The seventh season of American Ninja Warrior began with the Venice Beach, California, qualifying round.
This course had six obstacles:
- Quintuple Steps, the perennial staple;
- Mini Silk Slider, a new obstacle;
- Tilting Table, a return from last year;
- Spin Cycle, a new obstacle;
- Hourglass Drop, a new obstacle; and
- Warped Wall, another perennial favorite.
Though competitors got caught up on nearly every obstacle, the Hourglass Drop was the real “ninja killer,” taking out a sizable number of them. This new obstacle is a version of the classic Unstable Bridge obstacle, with a trampoline in between the two suspended planks.
As usual, some of the most successful veterans of the past were unable to complete the course, while new rookies stepped up to the plate. Two of the most surprising veteran failures were “the Godfather” David Campbell and “the Adonis” Rob Moravsky.
Just seven competitors actually completed the course, including last year’s stand-out Kevin Bull, as well as Alan Connealy, Nicholas Coolridge, Alvaro Campos, Travis Brewer, Grant McCartney, and Almas Meirmanov. Thirty total competitors qualified, including David Campbell and stuntwoman Jessie Graff, who competed two years ago. The twenty-three qualifying competitors who did not complete the course all failed on the Hourglass Drop—like I said, a real “ninja killer.”