The Wall Lifting (ウォールリフティング), shortened as the Wall Lift in English broadcasts, has been the final obstacle in the Second Stage for every tournament except in SASUKE 18 (during which the Shoulder Walk took its place), SASUKE 28 and SASUKE 29 (during which the Passing Wall took its place).
Its function is simple: competitors must lift three walls of increasing weight, which is 2.4m apart between one wall to the other, and make it to the finish line before the time runs out. The three walls weigh 30kg (66 lbs), 40kg (88 lbs), and 50kg (110 lbs) respectively.
For the first seven tournaments, competitors just needed to walk through the gates in order to clear the Second Stage. Starting in SASUKE 8, a button was added, requiring competitors to press it in order to stop the clock, open the gates, and move on. If competitors went through the gates without pressing the button, they would be disqualified (as Paul Hamm did in SASUKE 14).
The obstacle was named the WALL LIFTING in SASUKE 1 and WALL LIFTING RUN in SASUKE 2, being the only obstacle that officially used English alphabet. In SASUKE 3, it was changed to the katakana, which still stands today.
After Levi Meeuwenberg injured his foot in SASUKE 20, the walls were raised approximately 2-3 inches off the ground, whereas in prior tournaments, the walls were raised in variable heights off the ground. This made the obstacle slightly easier, as competitors could reach under the walls instead of lifting them from the sides. The walls would eventually be lowered to their pre-SASUKE 20 height variables in SASUKE 32.
The original version returned in SASUKE 30, though it was modified by having the first wall be identical to the one used for the Passing Wall. Due to being the next obstacle after the Backstream, the wet hands caused by it made lifting the walls more difficult.
In some instances, due to high humidity, the walls would not go down when the competitors lifted them. Just like what happened during Drew Drechsel's run in SASUKE 31. As he lifted the third wall, the wall would not go down and got stuck in that position. With the help of some crew members, he tried to move the third wall down and fortunately, it did.
Up until SASUKE 32, the walls would drop down suddenly after being lifted. From that tournament onward, a new mechanism was added so that the walls would slide down slowly so as to reduce the chances of injury.
The Wall Lifting appeared in KUNOICHI 10, as the fifth and final obstacle of the BLUE Stage (Second Stage). The weight of the walls have toned down to 10kg (22 lbs), 15kg (33 lbs), and 20kg (44 lbs), in order to make the obstacle easier for women.
Coincidentally, its first appearance has the same completion rate as its first appearance in SASUKE, as 3 out of 4 competitors completed the obstacle in KUNOICHI 10, and had a 75% completion rate. While in SASUKE 1, 6 out of 8 competitors completed the obstacle, which also has 75% completion rate (with the only difference being the number of competitors attempts and clears).
American Ninja Warrior Appearances
On American Ninja Warrior 4, the Wall Lifting (simply called as the Wall Lift) appeared as the sixth obstacle in Northeast and Southeast regions (because of that, the number of obstacles during Northeast and Southeast region qualifiers and finals was 7 and 10 respectively, rather than 6 and 9 in other 4 regions), with the walls weighed less than SASUKE's Second Stage version (45 lbs, 55 lbs, and 65 lbs, i.e. roughly 20kg, 25kg, and 30kg). Since the region qualifiers and finals didn't have a time limit to complete the course, the obstacle served as both time and energy wasters for the competitors.
Furthermore, the Wall Lift appeared as the sixth and final obstacle in Stage Two from American Ninja Warrior 4 to American Ninja Warrior 7, with the walls weighed the same as their SASUKE version, albeit with an alternate counterweight-based system and the walls were being raised, to prevent happenings such as what happened to Levi Meeuwenberg in SASUKE 20 to ever happen again.
Ninja Warrior UK
The Wall Lift appeared as the fifth obstacle in the finals' Stage 2 from Ninja Warrior UK until Ninja Warrior UK 5. On Ninja Warrior UK, only Timothy Shieff was able to reach the obstacle, but his time ran out while lifting the third wall. On Ninja Warrior UK 2, the obstacle was unattempted. On Ninja Warrior UK 3, the obstacle was finally completed by Cain Clarke and Jonny Urszuly, with both of them becoming the first two competitors to advance to Stage 3.
Australian Ninja Warrior
A same version of the Wall Lift from American Ninja Warrior 7 appeared:
- as the fifth obstacle in Stage Two on Australian Ninja Warrior,
- as the eighth and final obstacle in Stage Two on Australian Ninja Warrior 2, and
- as the seventh and final obstacle in Stage Two on Australian Ninja Warrior 3 (with the first, second, and third walls being toned down to 20, 30, and 40 kg respectively).
During the first two seasons, the obstacle was unattempted. On Australian Ninja Warrior 3, five competitors were able to reach and complete the obstacle within the time limit and advance to Stage Three.
- For the first 12 SASUKE tournaments, the walls ware painted with black and yellow stripes, with the numbers "1", "2", and "3".
- From SASUKE 13 to SASUKE 17, the walls were repainted with black and silver stripes, with the Roman numerals "I", "II", and "III".
- From SASUKE 19 to SASUKE 27, the numbers and stripes were removed and replaced with plain wooden walls.
- From SASUKE 30 to SASUKE 34, the walls were changed back to metal and painted silver with the currently used Japanese daiji numerals "壱", "弐", "参", though that was firstly used on the Passing Wall.
- In SASUKE 35, the walls were still silver, but had a yellow outline and the daiji numerals were replaced with the numbering system used during the first 12 SASUKE tournaments, albeit the numbers were relocated to the lower right corner of the walls as opposed to the center in the previous designs. Black outline was added on the design of the walls in SASUKE 36.
- For the Wall Lifting from KUNOICHI 10 onward, the obstacle featured transparent walls with blue and yellow borders, and had increasing amounts of foam ball within them as the weight, along with the numerical scheme used in the Wall Lifting's pre-SASUKE 13 color scheme.
American Ninja Warrior
- During American Ninja Warrior 4's Northeast and Southeast region qualifiers and finals, the walls were painted plain red.
- On American Ninja Warrior 4 and American Ninja Warrior 5, the walls were colored with red and white stripes.
- On American Ninja Warrior 6 and American Ninja Warrior 7, the walls were changed with transparent walls, made entirely from Plexiglas.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the TBS/NBC broadcast and external information found
American Ninja Warrior
|USA vs. Japan||2||2||100%|
|USA vs. The World||4||4||100%|
|USA vs. The World 2||3||3||100%|