|This article is about an episode of the Pokémon anime that has not been dubbed into English. As such, its coverage may contain romanized Japanese names, rather than dub names.|
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Outside the Pokémon School, Ash and Pikachu are busy practicing their Steel-type Z-Move. The Z-Move pose charges Pikachu with Z-Power, and he successfully executes Corkscrew Crash, easily drilling his way through a series of wooden obstacles set up for him. Both Ash and his classmates are excited, and they note that Pikachu can now perform three different types of Z-Moves: Normal, Electric, and Steel. Sophocles and Mallow add that seeing Ash use a Z-Move has made them want to try out one too. Just then, Principal Oak exits the school building and reminds everyone of the important announcement that Professor Kukui is due to make at Aether Paradise. They wonder what it could be about, but Principal Oak just tells them to wait and see.
At Aether Paradise, a crowd and members of press have gathered, with Professor Burnet welcoming Ash and his classmates. Everybody takes a seat, and finally, Anna welcomes Professor Kukui to the stage. After a round of welcoming applause, a total silence falls upon the crowd as they prepare to hear the announcement. After a suspenseful pause, Kukui announces the first-ever Alolan Pokémon League, getting everyone excited. Kukui goes on to explain that the winner of the tournament will become Alola's first-ever Champion, as well as pointing out the importance of bonds between Trainers and their Pokémon. The press conference, which is broadcast live across the region, is being observed by people all over Alola, including Gladion and Team Rocket. The Rocket trio even starts dreaming about the possibilities achievable through winning a championship, like giving the entire archipelago as a gift to the Boss.
Back at Aether Paradise, Kukui presents the crowd with the five people who have agreed to support his idea: Island Kahunas Hala, Nanu, Olivia, and Hapu, as well as Lusamine of the Aether Foundation. Ash calls out to Hapu and she replies, before Burnet tells him to stop disturbing everyone. The Kahunas then go on to mention the custom of island challenge and how it once included a long since abandoned tradition of those who had cleared all four grand trials climbing to the summit of Mount Lanakila and battling each other there. Professor Kukui has now decided to revive that tradition in a form that anyone can participate in. Lusamine adds that the Aether Foundation has decided to wholeheartedly support the idea of a Pokémon League tournament, and the curtain behind the five speakers opens up, revealing the Pokémon League construction site a short distance away from Aether Paradise. In his excitement, Kukui almost performs his Masked Royal pose and catchphrase, but covers himself at the last second, narrowly saving his alter ego from being exposed.
After the press conference has ended, both Ash and Kiawe are fired up about the Pokémon League. Principal Oak then asks the rest of Ash's classmates if they'd want to join too, much to their surprise. Lana is quick to accept, and Sophocles also shows interest, due to his newly evolved Vikavolt. Mallow also encourages Lillie to join, reminding her of the successful Double Battle she had a while back. While accepting the invitation, Mallow and Lillie are feeling uncertain about what they should do, whereas Lana is brimming with confidence. Ash expresses his happiness of the unexpected pleasure of getting to participate in a Pokémon League in Alola, which Pikachu agrees with.
At Ula'ula Island's Po Town, the base of Team Skull, Team Skull Grunts are spending time at the Shady House, when Plumeria suddenly enters and announces the return of their boss, Guzma, who steps in through the front door, much to the Grunts' excitement. While Guzma asks everyone how they're doing, Tupp, Rapp, and Zipp rush in, informing Guzma about the announcement of the Pokémon League. They turn on a half-broken TV, where a report about Kukui's League announcement is going on. The same report is also being observed by Ash, Kukui, and Burnet at Kukui's house on Melemele Island. Ash asks Kukui if he thinks the Masked Royal is going to participate in the League, and Kukui hastily comes up with an explanation that because the Masked Royal is a mysterious character, he can't be sure. Regardless of that, Ash swears to start training for the League the next day. At the Shady House, Team Skull observes how each of the Island Kahunas is interviewed regarding their thoughts about the Pokémon League, and the Grunts briefly exchange their own opinions about it as well, before Plumeria tells them to quiet down. She asks Guzma what he wants to do, and he declares that he's going to destroy the Pokémon League, telling his minions that they're going to Melemele Island.
As the next day dawns over Alola, Ash and his team are running along the beach, determined to train as hard as they can. Meanwhile, in Hau'oli City, Team Rocket notices a poster about the Pokémon League and decides to start training for it as well. Just then, Team Skull enters the scene, mocking the Rocket trio of their idea and performing their introduction rap. Not wanting to be outdone, Team Rocket also performs a rap version of their motto, leaving James and Meowth momentarily exhausted. The Skull trio is impressed and wonder if they've seen each other before. While both trios prepare for a battle, Guzma steps in and says that he'll deal with the Rocket trio himself, saying that it'll be a good warm-up for Kukui. He tells them to come at him all at once, swearing to destroy them. And soon enough, Team Skull exits the scene, while a defeated Team Rocket lies on the ground in their wake. As Stufful approaches them, they realize what's coming, and indeed, Bewear then emerges and breaks out of a nearby concrete pipe, scooping up the trio, and running away.
At Pokémon School, Kukui is in the middle of explaining the Pokémon League to his class, when Team Skull starts calling to him from the school yard, telling him to come down to talk to them. He goes down and tells them to save their talk for later, but his attitude changes when he notices and recognizes Guzma. Ash and his classmates follow Kukui to the school yard, and Plumeria tells them they can witness the match between Kukui and Guzma. Guzma emphasizes that he's not going to just battle, but destroy Kukui. He goes on to call the island challenge and Island Kahunas outdated customs and adds that a Pokémon League as unnecessary, as he already considers himself the strongest Trainer around. Kukui asks why he won't just join the League to prove his strength, but Guzma shoots down the idea. He swears to destroy the League if Kukui doesn't back down, which Kukui refuses to let happen, noting that Guzma hasn't changed at all. Ash then steps in and asks Guzma to have a Pokémon battle with him. Guzma notices Ash's Z-Power Ring, and Ash tells him that he's cleared all four grand trials. Ash instantly reminds Guzma of Kukui, so he accepts his challenge. Kukui tries to talk to Ash, but he asks Kukui to leave this to him, which he agrees to, saying that he'll act as the referee. Guzma swears to destroy Ash, but Kukui tells Guzma not to underestimate him.
As the two Trainers prepare for battle, Ash chooses Pikachu, while Guzma sends out Golisopod. Rotom scans Golisopod and gives Ash its Pokédex entry, noting that Pikachu has the type advantage over his Bug/Water-type opponent. However, no sooner has Kukui given the signal to start the battle, when Guzma already calls for a First Impression, dealing the first blow on Pikachu. Plumeria brags that no one has been able to avoid First Impression. Ash has Pikachu use Iron Tail, but the attack barely does anything against Golisopod's diamond-hard armor. Guzma orders a Pin Missile, which Pikachu counters with Electroweb, before using Thunderbolt. However, even though the move is super effective, Golisopod is able to deflect it, much to Ash and Rotom's surprise. Ash decides to put the results of his training to use and performs Corkscrew Crash with Pikachu. However, Golisopod is able to block and deflect even this Z-Move with its armor-plated hands, surprising everyone. Guzma then order Golisopod to use Liquidation, striking Pikachu while he's still re-orienting himself. Ash has Pikachu use Quick Attack, but Golisopod retalliates with Poison Jab, poisoning Pikachu in the process. The poisoned Pikachu attacks with Iron Tail, but gets stopped on his tracks by a volley of Pin Missiles from Golisopod. The Grunts are cheering for Guzma's success, while Pikachu, despite the poison and the numerous hits, is still able to stand up. Ash orders a Quick Attack, and this time, Pikachu is able to dodge the incoming Poison Jab and strike Golisopod's unarmored underside, causing the tall Bug type to flinch.
Although Pikachu is getting weaker as the battle wages on, he still refuses to stay down, much to Guzma's irritation. Pikachu and Golisopod stare at each other for a moment, until Golisopod suddenly turns and uses its Emergency Exit to return to its Poké Ball, surprising Ash and Pikachu. Guzma says that Golisopod deemed Ash so weak that it lost all interest, irritating Ash. Kukui asks if Guzma is throwing the match, and he responds that he has no interest in continuing a battle with an obvious outcome. Ash protests that he can't say that for sure unless he finishes the battle, but Guzma dismisses him. Ash's attention then turns to Pikachu, who collapses from the effects of poison. Kiawe tosses Ash a Pecha Berry, which he gives to Pikachu to heal his poison. Plumeria tells Ash that he should join Team Skull, but he rejects the suggestion without a second of hesitation. Guzma declares that he will destroy the Pokémon League while all of Alola is watching, but Kukui then steps in and asks Guzma if he's going to just run away again, just like he did with the island challenge. Guzma and Kukui glare at each other for a while, until Guzma says that he almost let himself be thrown off again, and that Ash made him change his mind about destroying Kukui. He and the rest of Team Skull then turn around and walk away.
Later, back at the Shady House, Tupp asks Plumeria where Guzma is, and she replies that he's making destruction plans in his room. Upstairs, Guzma recalls Kukui's words about running away, and punches the wall in front of him in frustration.
- Ash and Pikachu perform Corkscrew Crash for the first time.
- Professor Kukui officially announces the first-ever Alola League Conference, whose winner will become Alola's first-ever Champion.
- Ash, his classmates, and Team Rocket decide to participate in the Alola League Conference.
- Ash, his classmates, and Team Rocket meet the Team Skull Boss Guzma for the first time.
- Ash's classmates and Team Rocket meet Plumeria for the first time.
- Team Rocket has a battle with Guzma, but they are defeated.
- Ash has a battle with Guzma, but the battle ends when Guzma's Golisopod activates its Emergency Exit Ability.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Professor Kukui
- Samson Oak
- Professor Burnet
- Team Skull Grunts
- Camera operators
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Wobbuffet (Jessie's)
- Rotom (Rotom Pokédex)
- Rowlet (Ash's)
- Lycanroc (Ash's; Dusk Form)
- Torracat (Ash's)
- Meltan (Ash's)
- Eevee (Lana's; Sandy)
- Marowak (Kiawe's's; Alola Form)
- Vulpix (Lillie's; Alola Form; Snowy)
- Togedemaru (Sophocles's)
- Mareanie (James's)
- Komala (Samson Oak's)
- Umbreon (Gladion's)
- Golisopod (Guzma's; debut)
- Machop (Trainer's)
- Magnemite (Trainers'; ×2)
- Primeape (Trainer's)
- Pichu (Trainers'; ×2)
- Trubbish (Trainers'; ×2)
- Cubone (Trainer's)
- Cottonee (Trainer's)
- Spearow (Trainer's)
- Rufflet (Trainer's)
- Machamp (Trainer's; flashback)
- Ninetales (Trainer's; Alola Form; flashback)
- Bewear (anime)
- Stufful (anime)
- Shaymin (anime)
- Poké Problem: The boss of Team Skull who appears in today's episode is...?
- Wobbuffet's cries from the Dare da? segment merge into its cry in the episode proper, right when Team Rocket is defeated by Guzma.
- For an unknown reason, Wobbuffet has a white outline around its body during the segment.
- There is no dialogue during the first part of the Dare da? segment, aside from Pikachu.
- Team Rocket performs their original motto in this episode.
- This is the first time the Team Rocket trio has fought directly against the leader of another villainous team.
- Lusamine, Lillie, Hobbes, and Gladion narrate the preview for the next episode.
- While it is watching Professor Kukui's speech at his house, Lycanroc's ears are colored white like its mane.