The Challenge's Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio Says 'You Could Not Script' His Shocking Total Madness Alliance

Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio isn’t goin’ anywhere.

The 20-time player on MTV’s The Challenge recreated Tom Brady’s now-famous Hulu ad from earlier this year — where Brady made people believe he was about to announce his retirement — to make a non-retirement announcement of his own.

After nearly 15 years, Devenanzio and his longtime rival, Wes Bergmann, have buried the hatchet. And, not only that, but they are working together this season on The Challenge: Total Madness.

“Strategically, this was a no-brainer,” Devenanzio, 37, tells PEOPLE. “But sometimes ideas are a lot easier in theory than they are in reality. I mean, you’ve got to wonder how many times they thought of making an airplane before it actually flew. I think Wes and I both knew that us putting our beef aside and working together was probably the smartest thing for our games. However, we both have been, I think, burdened with unusually large egos. And putting our egos aside and trusting the other one was very difficult. On The Challenge, trust is damn near impossible.”

The six-time champion also recognizes that neither he nor Bergmann, 35, are coming into the competition as fresh as some of the players in their mid-20s.

“We’re in the twilight of our careers,” Devenanzio says. “If we haven’t hit our pinnacle, we’re on the downturn from that.”

Still, because of their shared history, Devenanzio struggled to fully trust Bergmann, but he’s glad he did.

“I’d be lying if I said I was 100 percent confident that this was going to work,” he admits. “In fact, I was about five percent confident it would, but we were able to pull some amazing things off. You’ll see this whole transformation, and this whole rivalry become an unholy alliance, and it’s more devastating and more effective than anyone ever thought it could be.”

“The only thing stranger and more unpredictable than coming in and being in an alliance is the way our unholy alliance ends. You could not script it,” he says. “[Quentin] Tarantino could not script as bloody of an outcome as it ends up being.”

The Challenge: Total Madness airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.

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