The preliminaries are over, and now the Hoenn League Championships begin in earnest! The qualifying round is all double battles, and Ash goes to watch Morrison's match against muscleman Gavin. Morrison's Growlithe and Gligar are up against Marowak and Machamp, and no punches are pulled in this all-out battle! It's not looking good for Morrison until Gligar uses Guillotine to knock Machamp out. But Marowak defeats Growlithe, and Gligar finally wins.
Ash is jogging along after the match, minding his own business, when he falls into another Team Rocket pit trap. But just as they finish their motto, their new boss catches them in the act and shouts at them to get back to work. Team Rocket runs away and Ash wonders what's going on, but not for long—he's up next in the qualifying round!
Ash sends out Torkoal and Corphish. His opponent Dominic sends out Swalot and Tropius, which may grant him an aerial advantage. But Ash's trusty Torkoal gives it all it's got, and takes down Tropius in a double KO. As for Swalot, its resilient body resists Corphish's attacks. Finally Corphish charges in, throws Swalot, and gets up close and personal to deliver a Bubble Beam that knocks its opponent out! Tyson has also won his first match, and now our Trainers move on to round 2!
While Ash and his friends are waiting for the match-ups for the second round of the Ever Grande Conference, Nurse Joy explains the next round of battles are Double Battles and that three wins are required to advance. She presents the match-ups to the crowd, and Ash learns that his next battle will take place in Stadium C. However, Morrison is thrilled to see that his match will be held earlier.
The group and Tyson watch as Morrison enters Stadium E to face off against Gavin from Ganga Town. He sends out Growlithe and Gligar and Gavin sends out Marowak and Machamp. Morrison orders Growlithe to use Take Down on Marowak, though it responds with a Headbutt knocking Growlithe to the field. Gligar soars in for a Guillotine, though Machamp counters with Karate Chop. Growlithe regains strength and uses Flamethrower, but Marowak's Bone Club blocks it. Gligar is hit by a Dynamic Punch and then a Cross Chop. Machamp is badly struck by Gligar's Steel Wing and Growlithe takes damage from a Bonemerang attack. Marowak charges through an oncoming Flamethrower and slams a Headbutt on Growlithe. Marowak then freezes Growlithe's legs with an Ice Beam and strikes it down with a Bone Club.
Gavin orders Vital Throw, but Gligar counters with Guillotine. A weak Machamp is then struck several times by Gligar's Steel Wing, before being defeated by another Guillotine. Gavin soon makes some progress after Marowak slams Growlithe out of the match with a Bone Club, making the battle a one-on-one affair now. Gligar's Guillotine and Marowak's Headbutt attacks collide, sending both hurtling towards the ground. During the fall Marowak aims an Ice Beam and freezes one of Gligar's wings who slams into the ground. After struggling from a Bonemerang, Gligar charges in to take Marowak’s Bone Club attack head-on. Even more surprisingly, Gligar uses Iron Tail to win the match, allowing Morrison to advance to the next round.
As Ash prepares for his upcoming match, he and Pikachu are caught off guard when they fall into a pitfall trap. As Team Rocket appear to claim their catch, their employer bursts through the wall and sends them running. Ash makes it to his Stadium C battle against Dominick from Inua Town. Ash chooses Torkoal and Corphish while Dominick sends out Tropius and Swalot. Tropius starts off by flying up in the air and whips a Razor Leaf at Ash. Torkoal and Corphish's defense block the oncoming attack. Tropius's tries a Bullet Seed, which proves futile against Torkoal's Iron Defense. Swalot then attacks Corphish with a Sludge Bomb as Tropius uses Gust to send Torkoal flying. Torkoal lands a direct hit on Tropius with a Flamethrower, but its opponent dodges the follow up Overheat, much to Ash’s frustration. Corphish dodges Swalot's Body Slam and replies with a Bubble Beam, which simply slides off Swalot’s expandable body.
Ash changes up his tactics, Tropius defends against Torkoal's and Corphish's combined attacks. Tropius begins charging up for a Solar Beam attack, so Corphish and Torkoal lashes it with a Crabhammer and Flamethrower respectively. As Tropius finally launches its Solar Beam, Torkoal counters with another Overheat. The two attacks collide, resulting in a large explosion that knocks Tropius and Torkoal both out. Dominic is unfazed and has Swalot's use two Shock Wave attacks to injure Corphish. Corphish is then hit by a Body Slam, which it soon escapes with a Crabhammer. Corphish is then struck down by a barrage of Shadow Balls. Ash has Corphish rush towards its opponent, using its claw to block the oncoming Shock Wave attack. Corphish eventaully gets close enough and grabs a hold of Swalot by the whiskers before tossing it onto the battlefield. Seeing this as a good attack, Ash has Corphish to aim a Bubble Beam in Swalot's mouth. A minor explodes occurs from the internal pressures and faints. Ash wins and qualifies to the next round.
Jessie, James, and Meowth are tired of working, but their work soon pays off when their employer walks in and praises them for their hard work with food. As the pair stuff their faces, the trio agrees to work the stands tomorrow. Later, Ash and Morrison get into a heated argument over whose match was better. Max interrupts, and using his PokéNav he reveals that Tyson also won his battle. Ash and Morrison are equally thrilled by the news and set their sights on winning their next matches.