Wes Bergmann is one of The Challenge’s most iconic competitors. He announced in this past episode that this will very likely be his last season. Whether he sticks to this ‘Retirement’, or not we will have to wait and see. No matter what the future holds, now feels like a very appropriate time to revive my ‘top moments’ series and remind everyone of Wes’s career highlights.
The Top Ten Jordan Wisely Challenge Moments
Jordan is widely considered one of the greatest competitors we have ever seen in Challenge history. He is a three-time champion with a 10–4…
Wes and CT dusting the field in the Rampage daily on Rivals 2
Carrying Kenny at the beginning of Rivals particularly winning the Going Up elimination
10. Taking out Yes in the All Stars 3 Knock Off elimination
Wes and Yes’s rivalry on All Stars 3 came as a bit of a shock since they had never been on a season together. However Yes’s straightforward gameplay preaching fairness directly opposed Wes’s typical gameplay which was usually focused on strategy & manipulation. Wes also saw Yes as the person that would be his biggest competition in a final. For those reasons, Wes made the choice to take matters into his own hands. He called Yes out into the elimination round and personally sent him home. The Knock Off game they played was honestly not the greatest designed elimination. But the pair's tenacity in the challenge elevated what could have otherwise been a completely forgettable elimination. This win gave Wes a clear advance in terms of their rivalry and was also an important step that set him up for his eventual season victory. For these reasons, this moment squeaks in as Wes’s tenth most memorable moment.
9. Defeating Bananas in the Blindsided Elimination on Champs vs. Pros
It was a major disappointment that when we finally got an elimination between the bitter rivals Wes & Bananas it was a blind stick-fighting competition. It was also a huge bummer this moment ended up on a spin-off and not even during a regular Challenge season. However, that does not change the fact that Wes came out on top the first time that they went head-to-head and had a major win. Bananas and Wes each had their closest allies Darrell & CT helping them, which also added to this moment's significance. Wes always touts himself as the smartest guy on the show and he was vindicated this time by going low and outsmarting Bananas in this elimination. A big win over his most hated rival had to make Wes’s top moments.
8. Wes & Evelyn vs the rest of The Champions team on The Ruins
Wes is no stranger to getting into massive fights throughout his entire career on The Challenge. From screaming matches with his then-girlfriend Johanna and partner Casey on his first season, ‘ Fresh Meat’, to clashing with people most recently on The Challenge World Championship and The Challenge USA 2, getting into fights is an integral part of the Wes Bergmann experience. For me, Wes’s most iconic fight was when he and his strongest ally Evelyn blew up at the rest of their Champions teammates on The Ruins, after his team sent in Evelyn against her best friend and Wes’s girlfriend KellyAnne. He was screaming at practically everybody in the house and going around throwing things and punching and kicking things like a toddler. It was certainly not one of Wes’s best moments but definitely one of his most memorable.
7. Third place finish on War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds brought an absolutely stacked cast to the show. This cast was filled with several other legendary vets and one of the all-time strongest crops of rookies. Wes was coming off strong showings in Battle of the Exes II and Rivals III but he had come up short making the final in both. He played a strong game to get to the final and put up a hell of a fight. Many consider this season the most difficult final of all time.
In that final, Wes was, at times, leading and came in a very respectable third place, (first out of the Veterans), with a solid $50,000 pay day.
6. His Battle of the Exes 2 political dominance
One of the biggest elements of Wes’s game throughout his Challenge career has been his strategic play. Sometimes he is able to be a mastermind, whereas other times he overplays and it leads to his own downfall. Wes gave a master class in political gameplay throughout the first eight weeks of Battle of the Exes. He eliminated all of his major enemies and even more impressively flipped Leroy & Nia to his side. This set up the final four teams to be him and Theresa, their new allies Leroy & Nia, ‘frenemies’ Jordan & Sarah, and the “layup” rookie team of Jay & Jenna. However, everything Wes built came crashing down with the “Battle of the Ex-iled” twist, which brought his biggest enemy Bananas & Nany back into the game. Regardless of the fact that a twist ruined his game, there is no denying Wes played a great game in Battle of the Exes II and it is arguably one of the best non-winning games.
5. His 5 Elimination Wins on Fresh Meat
This feat of five elimination wins in a season was one for the record books. Wes (paired with Casey) won five eliminations on Fresh Meat sending home Danny & Evelyn, Melinda & Ryan, Johanna & Jesse, Tonya & Johnnie, and Shane & Linette. They powered through the “exile” over andover again, sending home several strong teams. Wes made it all the way to the final in his rookie with a very underwhelming physical partner, (even though Casey is great for entertainment). His record for most elimination wins in a season still stands to this day with only Casey, Sarah Greyson & Horacio matching that mark. For my money, an achievement like this that still is in the record books nearly two decades later is the kind of achievement that has to make a list of Wes’s top moments.
4. Pole Wrestle win over Derrick on The Duel
Before the iconic pole wrestle elimination between Joss & Derrick on Vendettas reset the bar, this iconic battle by Wes & Derrick on The Duel was the absolute gold standard in terms of brutal eliminations. Wes and Derrick had some lingering beef from Fresh Meat and both had proven themselves to be great in eliminations. Wes had his aforementioned five elimination wins on Fresh Meat and Derrick had a strong 4–2 elimination record and a deserved reputation for winning physical eliminations repeatedly overcoming massive weight disadvantages. This match redefined what a physical elimination could be, as both men went nonstop for over half an hour with Wes finally coming out on top. This win for me was where Wes established himself as a force to be reckoned with on The Challenge for a long time to come.
3. The Duel Win
Wes played a very strong game to make his way to The Duel final, which included his manipulation of Evan, his winning the last two male daily challenges and his elimination win over Derrick, (mentioned above). He got to the end against against just one opponent, Brad, which was a lot preferable to going up against CT or Evan who he helped orchestrate sending home in 3rd and 4th place. Still, there are certainly some detractors that prevented this win from being his most impressive accomplishment including the fact that the final was not at the same level of difficulty as today, the closeness of his finish compared to Brad, and the fact Wes received a head start after winning a random soccer penalty shootout. However, none of that changes the fact that he won the final against another strong competitor and became a challenge champion and an individual champion which is more impressive than a pairs win and significantly more impressive than a team win since it is all on the individual.
2. Rivals II Win
Coming into Rivals II it had been five seasons and seven years since Wes’s win on the Duel and in that time the level of competition on the show has only gotten more intense. He was of course paired with another elite-level competitor, CT, and they played an incredible social game and won the most daily challenges of any male team. CT & Wes held the lead over two former champions Bananas & Frank, (who were arguably at their peak), from the time the final started all the way through to the end. In this final, Wes was the beta of his team, however, that was because his partner CT is arguably the GOAT of The Challenge. Since this was a paired game, it was an easier win than most individual season since you always have someone else to pick up your slack. However, the difficulty of the final challenge was up there with some of the most grueling, and their competition in it was nothing to scoff at since they went up against Marlon & Jordan and Frank & Bananas. Wes got a second championship after seven years in a dominant fashion and got to do it while beating his biggest rival, Johnny Bananas.
1. All Stars 3 Win
Wes’s game on All Stars 3 was a great showcase of the abilities that make him a Challenge Legend, particularly after he went home earlier in his previous two seasons. He played a really strong political game by influencing the players in power and helped get Darrell, Jordan & Yes sent home before the final as they were his biggest threats. His social game this season was very strong. Wes maintained strong alliances with friends, Nehemiah & Brad, and built bonds with other players like Mark & Jonna. Physically, he won two daily challenges and an elimination and spent the whole season focused on running and ensuring he was the most prepared competitor for the final. In the final, Wes’s preparation paid off as he won 2 of the 4 legs and 2 of his 3 “face-offs” on the first day and then completely dominated Day 2. Wes got back to the top nine years after his last win and completely cemented that he is still a massive threat to win the game anytime he is on the show.