Following an emotional episode of The Challenge: USA 2 that featured three-time Challenge winner Wes Bergmann in the spotlight, he seemingly confirmed his retirement.
During the USA 2 episode, the 38-year-old, who debuted on MTV’s The Real World: Austin, spoke about becoming a dad soon, as he had to leave his pregnant wife back home to participate in the show.
During one scene, Wes became teary-eyed when he opened up to castmates Johnny Bananas and Amazing Race’s Dusty Harris about his feelings on parenthood.
He was the episode’s most-voted men’s player by the winning Blue Team regarding a potential elimination competitor. Dusty received the most anonymous votes of the men.
That led to a matchup between the rookie, an admitted fan of The Challenge and its legendary players, versus the “mastermind” MTV vet, whose most recent win was on the All Stars 3 spinoff.
During USA 2 confessional interview scenes, Wes spoke about this seeming to be his final time competing on the show. Following an emotional pep talk from Bananas to Wes after his perceived elimination loss at The Arena, host TJ Lavin revealed Wes as the surprise winner, sending Dusty home.
While that kept Wes on viewers’ screens longer than they initially thought, it appears his retirement is something he’s serious about after USA 2 finishes.
The Challenge star Wes shares reasons for retirement
Taking to his Twitter after the airing of USA 2’s sixth episode, Wes indicated that he had a lot to talk about on his subscriber-based Patreon. However, he reiterated that he was retiring and listed some reasons behind that decision.
“The long and short of it is this, I’m done. It’s mounting entrepreneurial responsibilities paid with becoming a father (in the next month) – there’s no time,” he tweeted.
“Coupled with doing nothing to anyone and still people trashing my name behind my back in interviews – I’m above this,” his tweet also said.
He didn’t mention specific names in his tweets, possibly leaving that tea for his Patreon exclusive video. However, the USA 2 episode included his newest rookie rival, Cassidy Clark, and her Survivor ally, Desi Williams, among those mentioning Wes in confessionals.
In another tweet, Wes clarified his official reason for retirement: “I’m retiring because of my business not my baby.”
“Parents can go on the challenge. It’s not a death sentence,” his tweet said.
Fans react to Wes’ retirement announcement
As one might expect, plenty of Wes fans commented about his announcement confirming his retirement from The Challenge. Many praised him for being an entertaining cast member on the show over many years.
“You are one of the best parts of The Challenge. Your game play, your wit and your humor will be greatly missed. It’s not going to be the same without you, but you have your priorities straight,” one of Wes’ fans said.
Another commenter on Wes’ tweet told him he would “be missed” and “You have a been a joy to watch.”
“You are brilliantly strategic, and yes dirty at times player, but most recognize that is all in the context of the game you love and that your true heart is genuine,” they commented.
Another commenter told Wes, “your intelligence and sense of humor will never be matched.”
“Congratulations on your growing family, you are going to be a fabulous father,” they said in reply to Wes’ tweet.
Wes’ announcement arrives over 18 years after his MTV debut on Real World: Austin. Fans first saw him there with fellow Challengers, including Nehemiah Clark and Melinda Stolp. All three were castmates during Wes’ appearance on All Stars 3 last year.
Wes has a 17-year history on MTV’s The Challenge, including three wins
Should Wes’ retirement announcement stay official, he’ll be sorely missed by many fans of the show. He appeared in 14 regular seasons of The Challenge, reaching the final five times. He first won in his second season, The Duel, in 2006, and later on 2013’s Rivals II, where he teamed with rival-turned-teammate Chris “CT” Tamburello.
As for spinoffs, he appeared in MTV’s Champs vs. Pros, both seasons of Champs vs. Stars, and All Stars 3. He won the OG-themed spinoff as the men’s winner, alongside the women’s winner, Jonna Mannion. Wes more recently took his talents and abilities to spinoffs, The Challenge: World Championship and USA 2.
Even in recent seasons, he’s been a target for rookie and veteran castmates, who often suggest it’s because he is a mastermind behind the scenes that can make shady deals or sneaky moves.
Of course, Wes returning to The Challenge could be one of those “never say never” situations. Even some of professional sports’ greatest stars have had trouble resisting the urge to return to the competition following an announced retirement. Fans are hoping Wes will get a similar itch after experiencing fatherhood.
The Challenge: USA 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.