The moment everyone has been waiting for finally arrived Thursday: the Battle of the Titans.
After making it through the preliminary competitions, a total of 16 competitors (eight men and eight women) took center stage Thursday night. Now, the previous winners would go head-to-head for a spot in the Titan Championship next week.
Four men and four women would remain after this latest episode.
First up, Purple Heart recipient Christopher Watts faced off with truck driver James Jean-Louis in the Atlas Smash. The task? Chip away at a pair of 350-pound stones enough to be able to raise each one 25 feet in the air on a length of rope.
It was a test of both strength and endurance, one that Jean-Louis conquered. He cruised through the first stone and was nearly finished with the second by the time Watts raised his first stone.
While Jean-Louis slowed down a bit as the event went on, there was no denying him a spot in the finals:
With one spot in the men's championship round clinched, mechanical engineer Nika Sedghi and horse-riding clinic assistant Christiana Rugloski were matched up against each other for Cyclone.
The competitors had to use a 60-pound wrecking ball to knock over five pillars, and this battle went down to the wire:
At 21 years old, winner Rugloski was the youngest competitor in Thursday's field.
Former Penn State football player Tyler Lucas defeated Brad Schaeffer in the men's Cyclone.
Mixed martial artist Emily Andzulis and swim coach Jackie Wood then found themselves battling in Lunar Impact, an event that had the two race up ladders and try to overpower the other one off the platform.
It proved to be no competition as Wood dominated:
CrossFit athlete Jess Griffith and police officer Ashley Hawkins also got a shot at Atlas Smash.
While Jean-Louis ran away with his heat in the event earlier in the night, this was quite the grind. Both Griffith and Hawkins appeared to be exhausted before they even raised the first stone, but neither gave up.
Host Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson eventually stepped in to try to provide a boost to help the competitors power through to the finish. Ultimately, Griffith had just enough left in the tank to advance:
The Herculean Pull saw a pair of football players in former Washington State linebacker Bridger Buckley and former NFL wide receiver DJ Townsel compete—and the former proved once again that defense wins championships:
Then it was time to fill out the women's field, as Charity Witt took on Kara Lazauskas in the Herculean Pull:
Witt showed nothing but respect for her opponent after her victory:
With that, the women's bracket was completed, as Wood, Rugloski, Griffith and Witt all advanced to the championship round.
All of that set the stage for one final showdown, pitting attorney Cole Wadsworth and farmer Derik Scott got their shot at the Lunar Impact.
It appeared as though Wadsworth was going to have himself a dominant win, but in an incredible turn of events, Scott—who was inches from defeat at one point—battled all the way back to pull out a stunning victory (NSFW: Tweet contains profanity):
Scott let it be known on social media that this was no easy victory:
The men's championship round will feature Jean-Louis, Lucas, Buckley and Scott.
The championship round is set for Thursday, Feb. 28.