elet-trikz: Dillon Gates, Cassie Craig, Elet Hall
Lab Rats: Chris Wilczewski, Michelle Warnky, Brian Wilczewski
Iron Grip: Sam Sann, Richelle Hepler, Daniel Gil

All I really got to say here is that “Elet-trikz” has got to be one of the worst names imaginable. I swear I must have messed up the spelling three times.

= 1st match: Ninja Brittens vs. Elet-trikz =
And right off the bat we have tomfoolery: Although Hall is officially the captain, he’s going to be running leadoff. For both rounds. So...uh...why, dammit?? I know the whole system is on the iffy side, but is a little consistency too much to ask? Huh.
L: Hall def. McKinney (distance) - McKinney is clearly in way over his head and can’t keep up at all, ultimately crashing and burning at Swing Jump.
W: Craig def. J.Britten (distance) - Neither competitor looks all that impressive. Britten is tentative and off-balance, while Craig seems downright mesmerized at the sight of her opponent on Log Grip. It’s over mercifully quickly, as Britten misses the transition at Swing Jump. Craig had trouble on the swing, but once the pressure was off, it was no contest.
A: Gates def. G.Britten (finish) - Gates looks like he’s simply better prepared for a speed contest. He builds a big lead throughout the first four obstacles, and despite his opponent’s superior upper-body strength, doesn’t give up too much ground on Doorknob Arch. He’s a little behind heading for the wall but passes him on the way up...and it all becomes academic as Britten comes up well short while Gates sails up and over. The replay showed what happened; Britten’s shoes hit the water at Swing Jump, and he just didn’t have the traction.
The history-maker gets swept, yet more proof that past success means jack squat on NW.
ELET-TRIKZ WINS

= 2nd match: Lab Rats vs. Iron Grip =
L: C.Wilczewski def. Sann (distance) - Sann is doomed early, making a huge splash at Sonic Swing and slipping right off of Dancing Stones as a result.
W: Warnky def. Hepler (finish) - Hepler blows almost ten seconds after failing to grab the second rope on Sonic Swing, and Warnky is on cruise control the rest of the way.
A: Gil def. B.Wilczewski (finish) - The younger Wilczewski falls victim to pressure and needs three attempts to get past Swing Jump. Gil sets a ferocious pace never looks back, powering through Doorknob Arch (which Wilczewski struggles with) and winning a complete laugher.
All right, it’s a no-brainer that Gil’s going to take the tiebreaker, and Lab Rats pretty much have to send the fresher brother against him. Right? Right?
T: Gil def. C.Wilczewski (distance) - Hot dog, someone in this farce has a functioning brain after all! Regrettably, this one’s not a much better contest than the last, as Gil is just too damn strong. He starts pulling away in Dancing Stones and is WAY faster through Doorknob Arch. Wilczewski, in desperation, tries to kick it up a notch and is rewarded with a cold bath.
If I’m on Ninja Brittens, I’m sweating really, really hard right now.
IRON GRIP WINS

= 3rd match: Elet-trikz vs. Lab Rats =
The women lead this time. Whatever.
W: Warnky def. Craig (distance) - Dammit, Craig, keep your eyes on your own work! She again ogles her opponent on Log Grip and this time doesn’t get away with it. Warnky obligingly continues, and with no pressure easily makes to Warped Wall...and over. “Yes. She. Did.” declares Iseman. (“Just. Like. Catanzaro. And. Graff. Before. Her. And. We. Really. Shouldn’t. Be. Making. A. Big. Freaking. Deal. Out. Of. It. Anymore.”)
L: C.Wilczewski def. Hall (finish) - Hall surges to an early lead, but the elder Wilczewski manages a quicker dismount on Swing Jump and is off to the races. Hall’s desperate last gasp on Warped Wall comes up well short.
A: B.Wilczewski def. Gates (distance) - Gates gets off to a blazingly fast start and looks like he has a good chance of taking this...until Dancing Stones, where he lands too far back on the middle stone and does an impressive wipeout. So now all Wilczewski needs to do is complete the obstacle to complete an amazing comeback. He takes a good look...

OHHHHH NOOOO! TREMAYNE DORTCH! TREEEEMAYYYYYNNNNNE DOOOOOORRRRRTCCCHHHH!!!

...is a comparison I won’t be able to use at all, dammit, because he glides through effortlessly!

(I did say this was a labor of love, right?)

So Lab Rats recovers from their bully beatdown to pull off just the second “steal” of the competition, and a team that won in a sweep in the first round gets swept in the second. I...ah, there’s just too much to unpack here. Analysis to come.
LAB RATS WINS

= 4th match: Iron Grip vs. Ninja Brittens =
L: McKinney def. Sann (finish) - The 48 year old Sann just plain wasn’t up to it. McKinney gives him several chances to catch up but is still first to the wall by several seconds. He messes up his first try, but not his second, and Sann’s miss kills any chance of drama.
W: Hepler def. J.Britten (distance) - Hepler sets a steady, mistake-free pace, while things start off shakily for Britten and just get worse and worse. It takes her forever to get through Swing Jump, capped off by dipping her feet in the water, and with Dancing Stones next you know there’s only way this can end. Hepler clears Doorknob Arch but doesn’t attempt the wall...not up to it, I guess. At least this means no dumb bee daah waww chants this week.
A: Gil def. G.Britten (distance) - Geoff gets to a much faster start than he did against Gates; he knows he’s up against a beast and can’t let up for a millisecond. Unfortunately, as Gbajabiamila says too often (along with “90 degree L’s”, which he actually uncorked once tonight) “speed kills”. Britten tries to skip the middle step on Dancing Stones completely and promptly pays the price on the mat. Gil obligingly finishes the course for the third time tonight, because it just feels GOOD to hit that buzzer, y’know?
IRON GRIP WINS

= Final: Lab Rats vs. Iron Grip (both WAL) =
Warnky opens up a sizable lead on Hepler. Gil charges hard, like we’ve seen three times already, and has a slim lead going into the final leg. So it’s up to brother Chris to...

What the hell was that?? I can barely describe it...he turns around on Salmon Ladder, does a near-handstand on the bar, and throws it backward above his head. And...it works! He’s crooked, but he’s still on and is right to the Tilting Ladders!

Sann, now having to play catch-up, is doomed. The elder Wilczewski hits the buzzer in plenty of time, thus completing the something-something miracle something.
LAB RATS WINS

- Just how the heck this happened, team-by-team -
Ninja Brittens (1-5): It became obvious early on that they just weren’t up to the task. I actually think Geoff Britten was hurt by his success; he was so good at ANW that he just wasn’t prepared for a contest where speed was at a premium. In ANW, you just have to be quick enough in Stages 1 and 2, and strength counts as much as fast feet in the latter. All the pressure that comes from the First Whatever-The-Hell-NBC-Is-Calling-It-Now couldn’t have helped either. McKinney was an also-ran, and Lady Britten was anemic even for a woman. I’m glad that Michelle Warnky has a gym, because if Britten counts as one of the best of the ladies’ contingent, they need all the help they can get!

Elet-trikz (3-3): Night and day. Dominated the weakest team of the bunch and got caught off guard by a squad that was tougher, faster, and hungrier.

Iron Grip (4-3): I’d previously mentioned how as long as your anchor is an ace, you’re in the game. Here’s what happens when he’s all you have. Hepler was nothing special and Sann looked all of his 48 years, but because they had by far the strongest competitor of the night (and arguably the entire competition!), they were in it to the end...which is where everyone needs to pull their weight. Credit to Gil for fighting hard every second, but if he was serious about winning he needed to choose his friends better.

Lab Rats (5-2): Even after Gil knocked them down and took their lunch money in the second match, I could see that this was a powerful team and had a very realistic chance of making the final. I could not have predicted just how hard they would bounce back and how decisively they’d seal the win. This is a rock-solid team from top to bottom with not a glaring weakness or dead spot anywhere, a team absolutely no one wants to face in the final. Well done, very well done.

MVP picks: C.Wilczewski, Warnky, Gil

Whoo! This was a fun show! Very much looking forward to a thrilling conclusion.
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  #92  
Old 02-17-2016, 12:44 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Yeah, the Wilczewski/Warnky team is definitely for real.

I agree that this competition didn't play to Geoff Britten's strengths.

I guess the real question is what the format will be in the finals. Will it be more fairly-simple-obstacles-as-fast-as-possible? Or is it more like Mt. Midoriyama with increasingly difficult stages? If it's the former, I think the strongest two teams are from this week and last week. Ian Dory's team is also powerful, but I think the parkour guys like Flip Rodriguez have an edge when it just comes to balls out speed.


Who among the top ninjas is still left for next week?

Isaac Caldiero? Drew Dreschel? James "the beast" McGrath? Dave "Livewire" Schief? I think I've caught glimpses in the promos of "Captain NBC" Jamie Rahn? That family of very Christian brothers one of whom made stage 3 this year?
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  #93  
Old 02-18-2016, 01:29 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Jamie Rahn is going to be in it, as is Brian Arnold. Dunno about Isaac Caldiero.
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  #94  
Old 02-24-2016, 01:52 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Just a heads-up: There are going to be “wild cards” for the finals. Huh. This contest has managed to avoid massive injustices so far, but I can’t help but think that they need to stop freaking tempting fate.

TEAM NINJA WARRIOR PRELIM #6
Fifth obstacle: Ring Toss. Pretty much the same as it was in its latest ANW incarnation, a hand-over-hand pacing rings on pegs on opposite sides of a bar. A more demanding upper-body test than Floating Steps or Doorknob Arch due to the space between the pegs; this could wreck a few runs.

Real Life Beasts: James “The Beast” McGrath, Erica Cook, Drew Dreschel
Invincabels: Nathan Jasso, Jeri D’Aurelio, Abel Gonzales
Rahnaways: Adam Grossman, Courtney Venuti, Jamie Rahn
Party Time: Jake Murray, Jennifer Tavernier, Brian Arnold

= 1st match: Real Life Beasts vs. Invincabels =
L: McGrath def. Jasso (finish) - Jasso does his best but just can’t match his opponent’s speed or strength. McGrath opens up a huge gap on Ring Toss and easily conquers the wall for the win.
W: D’Aurelio def. Cook (distance) - Cook burns up a huge amount of time on Swing Jump, and despite D’Aurelio’s slow pace, her victory is never much in doubt. Cook misfooting the middle step on Dancing Stones makes it official.
A: Dreschel def. Gonzales (finish) - Both men set a blistering pace. Dreschel actually trails most of the way, but pulls up what might be the move of the week on Ring Toss...just two thirds of the way through, he goes for the dismount...AND MAKES IT! McGrath actually says it best: “I know real is in our name, but that was the most unreal thing I’ve ever seen!” Final run up the wall is just a formality after that.
Yeah, early favorite, am I right?
REAL LIFE BEASTS WINS

= 2nd match: Rahnaways vs. Party Time =
L: Murray def. Grossman (finish) - Might’ve spoke to soon (yeah, like that ever happens... ). Murray sets a fast mistake-free pace and looks like he’s going to win a close one...whereupon he leaps for the finish two-thirds of the way through Ring Toss, makes it (with a cleaner landing than Dreschel, at that), and wins a laugher.
W: Tavernier def. Venuti (distance) - This is one of the most lethargic women’s heats of the competition (which really is saying a lot). They look half-asleep out there, and it looks like it’s going to come down to who bungles first. That would be Venuti, completely losing the handle at Log Grip.
A: Arnold def. Rahn (finish) - It’s really tight most of the way; the two runs are virtual mirrors of each other (they both even take a little water at Swing Jump). But once again Ring Toss would be the decider, as Arnold is not only noticeably faster but is able to land safely when he’s just two-thirds of the way across. Amazingly, Rahn does the same (when I said this was the “move of the week”, maybe that meant it was the move they had to pull off to win the heat) but it’s just not enough. Sweep.
PARTY TIME WINS

= 3rd match: Real Life Beasts vs. Rahnaways =
W: Cook def. Venuti (speed) - Swapped and 3WA’d. Whatever. Both hit the deck at Dancing Stones; Cook gets the point on account of wasting slightly less time.
L: McGrath def. Grossman (distance) - On paper, this is a mismatch. In reality...Grossman didn’t have a prayer, letting go of the rope much too soon on Sonic Swing and splashing down. So now that’s TWO competitors that have taken the plunge here, NEITHER of them female. Yowza.
That’s five losses in as many heats for Rahnaways, and they haven’t looked remotely in contention once. It’s going to take a miracle to prevent utter disaster.
A: Rahn def. Dreschel (distance) - Or an opportune mental error, whichever. Both men set an astonishing pace, Rahn having a slight edge. But Dreschel’s shoes hit the water at Swing Jump, and, true to form, said footwear completely fails to find purchase on the first step.

Okay, time out, because what’s happening now is just too ridiculous and I need to deal with it right here and now. Conventional wisdom says that Rahnaways will go with Rahn for the tiebreaker, as he’s the only one on the team who’s amounted to anything, whereas for Real Life Beasts the edge should go to McGrath, as he’s a bit fresher and seems to be less mistake-prone than Dreschel, at least today. Of course, simple logic doesn’t always win out here, but in all honesty there haven’t been too many absolute howlers. And if worst comes to worst, Dreschel vs. Grossman has the potential to be a good contest if both men play to avoid mistakes and we have a shootout at the wall.

Decision time. Real Life Beasts pick first. It’s Cook.



What the bloody everloving HELL???? In case anyone missed it before, here it is again: Women. Cannot. Compete. With Men. At least on anything beyond the weekend warrior level. The physical difference is just too, too vast. Hell, you don’t need to take my word for it, you’ve seen how the women’s runs turned out, right?

So now Rahnaways, who looked liked they had a puncher’s chance, now have a flippin’ Codebreaker code (man, I hope someone gets that reference . Grossman is going to squash Cook. Rahn is going to vaporize her. It’s just a matter of how merciful they’re feeling. Yeah, bit of a curveball here, but unless the whole team is just so discombobulated that they can’t decide at all, it’s not going to change the end result in any meaningful way.

It doesn’t take them long. Easy pick. No-brainer, in fact. It’s...

...Venuti.



I...I can’t even...why...how...this...y’know what, I’m just going to use their words, because I sure don’t have any at this point.

Curry: Drew and Jamie, you are two of the most experienced ninjas out here. Explain the reasoning to send the two girls on your team into sudden death.
Rahn: Well the girls were, you know, really good, they just had some unlucky falls.
Dreschel: I agree. We had our shot to run that course, and I want to see another girl up that wall.
Rahn: I want to see two.
Dreschel: Two more girls up that wall.

I was gonna post some confused emoticons here, but the hell with it or we’ll be here all week. Huh...okay, then...

T: Cook def. Venuti (finish) - A sloooooo...ooooooooo...zzzzzzzzzzzz...ooooowwwww contest. Seriously, you could’ve timed this one with a 2015 calendar. Seriously, this one made Kacy Catanzaro’s Cityfinal triumph look like a Sonic The Hedgehog TAS. Seriously, at least ten future female ANW competitors were born during this heat. Seriously...okay, I’m going to try to actually be a little serious now. (At least we now know why there was a 3WA.) Cook was slightly less lethargic and actually looked pretty solid on Ring Toss (nice definition in those arms, I must say!). Venuti somehow avoided disaster on Ring Toss, which meant that Cook had to attempt the wall. First attempt, no dice. Venuti makes it through Ring Toss. Second attempt...looks better...and she’s up! Yes! She cleared the wall! This one’s finally over, dammit!
REAL LIFE BEASTS WINS

= 4th match: Party Time vs. Invincabels =
Oh, right, there’s one more. Okay then...
L: Jasso def. Murray (distance) - A slugfest where Jasso kept pulling away but Murray always found a way to close the gap. Ultimately the pressure would be too much for Murray, flubbing the dismount on Ring Toss (the only one of the entire day, amazingly enough). Jasso obligingly takes the wall because he was pretty much going to no matter what.
Murray landed badly, and now his left knee is being checked out by the medical crew.
W: Tavernier def. D’Aurelio (finish) - A good contest, all things considered; definitely more exciting than that tiebreaker! They set a steady pace and begin Ring Toss at almost the same time. Tavernier is clearly better at this (D’Aurelio almost falls early on) and gets to Warped Wall first...and takes a lot of time preparing for it. D’Aurelio catches up...and also takes a long, long time to get up to it. They both make their first run at almost the same time...and both make it up! Tavernier is just a little stronger and edges out the victory. Man, I thought we’d NEVER see a close one again!
A: Arnold def. Gonzales (finish) - Gonzales fights hard to create as big a gap as possible before Ring Toss, where he knows Arnold has the advantage. He gets to a commanding lead...which is instantly erased when Arnold breezes through the rings and then makes a successful (and completely clean) dismount at...yep...the two thirds mark. He’s almost relaxed as he takes his 14-foot victory lap.
PARTY TIME WINS

Murray delivers the bad news: the pain is too much; he’s out. Alternate Travis Weinand takes his spot.

= Final: Real Life Beasts (WAL) vs. Party Time (WLA) =
What a matchup! All even, no clear favorite! Everyone with strengths and weaknesses! Weinand is the wild card; will he step up or falter? No matter what, this is going to be exciting! All right, here we go! We have two strong ladies on the...

** SPLOOOOSHH **

That would be Cook taking a dive on Log Grip. And just like that, it’s over. Weinand actually looks a bit tentative on Ring Toss, but he still makes the tag well ahead of Dreschel, and Arnold, who excels on upper-body and climbing tasks, never looks back. Cake walk.
PARTY TIME WINS

MVP picks: McGrath, Tavernier, Arnold

Okay, I’m just about completely spent now. Talk amongst yourselves.
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  #95  
Old 02-24-2016, 12:27 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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I have to assume that the two captains agreed that they would both send up their women. Not sure why they did, but there's no way in hell that it wasn't prearranged. (Possibly pressure from the producers?)

I think it's time to stop counting how many women have made it up the warped wall. Being the eighth woman to ever do it just isn't as impressive as being the second.


I agree that having two wildcard teams seems worrisome, although I'm OK with it if it's just the two who made the relay final and then lost by the closest amount, so that it's objective. I believe a clip showed Joe Moravsky, and I recall him losing to Travis Rosen in a super-close one.
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  #96  
Old 02-24-2016, 02:49 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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What's a "3WA"?


I call foul on that final relay. Dreshel's foot landed squarely on the mat when he fell on the dancing stones. Iseman was saying "his foot never touched the ground" while his foot was clearly on the ground. Shenanigans! That should have been a 10 second penalty to start the anchor leg.
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  #97  
Old 02-24-2016, 04:37 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
What's a "3WA"?
I have a feeling it's short for WWWA - "While We Were Away, this happened..."
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  #98  
Old 02-25-2016, 10:59 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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Okay, here's what I was able to glean from next week's teaser re. the upcoming semis (I don't know the "official" name for this stage yet). There will be two more contests, each between three of the winning teams (presumably grouped into the week 1-3 and week 4-6 winners) and a wild card. The two wild cards are the top two runners-up...not the two fastest times, but the two who lost by the closest margins in their respective Relay Showdowns and thus maintained the fragile illusion of every team having a chance. They will be run under the exact same rules, and again only the 5th obstacle will change.

Re. the wildcards. I'd be very surprised if Storm Team Moravsky wins it all...they're just not that great and will get pounded by any team with a strong anchor...but don't count out Stratis Faction. They had some pretty impressive runs, and the only reason they lost in the end was Stratis' messing up of Dancing Stones. If he works on his balance and takes a slightly more cautious approach this time, look for this squad to be a tough matchup.

Ellis - Yeah, 3WA means "While we were away", which happens several times every episode in the regular show. Sorry I wasn't clear about this before; I wasn't expecting it to happen here. Oh, and just so there's absolutely no confusion whatsoever, the entire show is prerecorded, so NBC can give the bum's rush to whoever they want; it has nothing to do with inopportune timing.

Max - Yeah, I'm wondering if there may have been shenanigans here too. I hate guessing and assuming and speculating about these things, though. Shouldn't someone have come clean about this by now? On Twitter, maybe? (Esquire has nothing.)
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  #99  
Old 03-02-2016, 01:41 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Before I begin, I’d like to point out how remarkably...for lack of a better word...textbook this contest has been so far. Of the twelve second rounds, ten have been won by the team that won the first round. Of the six winners, only one had a win percentage worse than 2/3. Two teams that were powerful except for the anchor failed; one team that had nothing but a dominating anchor did the same and another lost in the RS. I mention this because by far my biggest fear going in was that all the machinations would lead to horror. I was dreading hideously unjust results, insane monkey wrenches, and all-around shockers, and it simply hasn’t happened. This gives me confidence that this is a contest with a future. Much like ANW on the whole.

Oh, and before I forget, one thing this really, really needs: SPLIT SCREEN. For those times when one competitors gets way ahead of the other which happens pretty often, if you haven’t noticed.

TEAM NINJA WARRIOR SEMIFINAL #1
Team Ronin (6-1): J.J. Woods, Tiana Webberley, David “Flip” Rodriguez.
Team TNT (5-2): Adam Arnold, Joyce Shahboz, Travis Rosen
Team Midoryama (4-2): Dan Yager, Meagan Martin, Ian Dory
Stratis Faction (5-1): Mike Bernardo, Grace Jones, Ryan Stratis

Fifth obstacle: Spin Cycle. Three rotating hoop baskets set at different angles. Strength, timing, and steady nerves will be key; they don’t want to waste a lot of time with the transitions, but they don’t want to whiff and take a bath either.

= 1st match: Team Ronin vs. Team TNT =
__L: Woods vs. Arnold - Arnold’s roll-of-the-dice fortunes on Dancing Stones continue; he looks good most of the way but tumbles at the end. Woods had nearly completed Spin Cycle at this point, and he goes up the wall because of course. Woods/distance
__W: Webberley vs. Shahboz - Webberley takes the early lead but is incredibly timid on Dancing Stones, allowing Shahboz to make it a semblance of a contest. That’s as close as she’d get, as she’s completely unable to handle Spin Cycle and goes straight down. Webberley clears it but doesn’t try the wall again. Spoilsport. Webberley/distance
__A: Rodriguez vs. Rosen - Incredible finish! Rosen simply looks more confident and steadily pulls further and further ahead. But then at the wall, Rodriguez tears up the ramp, then gets up faster than Rosen, winning by THE closest margin yet. Wowie wowie wow. Okay, probably a bit more impact if his team wasn’t already up 2-0, but I’ll take what I can get. Rodriguez/finish
TEAM RONIN WINS

= 2nd match: Team Midoryama vs. Stratis Faction =
__L: Yager vs. Bernardo - Yager is simply more solid, avoiding getting hung up or wasting energy on anything, and soon has the lead. They both go up the wall, Yager first. Bernardo charges hard...and comes up at least a foot short. Yager/finish
__W: Martin vs. Jones - Anyone want to bet on Jones here? Anyone? Heh, didn’t think so. To her credit, she does look not-awful for a little while, but big blunders on Log Grip and Swing Jump doom her. She does manage to get as far as the start of Spin Cycle before Martin casually saunters up the wall. Martin/finish
__A: Dory vs. Stratis - It looked like all the pressure...of being down 2-0, of the semis, of proving that Stratis Faction deserved the wildcard...was just too much for Stratis. He misses the transition at Swing Jump, and that was all she wrote. Dory is cleaner through Dancing Stones, widening the gap further, and he’s a rock climber so you know Spin Cycle isn’t going to be any hassle for him. An absolute massacre. Dory/finish
TEAM MIDORYAMA WINS

So that’s two sweeps in as many matches, and now a shellshocked Stratis Faction has to go right back at it against a team that’s absolutely on fire. Boy...I’m incredibly freaking nervous about making any kind of proclamations right now, y’know?

= 3rd match: Team Ronin vs. Stratis Faction =
And I guess it wouldn’t be an episode of TNW without a completely pointless swap. Rodriguez and Woods this time.
__L: Rodriguez vs. Bernardo - Bernardo gives it his all and actually does a nice job of keeping his opponent in striking distance up to Spin Cycle. And then Rodriguez has trouble on the second transition!...but it’s academic, as Bernardo can’t even make the first one. Rodriguez eventually finds the way and sails up the wall. Rodriguez/finish
__W: Webberley vs. Jones - You have to figure this is probably going to be a fairly boring one; all Webberley really needs to do is to hang in there until Spin Cycle, where her vast, vast superiority on upper-body obstacles will give her an easy win. It’s actually an entertaining cat-and-mouse duel for the most part (now that’s something we haven’t seen much of!), with the highlight being both competitors hitting the middle step on Dancing Stones at the same time...and getting through! However, Spin Cycle is next, and Jones doesn’t have a prayer here, badly botching the first transition and taking the plunge. Webberley makes it through again without much trouble, so...hey, she’s going for the wall this time! And makes it easily! Whew, thank you, you’ve made a lot of viewers much happier. Webberley/distance
All right, Stratis Faction now 0-5 and looking at several months of incredibly tedious whining about wildcards. If Stratis is going to be a hero, it’s going to be now, has to be now.
__A: Woods vs. Stratis - Or the tiebreaker, whichever. Woods sets a fast pace and just plain faceplants on Dancing Stones. There’s really no room for complex analysis here. He just plain screwed up. Stratis/distance
Well, it looks like we’re going to have our Rodriguez vs. Stratis main event after all. I mean, that’s the obvious choice. Can’t really be anything else. Right? Right?
__T: Rodriguez vs. Stratis - Yep. And boy, is there ever drama here, as Stratis (who said he was “pretty tired” after the last run) is just about flawless through four obstacles, including his onetime nemesis Dancing Stones. He has a slim lead going into Spin Cycle...whereupon Rodriguez messes up the second transition again, and Stratis powers through and wins a blowout! Golden snitch! Final Jeopardy! Bunch of sports events I never want to waste another microsecond thinking about! Stratis/finish
STRATIS FACTION WINS

= 4th match: Team Midoryama vs. Team TNT =
__L: Yager vs. Arnold - Yager gets a foot tied up at Swing Jump and never challenges afterward. Arnold/finish
__W: Martin vs. Shahboz - Anyone want to bet on Shahboz here? Anyone? Heh, didn’t think so. She gets into trouble early, taking water on Sonic Swing, which leads to a predictable drop on Dancing Stones. Do I even have to mention that Martin goes up the wall yet again? (Well, I kinda already did, so...) Martin/distance
__A: Dory vs. Rosen - Rosen takes water on Swing Jump, and against someone as explosive as Dory, that can only...oh...oh...oh, this is not happening! Rosen, who’s 41 years old (which the announcers make very sure we don’t forget) is pulling away! And he’s the first out of Spin Cycle. And Dory makes a charge, trying to catch up...and...it’s not enough! Rosen wins! Rosen wins! Rosen wins! Rosen/finish
TEAM TNT WINS

That crackling sound you’re hearing is a textbook being burned to a crisp.

= Final: Stratis Faction (WAL) vs. Team TNT (WLA) =
Both Jones and Shahboz look clumsy in the opening leg. Jones makes the tag first by a hair. Arnold makes two big jumps and finishes Dancing Stones first; Stratis almost goes down again but barely saves it. Stratis gets through Spin Cycle faster and is catching up at the...

Stratis misses the first attempt! Stratis misses the first attempt!

And that’s about all she wrote. Bernardo, again, sees himself having to overcome a huge deficit, and Travis Rosen ain’t no Alan Connealy. Rosen is almost at the rope by the time Bernardo begins the climb.
TEAM TNT WINS

MVP picks: Arnold, Martin, Rosen

Think there will be calls for a switch to round-robin?

(No, seriously, I’d like to know. I can’t even find a message board for this.)
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  #100  
Old 03-02-2016, 12:55 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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This was a weird episode. On the one hand, it seemed a shame that two clearly stronger teams lost, particularly after both just dominated the first rounds. On the other hand, it's not like they were cheated, they lost fair and square.

I think the whole two-rounds-but-only-the-second-round-is-elimination thing is fundamentally unsatisfying. Flip's team had arguably the strongest overall performance counting all the races in both rounds, but because their one moment of weakness came at the end of round 2 instead of round 1 they went home.


Not enough to make me turn off my TV in disgust or anything, but I do hope they change the format next season (and I do hope there is a next season).


Flip zipping up the warped wall to edge out Travis in round 1 was one of the most amazing bits of Ninja-Warrioring I've ever seen.

Put the mask back on! #NOTMYFLIP
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