We’re two male eliminations into The Challenge. Just like War of the Worlds 2, Wes gets sent home before the bulk of the rookies. This follows Total Madness where he lasted 10 episodes but was the ninth place male competitor. By any measure, none of these performances are impressive. When you add in the fact that Wes is a two-time champ, these performances are just pathetic.
This is not the first time that Wes had a string of bad performances. He left Battle of the Exes second then left Battle of the Seasons on the first episode. However, we saw a very different Wes this season. He was actively opposing the majority then. That strategy has kind of been synonymous with Wes. He makes a target and tries to keep is small circle safe.
Wes always got a bad reputation for being shady or vindictive, he really never was. He would work with people for just one season and sever the ties in the next season. He also comes into the show willing to work with rookies, who often deny his offers. Honestly, he’s not trying to dupe the rookies. He’s trying to get them to pick a side while most rookies hope to fade into the background and skate through the game (like Mike and Leroy on Rivals).
Wes used to know what he was doing. He wanted to play the game, but he also wanted to make a show. He would actively oppose Bananas and create a divide in the house. From a production standpoint, this is good. Now we have social competition in the game. When he returned on War of the Worlds we saw just how well he could use this strategy. Then, on War of the Worlds 2 we saw just how badly this strategy could fail.
Other people started to catch onto Wes’s strategy, they were trying to make a show. To be honest, Team Young Buck and the Lavender Ladies opposed Bananas on Invasion-Final Reckoning, filling Wes’s void. Now we have too many people fighting to be the top dog, and these people are better than Wes. After leaving War of the Worlds 2 early, Wes and Bananas realized they needed to join forces because they weren’t powerful enough on their own. That whole season survived with other personalities and the season wasn’t ruined with those two gone.
At this point, Wes is failing to establish dominance in the game. He talking a big game, but when people try to get him to prove his worth he’s failing to do so. He was given Devin this season, a freebie ally, and they ended up having to face each other in elimination.
Other people are savvy to Wes’s strategy. They realize rookies can be assets in the game, and making big moves will establish your worth in the storyline of the show. Wes wants to come into the show and “play possum” or “be the janitor,” but he can’t really hide in the game. He laid the groundwork for a lot of the gameplay in the show.
I think Wes may be past his prime, but I still think he holds value in the game. However, he needs to vary his gameplay and do something different. He can’t just “slide into DMs,” make a big alliance, and roll with them until the end. He will need to find a way to make other people targets and hide his presence in the game. Clearly, he has not been able to do that on the past couple of seasons, but there are bigger people on the show. It must be possible, he just don’t know how to implement that strategy yet.
Some people will say Wes just showed up for a paycheck. Do I think that’s true? No. This season he had to sequester for 2 weeks before showing up, and it was a big time commitment. I do think people like Wes, CT, Bananas, and other veterans are trying to get skulls early in the game. If they’re going to be on the show for two months, they want it to be worth their while. Get a skull week 1, or go home trying. While this isn’t the most entertaining strategy, it doesn’t suggest they’re not invested in the game. They just don’t want to sit around and get eliminated right before the final.