| Hot Matches!
Airmd VS Hinoarashi! Steel Wing!!
|| June 15, 2000
| United States
|| May 12, 2001
|| Team Ota
|| 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
|| 井上修 Osamu Inoue
| Assistant director
|| 井上修 Osamu Inoue
| Animation director
|| 佐藤まさふみ Masafumi Satō
| Additional credits
Hot Matches! (Japanese: エアームドＶＳヒノアラシ！はがねのつばさ！！ Airmd VS Hinoarashi! Steel Wing!! ) is the 152nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 15, 2000 and in the United States on May 12, 2001.
When Ash and friends hear of a virtually undefeatable trainer operating nearby, they seek her out, only to see first Brock's Vulpix and then Ash's Cyndaquil take heavy abuse from her Skarmory—despite its disadvantage against the Fire element.
As Ash and his friends leave the Pokémon Center, Ash bumps into a kid holding a Growlithe in his hands. He warns them to not go near a Trainer by a certain bridge, but once he leaves, Ash decides to go anyway. As the group is discussing which Pokémon the Trainer might use, Team Rocket overhears their conversation and decides to snag the Pokémon when they are weak in the battle. Once they reach the destination, Misty spots someone. It turns out that the Trainer is a girl, much to Brock's excitement. He does his usual girl technique, and she reveals that her name is Miki, but instead she decides to battle him.
She tells Brock to send out a Fire-type Pokémon as she is trying to get her Skarmory to be stronger and beat any type of Pokémon; even its weaknesses which includes Fire-type Pokémon. Miki sends out Skarmory, while Brock sends out his only Fire-type Pokémon, Vulpix. The battle starts with Skarmory making a dust cloud in Vulpix's face, while it swoops back into the air. Before Skarmory can attack Vulpix uses Flamethrower, only to miss because of Skarmory using Agility. It then turns into an Agility battle when Vulpix tries to run away from Skarmory using Agility. Skarmory then uses Steel Wing on Vulpix, causing massive damage to Vulpix, ending the battle. Miki asks Brock if he has any more Fire-type Pokémon, but Ash instead says that he has one, but it might just be too hot for her Skarmory to battle against.
The battle starts, and Ash sends out Cyndaquil. Skarmory attacks with Fury Attack as Cyndaquil dodges. Cyndaquil, still trying to get its flames going gets attacked by Swift. Cyndaquil dodges another Fury Attack using Agility, but gets hit by the last one. Cyndaquil then got its flames going, as it then uses Flamethrower. It misses, and then Cyndaquil gets attacked by Swift. Skarmory swoops down to use Steel Wing, when Cyndaquil uses Flamethrower, missing yet another time. Just as Skarmory is about to attack, cranes shoot down and grab the two Pokémon. Team Rocket recites their motto, when the rage starts between Ash and friends and Team Rocket. Skarmory escapes using Swift on the rope, while Cyndaquil is still held captive. After a long time of running, Skarmory shows up and uses Steel Wing on the balloon. They go blasting off again, while Ash catches Cyndaquil who falls from the balloon in a box. Later, they arrive at Miki's house to eat food made by Brock. She reveals that she and Skarmory do almost everything together. Ash and Cyndaquil are then seen running up a hill, trying to get stronger. Ash tells Cyndaquil to hit him with the best Tackle attack it can do.
After a little while, Ash tells it to get his flame going. After trying several times, he says that Cyndaquil should practice its Agility attack. The scene cuts back to Miki's house, showing the Pokémon eating and same with Miki, Brock, and Misty. Miki says that Ash went out early and she wonders where he went. The scene then cuts back to Ash and Cyndaquil. Ash says that he's really hungry. He then tells Cyndaquil to use Tackle on him again, as it knocks him into an apple tree. He then pulls out an apple, just to find a Beedrill holding on to it. A whole swarm of Beedrill come out of the tree and start chasing after them. Ash then stumbles onto the ground. Cyndaquil knows they are in trouble and gets its fire started and uses Flamethrower to scare the Beedrill off. Ash tells Cyndaquil to remember how it got its fire started and they battle Miki again. After withstanding 3 Steel Wings, Cyndaquil manages to defeat the Skarmory using Flamethrower. Miki decides to battle Gym Leaders to see if she can become a Champion and hopes that she'll meet Ash again.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- When this episode first premiered on Kids' WB!, the part which shows Ash training with Cyndaquil to the part where he gets a bite to eat was cut out in order to make room for Pokérap GS. In future airings, the uncut version would be shown.
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