Deathbowl '98 is the first half-hour episode that aired during the 1998 Superbowl. Despite this, it is not considered to be part of the first season, but instead the pilot episode of the show. Unlike its predecessor, this episode featured three fights consisting of two undercarts and the main event.
First fight - Howard Stern v. Kathie Lee GiffordEdit
As the episode begins, commentators Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond are stood at ringside, following a brief voice-over introduction from Michael Buffer, where they briefly inform the audience and viewers of the night's line up. Also in the arena is guest correspondant Marv Albert. As the first undercart is about to begin, referee Mills Lane calls the fighters to the centre of the ring. Introduced first is Kathie Lee Gifford, followed by radio show host Howard Stern. Stern maintains a teasingly flirtatious attitude from the start, which only serves to irritate Gifford. The moment the bell rings, Gifford chases Stern around the ring, soon cornering him and moving in for a punch to the face. Stern ducks, causing Kathie to hit the turnbuckle instead before being tackled to the ground.
When both rise to their feet, Gifford retaliates with repeated blows to Stern's face, knocking off his sunglasses. In what appears to be a stereotypical blinded manner, Stern fumbles for his glasses, knocking a charging Gifford down in the process. Upon retrieving them, Stern is grabbed from behind by Gifford, who demands an apology for his cruel remarks about her relationship with Frank Gifford. Instead, and in a turn of events, Stern bends over and farts, knocking Gifford through the ropes and into the audience. After a moment, a hazy Gifford re-enters the ring, as Stern prepares another devastating flatulant attack. This time, however, a cloud of poisonous gas surrounds Gifford, the stench dissolving her flesh and bones into a puddle in the ring. Mills then declares Howard Stern the winner of the fight.
In the post-fight review, Marv Albert talks about the moment that Stern took control of the fight with his poisonous fumes before going on to interview Marilyn Manson, who won the first ever Celebrity Deathmatch against serial killer Charles Manson. When asked about his finishing move, Manson refers to it as the Tahitian Skeleton Pull of Death. To conclude the interview, Marv asks Manson for his opinion on the main event, to which he remarks that both Hanson and the Spice Girls are "a bunch of rotten posers and I hope they burn in the fiery furnaces of blackest Hell."
Second fight - RuPaul v. Pamela Anderson LeeEdit
Following Marv Albert's interview, Nick and Johnny proceed to explain the backstory behind the second undercart fight, which is revealed to be a grudge match. RuPaul, a cross-dressing singer, had allegedly made a pass at Pamela Anderson Lee's husband, Motley Crew drummer Tommy Lee, to which she has been looking for revenge ever since. In preparation for the fight, Pamela had put on weight to meet the weight requirement for the fight. As Mills Lane brings the two together, the two fighters exchange heated words when RuPaul makes a sarcastic comment to Mills about time-out exceptions. As the fight starts, Anderson immediately begins by running up and kicking RuPaul in the groin; however, it is revealed that s/he is wearing metal underwear, thus causing injury to Anderson's leg instead. Anderson then attempts throwing a few punches, but each one misses. Seizing the moment, RuPauls picks her up and throws her to the floor. S/he then grabs her by her hair and launches her into the ropes, and punches her to the floor when she bounces back. Anderson regains focus in time to see RuPaul about to leap from the turnbuckle, and rolls away quickly.
As RuPaul shakes off his/her dizziness, Anderson pulls off his/her blonde wig, and taunts RuPaul to come and take it back from her. Instead, RuPaul dropkicks Anderson to the floor, and proceeds to suffocate her by pushing her breasts against her throat. As Anderson struggles, RuPaul shouts out a flirtatious comment to Tommy Lee, which enrages Anderson. She manages to free her arms from RuPaul's legs and, in a bizarre turn of events, her breast implants travels up her arms and into her hands. Anderson then clobbers RuPaul away from her, allowing her to stand (and, of course, send her silicon implants back to her chest). Anderson finishes RuPaul off by forcing his/her own foot into his/her eye, and is declared the winner.
In the post-fight review, Marv starts off by complimenting RuPaul's chenille tutu that s/he wore during the fight. Moving on to the moment Anderson had complete control, Marv is transfixed with her breasts and repeatedly replays the moment her implants returned to her chest, much to Johnny and Nick's annoyance.
Most Annoying Band in the World - Hanson v. The Spice GirlsEditThe main event of Deathbowl '98 is a fight between sibling pop-trio Hanson and British pop sensation the Spice Girls, as they fight for the Deathmatch title of 'Most Annoying Band in the World'. For this fight, Johnny and Nick have taken their seats in the announcer's booth to call the fight. Prior to the fight's start, both bands' stats are compared. The Spice Girls are first as Johnny reveals their most annoying traits:
- They have more annoying hits than their opponents
- They also have an annoying movie dedicated to them (Spice World)
- They have released several annoying books
- They also have other, expensive forms of annoying merchandise
Johnny then calculates that they are the favourite of the two before comparing Hanson's stats:
- They have also released several annoying songs
- They also appear on several annoying teenybopper magazines
- Their main advantage is that they are a lot younger than their opponents, allowing them to be more annoying for a much longer period of time
Mills calls the bands together to issue a few ground rules before allowing the fight to commence. Hanson start the fight off with a move called the Hanson Slingshot, where Isaac and Taylor launch young Zac into Scary (Mel B) and Baby Spice (Emma), knocking the three out of the ring. Isaac then attempts to kick Sporty Spice (Mel C), but when she grabs his foot he turns his sights on Posh (Victoria) instead, leaving Taylor to battle against Ginger Spice (Geri). Meanwhile, Scary (Mel B) and Baby (Emma) have already started ganging up on Zac, throwing him into the audience railings. Isaac also finds himself overpowered by Sporty (Mel C) and Posh (Victoria), who have grabbed both his arms and have started kicking him. Taylor, already grabbed from behind by Ginger (Geri), flips her over his shoulder and delivers a well-executed backbreaker. He then launches himself into Isaac, knocking the two outside the ring. Taylor then notices that Baby Spice (Emma) is about to hit Zac with a chair, prompting him to trip her over. Seeking revenge, Isaac grabs her arms while Taylor grabs her legs, and the two begin pulling against each other.
In an attempt to help her bandmate, Scary (Mel B) grabs Zac by his feet and executes a Louisville Slugger against Taylor by hitting him with Zac like a baseball bat in order to rescue Baby (Emma) from a certain disaster. Despite the intervention, Taylor and Isaac eventually tear Baby (Emma) in two, sending her still-conscious upper half flying into the ring, knocking down Sporty (Mel C) and Posh (Victoria) . At this moment, all fighters return to the ring and prepare for an all-out rumble, with Baby (Emma) barely alive. Suddenly, the main light fixture falls onto the ring and crashes down on all combatants, instantly eliminating them. Mills, fortunately, managed to dive out of the ring, but sustained a head injury when a piece of shrapnel protrudes from the back of his head. While Nick and Johnny try to find the culprit amid the chaos, it is revealed that Marv had not paid any attention to the fight, but had in fact been watching the replay from the previous fight over and over.
Moments later, Johnny notices someone on the catwalk above the ring, and a camera pan reveals the person to be Marilyn Manson wielding a chainsaw. Nick goes down to ringside to interview Manson over his motives for killing both bands. Manson backs up his Deathmatch title as Most Evil Man in America, and goes on to divulge in his hatred for both bands, leaving Johnny to close the show.
In real life, when Hanson saw this episode, their father filed a formal complaint against Marilyn Manson and tried to sue. Also, Kathie Lee Gifford complained to show creator Eric Fogel and branded the show as 'inhuman', although rumours speculate that she was unhappy with they way she died against Howard Stern. On the other hand, Stern praised Fogel and the creators for the unusual method of his victory, as in real life, Stern and Gifford were genuinely feuding.