What links Utah Saints, Macho Man Randy Savage and an abandoned prison?
Readers of a certain age will have fond memories of GamesMaster, the first TV game show dedicated to computer and video games, which featured The Sky at Night’s Patrick Moore offering pithy put downs to pre-teens struggling through The Legend of Zelda.
Along with Knightmare (another ‘gone but not forgotten’ classic), GamesMaster was one of the most quintessentially early 90s programmes on TV, right down to the oversized Virtual Reality helmet kids donned to ‘visit’ the fabled Master, either on an oil rig, in the eaves of a cathedral or at some other fantastical location.
Celebrity guests – Eric Bristow! Jet from Gladiators! East 17! – were plentiful, and thus it was inevitable that the show’s net would eventually be cast over the rave scene, with Utah Saints’ Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt making the pilgrimage to the ‘abandoned prison’ setting for the show’s third series*.
The duo competed at WWF 2: Royal Rumble on the Super Nintendo, with Willis choosing Macho Man Randy Savage “for reasons we can’t go into”, quipped Garbutt, who himself selected Razor Ramon.
After four minutes of button bashing, in which both characters seemed to spend most of their time running headlong into various obstacles – evidenced by the fight’s pointedly ridiculous conclusion – Garbutt emerges as the winner.
“I was just going for it… it was pure aggression,” he explains, as he marches off with the fabled ‘Golden Joystick’.
Utah Saints wouldn’t be the only dance act to appear on the show that year – chart kings 2 Unlimited also showed up to compete at The King of Fighters, with Anita reigning supreme.
In the words of one of the Saints’ biggest hits, What Can You Do For Me? Give you a right good pixel-based kicking, by the looks of things.
*[Note: Series 3 of GamesMaster was the only one hosted by cheeky chappie Dexter Fletcher, known at the time for his role in Press Gang. These days, you’re more likely to find him directing blockbusters such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman.]