Another year, another season, and still no "American Ninja Warrior." The season finale of the NBC competition aired Monday night, and with no contestant reaching and completing Stage 4, the show was, yet again, unable to name its first "American Ninja Warrior." That doesn't mean the finale wasn't riveting, though, with two contestants reaching Stage 3 and one conquering his past to become one of the most impressive contestants yet on the NBC obstacle-course competition series.
Joe Moravsky, known as "The Weatherman" because of his job in Connecticut, became the first to punch his ticket to Stage 3 in what was clearly an emotional run for him. With his wife cheering him on, Moravsky moved on to Stage 3 for the second year in a row, conquering the obstacle that bested him last year: "the floating boards." The Weatherman mastered the obstacle this time around but ran out of steam on "the climbing wall." Only two other Americans have ever even reached the obstacle, with only Brian Arnold (who this year went out on "the floating bridge") getting past it.
Watch Joe Moravsky beat Stage 2 of Mount Midoriyama:
Elet Hall was the other contestant who made it past Stage 2. The last contestant to go, having had the fastest Stage 1 time, he finished to ensure Moravsky would have some company in Stage 3. However, a newcomer to the Stage, Hall went out on the tricky "floating boards."
Watch Elet Hall get past Stage 2 below:
For the other 16 national finalists, Stage 2 was just too much to handle. Many were defeated by the "floating bridge," which features a difficult transition between two hanging platforms. Others stumbled on a new obstacle, "the butterfly wall," requiring contestants to jump 8 feet to a hanging, spinning wall. Still others, who managed to get past both of those difficult roadblocks, failed on "the spinning chain," in which contestants leaped to a ring of spinning hanging chains to reach the other side.
It was an exciting season of "American Ninja Warrior," which featured Kacy Catanzaro and Meagan Martin pushing the boundaries of what women could do in the competition, and Jon Stewart testing the limits of age, qualifying for the national finals at 52. However, it was Moravsky who stood tallest at the season's end. Fans who crave more action can tune in next week for the special "USA vs. The World" competition, featuring fan favorites, like Brian Arnold, in a global match between Japanese and World teams on the Mount Midoriyama course. Fans will have to wait until next year, though, for another shot at an "American Ninja Warrior."
The National Finals finale re-airs on Esquire Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 8 p.m. EDT. Will anyone ever become the first “American Ninja Warrior”? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.