American Ninja Warrior, NBC’s obstacle course competition airs tonight with an all new three hour Sunday, January 31 season special episode called “USA VS. The World.” We’ve got your recap down below! On tonight’s episode the third annual competition pits five-member teams from America, Japan and Europe against one another in Las Vegas, where they tackle the first three stages of Mount Midoriyama, the four-stage finals course featured in “American Ninja Warrior.”
On the season 7 finale it was the final night of the “American Ninja Warrior” Las Vegas finals where the top finishers from the regional finals tackle the final three stages of ‘Mount Midoriyama’. Did you watch last season’s finale episode? If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.
On tonight’s episode per the NBC synopsis, “NBC will present its third annual high-stakes international competition “American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World.” Three separate teams from America, Europe and Japan will compete in Las Vegas on the first three stages of Mt. Midoriyama, the famed four-stage finals course featured in “American Ninja Warrior.”
Team USA will include “American Ninja Warrior” winner Isaac Caldiero and runner-up Geoff Britten, along with impressive veteran competitors Kevin Bull, Drew Drechsel, Ian Dory and Joe Moravsky. Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila are set to host and Kristine Leahy will co-host.”
Tonight’s special episode looks like it is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our coverage of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior at 8:00 PM EST! While you wait for our recap hit the comments and let us know how excited you are about the show so far.
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
It’s the battle for global supremacy on tonight’s special episode of “American Ninja Warrior”. Team USA, Team Japan, and the defending champions otherwise known as Team Europe are back to battling it out for the title of Ultimate Ninja Warrior. And the results could surprise you!
In the run up for tonight’s episode, most teams have gone through some extensive recruitment. And the one team that actually had the majority of its former ninjas returning just happened to be Team Europe. So right away it was clear that both Team USA and Team Japan were intent on bringing home the championship.
But the obstacles this year was far from easy. There was Piston Road, Propeller Bar, Silk Slider, Jumping Spider, Sonic Curve, Warped Wall, Coin Flip, and the Flying Triple Swing. And if for some reason it were to all fall down to a tie then the infamous Stage 4 will be all that is needed to separate them men from the ninjas.
And yet for the Stage 1 portion of the night, the only team that hadn’t sent out their newbie was Team Japan.
Team USA chose to send out Isaac Caldiero. Isaac is an American athlete who recently won the $1 million dollar prize for conquering Mt. Midoriyama. Though, in spite of the expectations, Isaac fell on the fourth obstacle – the Jumping Spider.
Therefore, Team Japan were given the chance to one-up Team USA and they thought they had a great shot with Ryo Matachi. Ryo is the only competitor to be featured in all USA vs. The World competitions. And not to mentioned he had personally reached the 4th Stage twice. As well as being the third competitor to complete the Third stage on American soil. Yet, when the time came, Ryo also fell on the Jumping Spider.
However, Ryo hadn’t been as fast as Isaac had been so Isaac still had the chance of winning the point. That is if Team Europe ended up falling as luck.
And as luck would have it, newbie Alexander Mars had fallen on the same obstacle but he too had been slower than Isaac. So Isaac received the point for completing the most obstacles the fastest. Which put Team USA in the lead.
Now for the second heat of the night, the teams tried to send out their strongest. Team Europe chose Tim Champion who was young but had a long history in gymnastics as well making it to Stage 2 in Ninja Warrior UK.
Tim was the first man up and therefore the only one to make it pass the Jumping Spider. So instantly it looked like he would also be the first to complete all the obstacles but then something happened. He was trying to increase his speed and it ended with him falling once he got to the cargo Net.
And so Team Japan thought that again their odds were good. They had chosen Kenji Takahashi for this portion of the competition and Kenji was more widely known as Kong. Kong has only failed the Second Stage once in 9 tries and one of the few to ever make it the Final Stage.
But sadly Kong fell. Kong hadn’t made it as far as Tim so the point was looking good for Team Europe though Team USA still had a shot. They had chosen Kevin Bull commonly known as the Bull who was famous for his inverted dismount on Cannonball Alley in season 6. And Kevin had started out with good timing.
Only he too fell on the Jumping Spider. Which by this point was proving to be the obstacle to beat because of the shockingly early exits.
So the point went to Tim Champion of Team Europe. And that lead to an early tie between Team Europe and Team USA. But Team Europe definitely wanted to break that tie and knew just who to pick for the third portion of Stage 1.
Team Europe ended up going with their team captain, Tim Shieff. Tim was known as the “Livewire” because of his speed during these games. And it seems like Tim had kept himself in shape during the off season by running in marathons.
And what that meant for tonight was that Tim has only gotten faster. Tim was the first up for the third portion of the night or heat if you will and he had been the first to complete Stage 1 and had come in a pretty decent time.
However, Team Japan suffered another loss when their rising star Yusuke Morimoto had been another to fall because of the Jumping Spider. And so Team Japan lost out on all of their chances to gain a point from Stage 1.
But up next was Team USA and they too sent out their fastest. Drew Drechsel after all is the only competitor in the competition to have made it to the third stage on both Sasuke and American Ninja Warrior. And though he stumbled several times during Stage 1 – Drew was the first on his Team to complete Stage 1 and he won them another point by beating out Tim with only seven seconds to go.
And therefore it was onto Stage 2 for the night with Team USA in the lead. Yet the obstacles in Stage 2 were the true test of upper body strength. And it has been known to knock out some of the best.
So Stefano Ghisolfi took care to remember at the last USA vs. The World special. Where the last time he fell during the first obstacles because he had been going too fast, Stefano tried to take his time and was willing to overlook it some may it say in order to make it to the end. But tragedy struck for Stefano once again.
He ended up taking another fall though this time on the Roulette Row in what appeared to be a loss of balance. Yet he made it much farther than he did the last time. And so it was still a personal victory.
Although Kevin Bull was chosen to run the first heat for Team USA. And unfortunately its looks like he was just having an off night. Kevin had been making good on his time and was setting out to be faster than Stefano had been when he took a fall on the Salmon Ladder. An obstacle that had never defeated him before.
And which made the point of this portion still up for grabs. So Team Japan went with Masashi Hioki. Masahi was considered to be a Stage 2 specialist and yet he struggled on the Salmon Ladder and then fell on the Unstable Bridge. So the point which was really two full points seeing as it was Stage – went to Team Europe.
And that had put them back in the lead. But the second heat proved to be a challenge for Team Europe’s Tim Shieff. Tim had been making excellent time when he sadly ran out of steam on the Unstable Bridge and took a shocking fall. So Team Japan had the ball back in their court.
They had gone with Tomohiro Kawaguchi and he was well-known for making to the Final Stage. So that kind of athleticism was what his team was expecting from him and luckily he managed not to disappoint. Tomo had proven to be faster than Tim and he had made it all the way to Roulette Row. But he fell.
And unfortunately Japan lost out again after Team USA’s Drew Drechsel managed to do what no other team could. He completed Stage 2 and with record beating time. Therefore, he put Team USA back up on top.
Yet Team USA still managed to suffer a setback. Their guy Geoff Brittan was suffering from a high fever and needed to be replaced with the alternate that was in this Joe Morasky. And Joe had to get his head into the game because he was up next.
Joe Morasky from Team USA was the first up for the third and final heat of Stage 2. And Joe surprised everyone. He made it through all of the obstacles and ultimately even beat Drew’s time when he completed Stage 2. So truly he was the man to beat.
And not even the great King Kong could match him. Team Japan’s Kenji Takahashi had tried to go fast and that resulted in him getting sloppy. So Kong fell on the Salmon Ladder though there was still hope for Team Europe.
Team Europe had sent out their very own Sean McColl. Sean was the one that won it for Team Europe during the last championship when he beat out Team USA by three tenths of a second. So if there was anyone that could beat Joe’s time then it would be Sean.
And luckily for him, Sean didn’t fail to live up to expectation. He was out the gate in seconds and completed Stage 2 by being just ahead of Joe Morasky. So that’s how Sean became the new record holder for Stage 2 in what was seemingly becoming America vs Europe Ninja Warrior Championships.
Though as for Team Europe, they were in the lead by the end of Stage 2 but it was their newbie Alexander Mars that had kicked of Stage 3.
Alexander had handled similar obstacles when he won Ninja Warrior Sweden however the Ultimate Cliffhanger proved to be his undoing. He had started out strong and was looking like he would finish that particular obstacle. Yet he overshot the six feet swing to the other side. So he wiped out on the fourth obstacle.
Although Ian Dory from Team USA had nearly done the impossible. He had almost completed Stage 3 and would have if it were not for the Flying Bars. The Flying Bars was what had tripped him up during regular competition and it did again on tonight’s special.
He had made it to the last bar when he fell. And so Japan still had a chance to finally starting earning points. You know in case they might actually win this thing. So they chose to go with Tomohiro Kawaguchi.
Tomo was considered to be one of Team Japan’s strong competitors. And a lot of hopes were riding on his run. Yet Tomo took a fall early in the competition. He fell on the Doorknob Grasper because of an oversight. It seems that he had apparently forgotten that the last two doorknobs spin and that’s how he lost his grip.
So not only were Team USA in the lead by the end of their first heat in Stage Three but Team Japan had also been officially knocked out of the competition. There was literally no way for them to recuperate enough points to win so went on to play to simply make a good final showing. But what with the name of the game being the farthest the fastest – Team USA and Team Europe were nearly neck to neck.
Stage Three rewarded three points for each heat and Team USA had already won a round. If they won a second time then that meant there would be no coming back for Team Europe.
So a lot went into the second heat of Stage 3. Team USA chose Joe Moravsky for this portion of the competition and Joe’s biggest obstacle was going to be the Ultimate Cliffhanger. Joe had fallen on it during the regular season but this time he had chosen to take his team’s advice.
And they had told him to take the six feet swing face-forward rather than backwards. Like last time. However, their advice still didn’t help him make the swing and for the second time he wiped out on the Ultimate Cliffhanger.
Though by this point in the competition, most just wanted Team Japan to get some kind of score up on the board. And that again did not happen. Team Japan’s Ryo Matachi had been making good time and he had outperformed Joe when he made it passed the Ultimate Cliffhanger. So what it all came down to for him was Area 51.
He had completed the 3rd Stage once before on American Soil but his height proved to be a setback this time around on Area 51. He honestly had to stretch to his full height in order to make it to the next flying disk and though he later said it was energy that had defeated him – it sure looked like it was height. But either way Team Japan lost out.
And Team Europe went on to collect the three points with their Stefano Ghisolfi. Stefano had made it passed the Ultimate Cliffhanger and Area 51 so it looked like he was going to complete Stage 3 for the second time but then out of nowhere – he fell on the Flying Bars. Though, because of his performance, he had put Team Europe back in the lead.
So it all came down to the final heat of Stage 3 seeing as this year wasn’t going to need a Stage 4 to break any sort of tie.
Team Japan had gone ahead with Yusuke Morimoto and the baby-faced graduate student had been the first to complete Stage 3. He had started out strong and he managed to keep up his strength throughout his entire heat. But tonight was not the night for Japan.
Yusuke had been the first to finish Stage 3 but he hadn’t been the fastest. Because right after Yusuke had completed his stellar performance, it had been Team Europe’s Sean McColl’s turn and he had been the second person of the night to complete Stage 3.
Sean Mcoll had started out faster than Yusuke and he had also finished faster than Yusuke. Meaning Japan has wiped out entirely this year and must go home without ever gaining a point. Yet for the championship – it all came down to Isaac Caldiero’s performance.
You see had to do more than complete Stage 3. He had to beat Sean’s time as well. So based on their experience with competing against each other, Isaac felt like he had this one in the bag. And the thing about confidence is that once you have it then it’s nearly impossible to shake.
So Isaac had faced Stage 3 as if he already won it and as it happens he flew through the whole thing as if Stage 3 hadn’t knocked out some of the best in this competition. And so he ended up with the fastest time which also meant that Team USA have once again taken the championship from Team Europe!