Jostling for the Junior Cup! (Japanese: ジュニアカップ開幕！カイリューVSツンベアー！！The Junior Cup Gets Underway! Kairyu VS Tunbear!!) is the 90th episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 747th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 2, 2012 and in the United States on December 1, 2012.
The Lacunosa Town Tournament Stadium is buzzing with excitement, as the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup gets under way! With commentary from Freddy The Scoop and Champion Alder, the tournament begins with an exhibition match between Cynthia, the Sinnoh League Champion, and Caitlin, a member of the Unova Elite Four. These two top Trainers show their stuff with an elegant and beautiful battle between Caitlin’s Gothitelle and Cynthia’s Garchomp, which ends in a draw when time is called.
Then it’s time for Round One! Ash’s rival Trip is paired up against the Pokémon Connaisseuse Burgundy, who only wants to battle her old nemesis Cilan. But Trip’s Serperior manages to take down her Darmanitan in a flash—despite the type disadvantage. Burgundy is furious, but Trip is quietly confident that he’ll win the whole tournament and go on to prove his strength by beating Alder.
Cilan, Ash, and Dawn defeat their first-round opponents as well—and then, in the last battle of the round, it’s Iris and her new Dragonite versus “Dragon Buster” Georgia and her Beartic! This is Dragonite’s first battle with Iris, and it’s clear they’re not connecting: Dragonite repeatedly ignores Iris’s orders to dodge, instead standing its ground as Beartic lands hit after hit. When Beartic’s supereffective Ice Beam freezes Dragonite solid, Iris has had enough, and screams at her headstrong Pokémon to pay attention and get serious. In response, Dragonite breaks free of the ice and—without a command from Iris—launches a powerful Thunder Punch at Beartic, knocking it out! Georgia insists that she lost to Dragonite and not to Iris, but Iris is thrilled about defeating her rival anyway.
Alder declares the day’s battles a success, the crowd erupts in excitement, and Round Two awaits!
Ash, Iris, Dawn, and Cilan enter Lacunosa Town for the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup. Meloetta is with them to cheer them on. When two young men rushing to get good seats run into it and Ash, however, Meloetta is scared off. Cilan tells them that the opening ceremony is about to start and the friends head toward the dome, noticing a temporary Pokémon Center on the way in. Ash hears a familiar voice, and turns to see Alder talking to Cynthia and trying to get her to eat lunch with him. They are interrupted by Trip, who is determined to win the tournament to face off and defeat Alder.
As Trip, Cynthia, and Alder all leave to enter the dome, Georgia, Iris's rival, appears behind the friends and she and Iris exchange insults about each others' hair and talents as Trainers before Georgia leaves, promising to defeat Iris. Cilan starts to lead the way in, but is interrupted as Burgundy, a rival of his, appears, also promising to win and telling Dawn to watch out around Cilan.
The tournament opens with all of the 16 participants standing in line together as Freddy O'Martian and Alder make announcements. They kick the battling off with a ten minute exhibition match between UnovaElite Four member Caitlin and Sinnoh LeagueChampion Cynthia. Cynthia sends out Garchomp and Caitlin sends out her Gothitelle. The two battle, and when Garchomp's Draco Meteor and Gothitelle's Thunderbolt collide it sets off a fireworks-like display in the arena, impressing Dawn who tells Piplup to watch closely as this can help them in their future Contest Battles. Before either Pokémon can gain the upper hand, however, the timer runs out and the exhibition battle is declared to be a draw.
The other battles are briefly shown, with Manning, Cilan, Horatio, Ash, Geraldo, and Dawn winning before Georgia and Iris face off. Geogia uses Beartic to exploit Dragonite's weakness to ice and starts the battle with Hidden Power. Dragonite ignores Iris's orders to dodge the attack, instead batting it away. Dragonite refuses to dodge any of Beartic attacks, including an Ice Beam and appears to be losing as it also is too stubborn to use type-effective attacks. Dragonite finally wins by knocking Beartic out with a Thunder Punch, and Iris wins the match. Georgia approaches Iris and tells her that it was Dragonite that won, not her, as the Pokémon had refused to listen.
Freddy and Alder conclude the day's events with a quick announcement, and Trip glares at Alder with determination.