Drechsel made it to SASUKE 27 via tryouts in American Ninja Warrior 3. While in Japan, he made good time through the first half of Stage 1. Then on the Half-Pipe Attack, he landed on the log and tore his right ACL and MCL. He attempted to get up the Soritatsu Kabe, but he couldn't put pressure on his leg without causing himself serious pain and was forced to withdraw from the competition for his own health. He was the only American to fail the first stage as the others cleared it.
He returned as the lone American representative in SASUKE 30, and finished the First Stage with the 3rd fastest time (28.90 seconds remaining). In Second Stage, he beat the Unstable Bridge this time, but almost slipped at the end of the Spider Drop. He finished the course with the 2nd fastest time (9.45 seconds remaining), missing the fastest time by .55 of a second. In Third Stage, Drew beat the first 3 obstacles, but then fell on the Crazy Cliffhanger, where 7 out of the 10 competitors failed.
In SASUKE 31, he finished the First Stage with the second fastest time, but almost went out on the new Rolling Hill. In the Second Stage, he finished the course. Controversy arose in the Third Stage when Dreschel used a new technique on the Crazy Cliffhanger in which he positioned his body to directly face the 4th ledge while still hanging on the 3rd ledge. He successfully made the transition to the 4th ledge and subsequently completed the obstacle, but was later informed by the production crew that his technique was unacceptable. He was disqualified, but was given another chance to complete the Crazy Cliffhanger. One his second attempt, which was shown in the broadcast, he used the traditional technique of doing a quick mid-air turnaround in the transition from the 3rd to the 4th ledges. He was unable to get a firm grip on the 4th ledge and failed. The Crazy Cliffhanger knocked out 6 of the 8 competitors.
He competed in SASUKE 32, wearing 93. His First Stage performance was quick as previously, however on the Soritatsu Kabe he noticed that it was wet and frosty, and took a lot of time to dry off his shoes and failed one attempt. He stilll managed to clear but with only 2.63 seconds remaining. After this, the remaining 7 competitors were told that they were to compete the next day as the slippery frosty conditions made it unfair for them. Dreschel's Second Stage run was digested but he was shown to clear. In the Third Stage, he competed the first three obstacles with ease, and then completed the new Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger on his first attempt, being the first and only competitor so far to do so. However, the new Third Stage was redesigned so the Vertical Limit Kai is directly followed the cliffhanger with no rest. Drew managed to grip on to the Vertical Limit, however immediately lost his grip and fell. He went the furthest of all competitors in that tournament.
In SASUKE 33, Drechsel competed with his highest number to date - 96. He stormed through the First Stage with a tournament high of 31.31 seconds left. His Second Stage attempt was also comfortable in regards to time, as he passed with 7.83 seconds remaining - a time only bettered by Morimoto Yūsuke. With this, Drechsel had returned to the Third Stage for a fourth time in succession, and although he was the only man to reach the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger as well as successfully complete the first transition, he was unable to repeat his SASUKE 32 feat of hanging onto the moving ledge, as the moving ledge start to move up when he made the second transition and fell into the water. With the other remaining competitors only being able to make it as far as the Flying Bar, Drechsel finished SASUKE 33 as the competitor who went the furthest once again, thus becoming the fourth competitor to go the furthest two times in a row, after Nagano Makoto, Urushihara Yuuji, and Lee En-Chih.
American Ninja Warrior
Drechsel had to wait a month for his leg to heal before surgery, then he sought out a physical therapist named Joyce Shahboz and thanks to several months of intense physical therapy his knee was healed up and Drew was even better than ever.
In American Ninja Warrior 4, Drew returned stronger and finished the Southeast Qualifier in 2nd place behind David Rodriguez. In the regional finals Drew managed to finish the course and managed to earn a spot in the top 15. In the Vegas Finals, Drew did some showboating on the First Stage and avenged his defeat on the Half-Pipe Attack to beat the First Stage, but on the Second Stage he misjudged his dismount on Unstable Bridge and spun backwards into the water. At the time, Drew worked at Magic Imports of Gainesville, and ran a gym in Gainesville.
He came back in American Ninja Warrior 5 and completed the course with the fastest time, defeating David Rodriguez in front of his family and friends. He did it again in the Miami Finals. In the Las Vegas finals, Drew blew through the First Stage, but in the Second Stage, history repeated itself as he failed the Unstable Bridge, when he failed the transition to the second bridge after his right hand didn't position properly.
In American Ninja Warrior 6, he was able to beat the Miami Qualifying course with the fastest time of any of the city qualifiers (44 seconds). In the Miami Finals, he promised to shatter the all-time speed record in a city finals by defeating the whole course in less than two minutes. Shockingly, though, he failed the Downhill Pipe Drop when he couldn't get a firm grasp on the rope.
He competed in American Ninja Warrior 7 having decided to put his rivalry with Rodriguez aside and performed well by finishing the Orlando Qualifying course with the seventh fastest time. In the Orlando finals, he did the same slow-paced approach to the course and managed to complete the first half of the course easily. On the back half of the course, he used an unorthodox strategy to the Salmon Ladder by doing it the opposite way and completed it. He was able to clear Cannonball Alley with finesse, but nearly failed the Double Helix by making a miraculous leap to the platform. His foot nearly touched the water but he still completed the obstacle. But due to his low grip strength after completing the obstacles, his grip gave out on the Invisible Ladder. However, he still qualified for the Vegas Finals, finishing in 4th place. In Vegas, he completed Stage 1 and got his revenge on the Unstable Bridge, completing Stage 2. In Stage 3, he completed the first three obstacles and conquered the modified Ultimate Cliffhanger. He passed the Pole Grasper, but struggled on the Hang Climb and subsequently fell while trying to transition to the resting bar before Area 51. He will be a competitor for Team USA in the third American Ninja Warrior International Tournament.
He returned in American Ninja Warrior 8, competing this time in the Atlanta region. He obliterated the Qualifying course and finished with the fastest time of the night. He also finished the city finals course with the 2nd fastest time, being only 4 seconds slower than his roommate, James McGrath He then completed Stage 1 with only a few seconds left. On Stage 2 he was one of two people who completed it along with Daniel Gil. He made it all the way to the Hang Climb but just like the year before, he failed on it when he made a mental mistake and grabbed the wrong hold. He made it farther than the other Stage 2 finisher, Daniel Gil.
|27||54||Withdrew, Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage)||All Cut. Withdrew due to injuring his knee on the Half-Pipe Attack. Shown on G4.|
|30||2991||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger (Third Stage)||Failed Jump to 4th Ledge.|
|31||94||Failed Crazy Cliffhanger (Third Stage)||Beat the Crazy Cliffhanger, but had to redo it, as he was facing the 4th ledge, which is not allowed. For more information, see Drew Drechsel's Crazy Cliffhanger Disqualification.|
|32||93||Failed Vertical Limit Kai (Third Stage)||For this tournament, the obstacle directly followed the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger, which Drechsel completed, but fell almost immediately after transitioning to the Vertical Limit. First to clear Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger.|
|33||96||Failed Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger (Third Stage)||Failed on the second transition.|
|ANW4||94||Failed Unstable Bridge (Second Stage)||Failed Dismount.|
|ANW5||83||Failed Unstable Bridge (Second Stage)||Transition To Second Plank.|
|ANW7||Failed Hang Climbing (Third Stage)||Transition to resting bar.|
|ANW8||Failed Hang Climb (Third Stage)|