Bloody head injury didn't stop this 'American Ninja Warrior' competitor from finishing course

·2 min read

During Monday's American Ninja Warrior semifinals, veteran competitor Sean Bryan was eyeing a spot in the Las Vegas finals when he banged his head during the Drop Zone obstacle. And at that point, he was just eyeing blood.

Bryan, who is also known as the Papal Ninja because of his work with the Catholic church where he lives in Richmond, Calif., was moving through the course with relative ease when he arrived at the Drop Zone. The obstacle contains a series of bars that rotate and eventually drop down a few feet after the ninjas jump up and grab them. It caused plenty of problems for competitors throughout the night, including multiple head hits.

But nobody got it as bad as Bryan, who had blood running down his face within seconds of hitting his head. And he was definitely affected by the injury initially, nearly slipping while running up the Warped Wall.

“With that type of cut right now, he doesn't have a cut man in his corner,” co-host Akbar Gbajabiamila said. “But I can tell you, the blood starts to drip in the eye, it can mess with your confidence on an obstacle.”

With his worried parents watching via video feed, along with a group of kids and a priest he works with in Richmond, Bryan composed himself. He wiped some blood off with a big towel and knelt down for a small prayer, before finding it within himself to finish strong and complete the course.

Many viewers took to Twitter with their amazement at Bryan’s gutsy performance, with one person even suggesting a new nickname: Rocky.

And while a new nickname could eventually be on the horizon, Gbajabiamila and his co-host Matt Iseman were still enjoying the religious references after Bryan completed the course.

“He is risen. The Papal Ninja's gonna do it,” Iseman said. “What an incredible run! He never gave up. He never quit.”

American Ninja Warrior airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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