Jordan Wiseley 'Had to Do Some Real Thinking' About Going on 'The Challenge' with Ex Tori Deal

The exes will compete against one another on MTV's The Challenge: Ride or Dies, which premieres Wednesday

It may not be an exes-themed season — quite the opposite, actually — but Jordan Wiseley still came face-to-face with his former fiancée Tori Deal on season 38 of The Challenge.

"We hadn't seen each other in a year and a half and there was just so much there that still needed to be said," Wiseley, 32, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "We knew stuff needed to be talked about."

"The audience has been with us since before we were a thing and now after we're a thing, and anything that happens there, it's just as much their business, too," he continues. "We were able to find good common ground and closure and the audience getting to experience that with us is a huge full circle thing."

The Challenge
Jordan Wiseley and Tori Deal after getting engaged. MTV

Things ended so well between him and Deal, 29, that they actually worked together on an upcoming movie titled The Stalking Fields.

"We support each other in so much," Wiseley says. "We're not back together, but we're definitely in contact."

Wiseley admits, though, that he had to stop and consider whether he wanted to come on a season with Deal.

"I had to do some real thinking," he says. "I just straight-up asked [production], 'Is Tori going?' They're like, 'Yeah.' I was like, 'All right.' And then just decided, 'Hey man, I was here first.' This is something that I really love to do. I love competing on The Challenge and I'm super grateful for everything that's come from it and I don't want to be done yet. So I was like, 'You know what? I'm in. Let's go.' "

He made that decision last minute, so "I felt very unprepared but also anxious" going into Ride or Dies.

"There had been no training whatsoever, and that was something that was very scary to me," Wiseley continues. "I brought that up when the question was even posed. I was like, 'I haven't trained at all.' They were like, 'Your out of shape is most people's in shape.'"

Jordan and his partner Aneesa Ferreira
Jonne Roriz/MTV

Wiseley worried that not being on top of his physical game would impact his ability to "play with that swagger that I'm used to."

"I play a very specific game because I put it all out there. I'm not going to shy away from conflict and competition, and I want to compete against the best," he says. "I really treat this as a sport and I want to leave my mark. And I think that the audience respects that. I can play like that because in my mind I know that I have this reserve in the tank, but when I show up and I don't have that reserve, it kind of makes it hard."

The three-time Challenge champ calls pairing up with Aneesa Ferreira for season 38 "a blessing" because of her social game. But Wiseley confesses that being two vets in the game made them a target from the start.

"I was really hoping our reputations would keep us up for a little while, but they were like, 'No, we know you guys. You're going in,'" Wiseley says.

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Wiseley also considers eight-time champ Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio his biggest competition this time around.

"If anybody says that he's not their biggest competition, then I don't know that they really understand the level at which we're playing," Wiseley says. "But when Johnny's on the season, he's always my biggest competition. I think that him and CT [Tamburello], those are the two greatest to play the game in their approach. Both very different approaches, but in their win percentages, in the effect they have on the game. When they show up, people automatically know that they're going to be voting certain ways because of them."


While Devenanzio, 40, and Tamburello, 42, dominated the conversation on The Challenge: Untold History about the game's GOAT, Wiseley's name came up, too, as one of the competition's heavy-hitters.

"It really warmed my heart to see that," says Wiseley, who will also appear in upcoming series Helmet and thriller Smile. "I knew what my abilities were and everything, but The Challenge has such a dedicated fan base and I can't argue with them that when new people come in and they're confident, it is really hard to believe them."

Wiseley calls throwing himself into elimination against Devenanzio on Free Agents a "moment that will go down in history and that taught me something."

"I learned how to play the game then," he continues. "So do I think that I'm a great? Not yet. I think I'm definitely on a path, but these guys have done some really amazing things and they've got a lot of tenure in the game. I came out of the gate and I've won quite a few, but can you sustain it? That is the number one thing that I need to prove is, 'Is it sustainable?' "

Challenge 38 Jordan Wiseley

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Although Wiseley can't say whether he added another win to his resume with Ride or Dies, "it's a great finish," he teases. "I am happy with the way it turned out. Aneesa's getting surgery, so that'll let you know when we say we leave it all on the line, we leave it all."

The Challenge: Ride or Dies premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.

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