This is my Part Three Blog of the USA vs JAPAN - NBC ANW5 Special that aired on Monday, January 13, 2014. For those who are confused when this happened.. it was the Final day (Sunday) of the Las Vegas taping of American Ninja Warrior 5 back in June 23, 2013.
And we are back in the 3rd stage now. NBC now trying to make it dramatic by doing what they can to say that they are the same competition as Sasuke and co-opting it's history. It's not sweetie. Nothing wrong with being a spin off of a trials show (meaning ANC and the original 3 seasons of ANW) but to mix the results is not only stupid and disingenuous, it's effing confusing.
If you want to get completely technical.. why not add Viking to the list? I mean.. this obstacle (along with Cannonball Run) was in Viking, where M9 had the idea to steal from and even used in THIS event. So why isn't NBC using that result?
Sasuke Legend Makoto Nagano was the only person to ever defeat the Heart Breaker and TBS ended up putting it into Sasuke and renaming it the Spider Flip.. so why isn't NBC using that list since it's also using the same obstacle? Same with Cannonball Run and just told the Rope maze was in ANW as well! Heck even Shingo was in Viking too you know. In fact many Sasuke competitors were on Viking as well but you don't see TBS using that competition as part of their history even though the creator of both shows (Ushio Higuchi) used the same obstacles and competitors! TBS using that show as part of the Sasuke history makes as much sense as NBC co-opting Sasuke's history. They are not the same show on different networks (Viking was on Fuji TV) even if they share similarities including obstacles and competitors. Same reason why Kunoichi wasn't added in the list either even though NBC stole Domino Hill from THAT show for ANW. ANW is a spin off show. Same as Sasuke Malaysia and Sasuke Singapore and soon Ninja Warrior Europe. Stop picking and choosing selected history to trump up your "current" format now that you decided to give the finger to TBS by prohibiting Americans from ever going back to Japan's Sasuke.
The Roulette Cylinder ルーレットシリンダー
The Ultimate Cliffhanger アルティメットクリフハンガー
NBC showing the Sasuke course and trying to say that they are the same competition. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.. but that doesn't give you the right to attach your limited and checkered past to an already existing (and more revered) tournament in another country.
Back to this sorry event that magically turned into a "World Championship" in a matter of only 30 minutes.. Best of 5 head to head matches. Whoever wins 3 matches get 3 points now. If Japan wins this stage the event will be tied and only then will the Final Stage Tower be used to break the tie.
NBC going through the list that out of the field of competitors today, only 4 of them have actually been in the Final Stage. They start by showing Sasuke All-star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟
2-Time Grand Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) on the UCH, who by now you know won Sasuke 27
New Generation Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 on the Bar Glider on his way to the his final in Sasuke 27
Sasuke All-star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 on the original Cliffhanger on his way to one of two finals - Sasuke 3 and Sasuke 7
New Generation Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 making it to his final in Sasuke 23
NBC reminding us that the only 4 people ever to make the final in today's television special are all on the Japan team. No slouch himself, Asa has made it to the 3rd Stage 2 times in a row (Sasuke 28 and Sasuke 29)
Team Japan commiserating
Ryo and Asa talking to each other
Yuuji looking lost as usual
USA team ahead by winning the first stage (worth 1 point) and the second stage (worth 2 points) for a total of 3 points right now
Japan can tie it if they win Stage 3's best of 5
ANW6's application announcement's worst kept secret.. they already said it last week LOL Exact same time frame as last year actually. So no surprises. And sorry Matt.. Stage 3 is a riddle one American has solved.. just not an American YOU sent to Japan.. oh wait.. they aren't sent to Japan anymore.. /facepalm
USA won the coin toss and elected to go second.
So team Japan is up first again.
Brian and Ryo again
Yay they didn't call him by that nickname again..
Ryo in Sasuke 27 defeating the Flying Bar
And one of my least favorite obstacles.. Chain See-Saw
and the second man to beat the UCH
Ryo during his final in Sasuke 27
Ryo has trained almost exclusively on Stage 3 obstacles for a number of years
So he is correct that he can't lose given how much time he's dedicated on Stage 3 obstacles almost exclusively. He also said can't and not won't. He knows he'll be ridiculed if he choked here.
I actually don't read that as a cocky statement. Different tone coming out of him.
Past the Roulette Cylinder
And doing just fine on the Doorknob Grasper ドアノブグラスパー
Actually I'm happy these obstacles have a nice coat of paint on them. The last time I saw the Doorknob Grasper in Sasuke it looked so ghetto that I called it the Home Depot Special. LOL
They look so cold.. LOL Look at Shingo. I notice the wind just kicked up (or at least it's more noticeable now)
Yep wind is up by quite a bit. These actually look pretty nice especially the since the Counterpart in Sasuke looked so ghetto when first introduced. LOL
The Floating Boards フローティングボード
Methodically going through nice and slow
Okay I will eat my hat if he fails this.. and I don't even have a hat!
Poor Shingo looks friggin' cold. Others are going "so help me he better not fail this"..
NBC has to get with the program... Ultimate Cliffhanger アルティメットクリフハンガー is sooo 2010
Just as a public service announcement for those who haven't seen Sasuke Rising.. This is the internal view of the Crazy Cliffhanger クレイジークリフハンガー (Sasuke 28 and Sasuke 29) which is the current iteration of the Cliffhanger
Ryo figuring out if he has the wingspan..
It's not like he's never done this distance since he trains on a far more difficult one in Shinya's home course.
He just needed a swing to get the momentum to get up that high.
Not a problem since it's not that far away
Again no issues. He's not called Cliffer #2 for nothing.
Again he was putting on a clinic.
At this point he just realized that they are cheering HIM.. LOL
Awww he's touched. He only posed when he realized they were cheering for him! LOL
Shingo doesn't want to get out from that towel, Kanno and Asa cheering and Yuuji is like "he better have.. he trains on this every day"..
Brian looking on as he's up next
Oh yeah it's windy.. LOL
The Bungee Rope Climb バンジーロープ クライム
Not a problem as he's going through it with ease
Ascending Climb or Hang Climb? They are calling it the Hang Climb (Hang Climbing (ハングクライミング in Japan) (Thanks Rider)
He's not having issues but he's much slower here
Just methodically going through this here taking his time.
Totally doing a total Tajima and just using his arms on this
Kanno cheesing with Shingo enthusiastically showing his approval.
Okay finally using his legs
Heartbreaker Spider Flip
and notice the other side has no ledge to land on
Taking some time to collect himself
Someone farted again..
climbing out of that to get to the last bar of.. awww it's not the green bar of safety anymore! LOL
And he's safe.
Asa channeling his inner Elvis hair since he IS in Vegas.
LOL He just realized again they are chanting his name.
LOL he's giving them a fist pump.
Shingo: I'm so cold...
Safely through the first bar of the Flying Bar フライングバー
Oh and on the second the momentum ripped his fingers off the bar!
Ohhhhhhh Kanno is not happy
The crowd doesn't care. They are giving him a standing ovation.
I mean they are screaming and cheering his name!
Oh.. I'm going to cry! JAPAN FLAGS ON IPHONES! I love this crowd!
Replay of where he ripped off the bar on the 2nd jump
After cleaning himself up he bows to the crowd as they go wild again.
He must be stunned LOL
I'm so thrilled they equally cheered for everyone.
Up next is Brian Arnold who has to beat that performance.
Brian got a bit further than that in the finals of ANW5.
No problems on the Roulette Cylinder.
I don't like the timer.. it reminds me of Sasuke 29 with the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup qualifying and it bugged me then too.. luckily the timer was not used in that competition to any lasting detriment.
Done with the .. wait it's not the ghetto version.. so I guess Lowes door special? LOL
and said doors since the handles were before.
Not going to lie this looks difficult and at least it looks polished.
on the last of the doors
Yuuji in his constant stage of wtf cracks me up
Team USA looking on
Brian taking his time before attempting the UCH which he's defeated in the past.
Nice steady pace.
Obviously has the wingspan to bridge that gap
No problems on the small (to him) jump
And a nice clear on the UCH
Not sure if he pulled anything on it.. he looks hurt.
Taking time to just collect himself.. he does look.. hurt to at least stinging from something pulled.
with the wind waving those ropes around he is still having zero issues with the ropes.
slightly slower but still no issues with the ropes
nice transition to now his specialty given that they are saying he's been rock climbing (23 years) for almost as long as Ryo has been alive.. LOL
And this is what a pro climber looks like. He's demolishing this.
Hmm is it his back that's bothering him?
his fingers or his arms? he did this all the way across.. both hands being wrung out.
I'm thinking his fingers.
Yeah it's fingers.
turning around to jump
Getting ready to jump on the Spider Flip
And he's got it!
Climbing down to get on to the regular-colored-bar-of-safety. C'mon.. At least TBS made that bar green.. you painted everything else.. you couldn't spray paint this green for me? LOL
Hurray he made it!
Never understood the one foot thing.. a lot of people do this..
okay.. one jump down..
Doh that went too fast for me to screencap.. down on the second.
Brian Arnold - Death by Flying Bar
LOL Check out James on the right. He's so great to screencap (sorry James)
Yeah sucks doesn't it? I know how you feel man.. I know how you feel..
Brian getting a standing O as well because DAMN they deserve it!
Ryo now waiting to see if it's tied or what..
Oh yeah.. they have a clock.. ugh I don't like these.. I .. really don't.
Seems the timer is used for when the person successfully landed furthest obstacle (since they both landed on the 2nd jump and both feel off, they go by who got the the first successful jump the fastest).
And by a fraction Ryo got there first. Japan won a face to face. However I don't like the 3rd stage being timed. I didn't like it in Sasuke 29 and I don't like it here.
Best of 5 still and Japan has the first match on Stage 3. Their first.
Next up is James vs. Yuuji.
James having a private moment with Sasuke Spray
James McGrath ジェームス・マクグラス
Da beast in his happy place right now
This is Sasuke 27 where James in Japan failed on the UCH
In ANW he got to the floating boards
But fell off
In the fluff piece James was saying it was a huge mental error
And he desperately desperately wanted to run stage 3 so bad.
And here we are for his chance at revenge
Roulette Cylinder.. (never liked that name LOL)
Lowes budget rental.. er.. Doorknobs R Us..
and now to the floating boards that took him out the night before (remember.. this is Sunday and ANW5's final was last night - Saturday)
Ooooh really thinking this through.. trying to get to the 2nd board..
No! history repeated.
USA looking devastated
But not as much as James right now
Struggling almost immediately as his feet slipped when trying to grab on to the 2nd door.
James McGrath ジェームス・マクグラス - Death by Floating Boards
Up next to try to beat that is Yuuji. LOL at Shingo and Kanno chatting away while not relinquishing the towels.
As Everyone turns around to see Yuuji strip.
Oh these interviews are painful. Poor James is utterly devastated.
Angrily smacking the water
He knows that wasn't far enough into the course with Yuuji coming up. He's so angry and frustrated with himself right now.
Yuuji having a private moment with Sasuke Spray
Spiky nards of doom .. with a drop.. or two..
okay two drops
LOL Why does he always look lost in the course?
Kanno cheering as Yuuji managed to get past the first two obstacles this time! He's evil. I love it!
James in deep thought given what just happened a couple minutes ago
Yuuji taking unusually long time testing the thickness of this door...
The announcer is talking about "it's not about speed right now.. it's about staying dry"..
and .. wtf..
Yeah no crap.. wtf just happened?
Yuuji's high pitch wailing is scaring dogs worldwide right now.
Dude are you serious? I have to save you again?
James probably successfully crapped a brick righ now.. I mean.. what are the odds of Yuuji choking 2 stages in a row?
LOL he's asking to be helped out of the water but this screencap is too precious to delete.
He's still complaining
is his voice getting higher?
He is screaming Dame! だめ
James is utterly stunned right now.. not only did Yuuji fail.. he failed on the exact.. same.. spot.. Travis can't help but cheese at the irony right now.
You have to be kidding me.. wow..
Not even close..
Yeah.. James has this one.
James got the luckiest break of all time. LOL
And yep that's a classic choke. Sorry.. calling it like it is.
And USA just tied
.. you gotta be friggin' KIDDING me..