Our friends have stopped to eat, but Munchlax won't stop eating! Ash is training when he sees a sandwich come rolling down a hill, and Munchlax gulps down the sandwich. That's how Ash ends up meeting Morrison, the sandwich's owner, who decides to have a Pokémon battle with Ash: his Beldum against Ash's Pikachu!
Pikachu's Iron Tail and Beldum's Take Down are evenly matched—it's a tie! After the battle, Morrison, who plans to enter the Hoenn League tournament, shows off his seven badges. When Ash tells him he needs eight badges to enter, he runs off to find a Gym. But since there's no Gym on the island, he ends up at the same Pokémon Center that Ash and his friends are staying at. The two Trainers constantly compete over everything, even which spot they're going to train in!
Just as they reach a truce, however, Team Rocket kidnaps Pikachu and Beldum. Though they have no other Pokémon with them, Ash and Morrison chase the thieves down, then battle Team Rocket's Seviper and Cacnea by themselves! Pikachu and Beldum are freed and with their help, Team Rocket is quickly sent blasting off again.
Now Ash is headed to Slateport with his friends, but as Morrison goes off to earn his eighth badge, the two rivals promise to meet each other again at Ever Grande!
On their way to Slateport City, where the Hoenn Grand Festival will be held, Ash, May, Max, and Brock are relaxing in the woods and eating lunch with their Pokémon. Ash, May, and their Pokémon eat quickly so they can get started on their training. Ash and Snorunt have to practice Ice Beam while May must train her Pokémon for the Grand Festival. While Ash tries to get his Snorunt to use Ice Beam, a rice ball (sandwich in the dub) comes rolling down a hill, followed by a stocky male with red hair.
After some confusion with the rice ball which ended up with Munchlax eating it, the boy introduces himself as Morrison, and he tells Ash that he is going to win first prize in the Hoenn League Championships. Ash then introduces himself and says that he is going to win it. They then go on to argue about who is the better of the two Trainers with Ash saying that he will be the best Trainer in the Universe and Morrison saying that he will be the best Trainer in the Universe of Universes etc. He then challenges him to a battle.
Ash uses his Pikachu and Morrison uses his Beldum. May consults her Pokédex and it reveals that Beldum emits magnetic waves to repel the Earth's magnetic field. Morrison's Beldum starts by using Take Down, Ash asks his Pikachu to dodge and use Quick Attack which hits Beldum. After Max reveals that the only move known to Beldum is Take Down, Morrison tells his Beldum to use Take Down again, this time Ash tells Pikachu to dodge and use Thunderbolt which also hits Beldum. May and Max comments that this will be an easy win for Pikachu because Beldum only knows one move. Beldum once again uses Take Down and Pikachu dodges it again but Beldum immediately launches another Take Down this time catching Pikachu by surprise and hits Pikachu strongly. After Pikachu lands heavily, Beldum launches another Take Down which catches Pikachu again. However, neither Beldum or Pikachu were done and each launches Take Down and Iron Tail respectively. The battle ends in a double knock-out with both Pokémon unable to battle. Morrison then boasts that he has seven Badges and Ash sheepishly boasts that he already has eight. Also when Brock tells Morrison that the competition is only two months away he freaks out and rushes away to win his eighth Badge.
Later, Ash meets up with Morrison at the Pokémon Center and the two race to get their Pokémon healed, leading to them both crashing into the door and sliding across the floor into the counter and begging Nurse Joy to heal their Pokémon before the other, much to Joy's surprise. The two then compete in an eating Contest, and attempt to see who can stay in hot water for the longest amount of time. That night, Morrison sleeps outside with his Beldum to enjoy the nature, and Ash decides to join in with Pikachu, the two rivals have a conversation while in the tree, until they both fall asleep after a long day.
In the morning the two continue to compete. They get into a race, leading to both Ash and Morrison sliding down a cliff. Spotting a single apple hanging from a branch on a nearby tree, Ash challenges Morrison to race to see who can get to the apple first. The race doesn't end too well as Morrison and Ash slam into the tree, ending up snapping the apple in half and both ending their competition in a draw. Finding this to be the perfect opportunity to catch the duo off-guard, Jessie, James and Meowth manage to trap Ash and Morrison in a cage and capture Pikachu and Beldum. Having left their other Pokémon behind, the two of them work together to break out and chase after the Team Rocket. Ash and Morrison catch up to them and fight Seviper and Cacnea on their own in their desperation to free their own Pokémon, leading to them falling in defeat. Eventually getting back up and continuing to fight them off, they free Pikachu and Beldum. The two Pokémon work together and manage to defeat the Rockets, sending them blasting off again.
Morrison then sails off, promising to meet Ash in the Hoenn League.