NBC’s The Titan Games Finale Recap: Central Reigns Supreme

The two Titans of the Central Region bested the field to rise to the top of Mount Olympus.

Last week, Will Sutton and Courtney Roselle emerged as the Titans of the East Region setting the stage for The Titan Championships. On the finale episode, all six Titans from the East, West, and Central Regions battled it out for the title of Titan Champion and the $100,000 prize.

In the women’s division:

In the men’s division:

The show opened with host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson setting the stage:

“Twelve weeks ago, six world class athletes — gold medalists, world champions, NFL legends — entered this arena to battle our competitors and defend their place atop Mount Olympus. In the end, it was six everyday people who shined the brightest. One man and one woman will be crowned Titan Champion”

Hammer Down – Women’s Division

The goal of the event is to knock down three poles. First, each competitor must acquire a sledge hammer laying beneath three heavy boxes. Once obtained, competitors hammer a pin holding up each pole until they fall. Once a competitor knocks down their third or “Golden” pole, they must climb it and pull their Victory Chain. First two to do so advance.

All three Titans raced to retrieve their sledge hammers and the battle was on. Speegle claimed frontrunner status by falling the first pole of the evening. Alvarez held onto second position with Roselle rounding out the trio as they bashed their second of three pins. Speegle, however, was already working on her Golden pole after making quick work of her second.

Speegle led from the start of this challenge all the way to the finish despite Alvarez turning it into a nail-biter in the final moments. Speegle climbed her Golden pole “sloth-style” while Alvarez inched along the top. Both competitors pulled their Victory Chains before Roselle managed to topple her second pole, but Speegle pulled hers first.

Unlike in past Hammer Downs, where the third place finisher is eliminated, this time around the first to finish advanced to Mount Olympus. The remaining two competitors battled it out in a second event for the chance to compete there as well.

  • Speegle — Advanced

Hammer Down — Men’s Division

Speculation coming into the event for the men was how the the Titan of the West Noah Palicia would stack up in the rotational power focused event. Palicia had a much taller and leaner frame than either Sutton or Chan, which posed a potential disadvantage hammering the pins.

In the blink of an eye at the start of the round, Chan was already ahead with one pole down. Palicia and Sutton kept parity between themselves as they spun for their second poles in almost synchronized fashion. 

Chan looked as though he was at batting practice, making easy work of his second pole. Even The Rock couldn’t help but take notice:

Matt is a beast right now!

Palicia made it to his Golden pole and turned out a closer race than expected. The Titan of the West seemed more comfortable ascending the pole than Chan, but the lead was too much to overcome. Matt Chan earned his spot to compete on Mount Olympus.

  • Matt Chan — Advanced

Herculean Pull — Women’s Division

Sticking out of a giant triangular pillar are five long poles — four silver and one gold. Each competitor has to pull out two silver poles before attempting to pull out the gold pole. First athlete to pull out the gold pole wins.

Alvarez and Roselle wasted no time getting to work on their respective silver poles. Alvarez had a small slip but regained her footing to remove the first pole and gain a lead on the Titan of the East Region. The Titan of the West Region managed to score some huge pulls on the gold pole.

Just before a shutout could take place, Roselle vaulted up the pillar and put a stop to Alvarez’s momentum. There was a lot of work for Roselle to make up, but her power was on display when she leg pressed her way back to near parity.

Ultimately, that rush of adrenalin to regain the lost ground fatigued Roselle. Alvarez pulled the pole inch by inch until one last effort rolled Roselle off the pillar and gave way for the Titan of the West to move on to Mount Olympus.

  • Alvarez — Advanced
  • Roselle — Eliminated

Herculean Pull — Men’s Division

Palicia was the Titan with experience coming into this event. In his Titan Games debut, he famously battled his own brother in this very event in what was one of the most epic challenges of the season. This time around, both men had polar opposite builds, each with their own unique strengths for this particular event. Palicia with the longer build was likely more able to gain leverage vs. Sutton with the stockier build more likely able to generate force in the awkward positioning Herculean Pull required.

In an absolute sprint from both competitors, it came down to one small hiccup from Palicia on his second pole that gave just enough time for Sutton to shut the door. In the fastest finish in the history of any event on The Titan Games with a time of 19 seconds, Sutton earned a chance to compete for the $100,000 prize.

Chan was watching on the sidelines in absolute shock by the pace set by his Titan counterparts. He would have to settle back in as the stage on Mount Olympus was set.

  • Sutton — Advanced
  • Palicia — Eliminated

Mount Olympus

The course on Mt. Olympus consists of ten obstacles:

  • Starting Gates — weaving over and under thick triangular hurdles.
  • Box Flip — flipping a humungous box three times.
  • Iron Ascent — using only their hands, athletes pull themselves up using a lever system.
  • Log Lift — hauling a large log up a long flight of stairs. Note: entirely different from a strongman log lift.
  • Sky Bridge — lifting two 120lb weights on a gear that is then spun to lower a bridge.
  • Crank Down — turning a heavy crank to lower a pillar that is then climbed.
  • Cage Crawl — a series of narrow crawl spaces built atop each other that must be crawled through.
  • Drop Zone — a mounting series of large panels that hinge when the athlete places their weight at the edge.
  • Ball & Chain — an spherical stone is dragged via chain across the arena.
  • Titan Tomb — competitors smash a stone block to retrieve the Titan Relic (a metal relic shaped into The Titan Games logo).

Dani Speegle vs. Margaux Alvarez

In came down to two CrossFit Games competitors in the final run on Mount Olympus in the women’s division. Both Speegle and Alvarez were undefeated on Mount Olympus and aimed to maintain their flawless records.

Speegle took a slight edge out of the Starting Gates as they got to work on the Box Flip. Speegle extended her lead on the Iron Ascent and the Log Lift. It was unclear how taxed Alvarez was from her grueling battle against Roselle in the Herculean Pull, but her pace was noticeably more measured than Speegle’s. 

At the Cage Crawl, it was revealed that additional layers of difficulty were added, including a barrier upon entry and exit. Both athletes struggled to break the first barrier with Speegle attempting to kick it down and Alvarez taking a gigantic hit to her shoulder as she dove into the barrier  with the expectation that that would be sufficient to break through.

Ultimately, Speegle broke through first. She escaped the Cage Crawl with Alvarez still fighting for her way in. At the Ball & Chain, an additional steel box was placed over it that had to be hauled off by pulling two giant chains. The Titan of the Central Region flew through the additional element and was just two obstacles away from the title.

It an absolute nightmare for Alvarez, it became a non-event as Speegle had all the time in the world to go the distance. The additional obstacle added to the Cage Crawl was all it took after Alvarez’s full body dive was not enough to get it done.

Dani Speegle is the Titan Champion of Season 2.

Matt Chan vs. Will Sutton

Coming into the Titan Games at 42 years of age, Chan was the oldest competitor on the roster. He proved the skeptics wrong by battling back in the Central Region final after losing his first appearance on Mount Olympus by less than a second.

Sutton was arguably the most underrated competitor at the start of the Titan Games. The school teacher from Tennessee with a country accent and stockier physique was not a high pick on the early favorites list to win it all. He shocked the Titan Games world again and again with a flawless record on Mount Olympus since his debut.

As Speegle did to Alvarez, Sutton did to Chan in the early goings on Mount Olympus. Through the Starting Gates and Box Flip, “Country Strong” Sutton took a lead. Chan gave up some time after a stumble on transition from the final Box Flip to the Iron Ascent, which allowed for Sutton to take a near full obstacle lead.

Chan recognized that a slight lead is all it takes to lose on the Titan Games grandest stage and made a big move on the Log Lift to catch back up to the Titan of the East Region. At the Sky Bridge, it appeared as though Sutton awkwardly dropped one of the weights near his foot and had to readjust before pulling off the second weight. That gave a slight edge to Chan, who now lead for the first time on the course.

At the Cage Crawl, the barrier that was Alvarez’s undoing earlier was dealt with quickly by Chan who fell to his back in order to strike it with his heel. Sutton followed suit after realizing a straight forward kick without a steel-toed shoe was fruitless. Sutton eventually broke through the barrier, but would have to make up a third of the Cage Crawl’s time that Chan has mounted on him.

The former 2012 CrossFit Games runner-up looked to sweep the Titan Championships for the Central Region as he broke through the exit barrier of the Cage Crawl and powered through the Drop Down. Cranking the steel boxes off the Ball & Chain, Chan had the lead and it was his event to lose. He smashed through Titan Tomb and locked in the Relic to hand Sutton his first defeat on Mount Olympus and claim the title of champion.

The Titan Champions of Season 2 are Matt Chan and Dani Speegle, both representing the Central Region. They each take home the Titan trophy and the prize of $100,000.

Feature image from The Titan Games Instagram page: @nbctitangames