Ring Masters (Japanese: オーダイルＶＳカメックス！すもうバトル！！ Ordile VS Kamex! Sumo Battle!!) is the 194th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 19, 2001 and in the United States on March 16, 2002.
As Ash and company pass through an intriguing little village, they notice a Feraligatr in the midst of a battle. Drawing closer, they see the Feraligatr defeat one opponent after another, but it never seems to tire! When the gang meets the Feraligatr's trainer, they find out that Pokémon battles in this town are of a different breed. Here they practice the art of Pokémon Sumo. Oversized Pokémon are taught to wrestle and are forbidden from using special attacks in Sumo matches. As luck would have it, the Sumo conference is being held the following day. True to his nature, Ash decides to enter the conference, certain he can win. He is surprised, however, to find out he must use a Pokémon that weighs at least 80 kilograms. For Ash, that means only one Pokémon... Snorlax! Although Snorlax makes the weigh-in, it doesn't seem to be interested in moving towards the ring, let alone battling. Watch the surprising turn of events as Ash cleverly uses Snorlax's guts to his advantage.
Ash and his friends are passing through Rikishii Town when they see a set of Feraligatr matches taking down a few Pokémon. After its sixth win, Misty takes a closer look at the Feraligatr and quickly falls in love with the Water type. The gang soon finds out that the Feraligatr is owned by a Trainer named Raiden, who tells them that the competitions here use sumo-wrestling and the Pokémon Sumo Competition is being held by Shonosuke, the director of the Pokémon sumo society. Shonosuke explains the rules of Pokémon sumo-wrestling, which the Pokémon only has to rely on their physical skills and not using any of their usual attacks. He even mentions that Raiden and his Feraligatr are expecting to win this year’s Pokémon sumo competition, which is being held today. Ash decides to participate in the competition but Shonosuke reminds him that he needs to have a Pokémon that is heavy. Pikachu enthusiastically volunteers, but Ash gently turns the offer down, reminding him that he won't pass the weight requirement.
At the Pokémon Center, Ash asks Professor Oak to transfer his Snorlax due to the regulations of the competition. Since Ash has six Pokémon, Ash transfers his Noctowl because Professor Oak wants to do research due to its unusual rare coloring. At the registration area, a disguised Team Rocket enters Wobbuffet, disguised as a Miltank nicknamed "Milky", into the competition. James and Meowth are concerned about Jessie's plan of entering her Wobbuffet since it's a light-weight Pokémon, but Jessie tells them not to worry as she has already planned everything out. Meanwhile, Ash manages to get his Snorlax into the competition, being the last person to register. It's just as well, as half of Snorlax's weight breaks the weigh-in scale. Snorlax quickly falls back to sleep, even missing the opening ceremony. But as Shonosuke announces the prize, which is the King's Rock and a one year supply of Pokémon food, Snorlax finally wakes up when it hears about the food prize.
After Shonosuke finishes his speech and the rules, the gang meets up with Raiden and his Feraligatr and they were amazed by the opponent's big Pokémon especially the Blastoise whom everyone says that it might win this competition. The first match is between Jessie's "Miltank" versus an Ursaring. Jessie makes an easy win and was announced the winner of the match, but Shonosuke lodges a protest to the referee. Shonosuke noticed that Jessie's "Miltank" used a Counter attack and the official disqualifies them. Not too happy about his decision, they reveal their true identity, even their Wobbuffet. Shonosuke is furious and tells them that they made a mockery of the rules of this competition. Not bothered by what he says, Team Rocket is about to send out their Pokémon to attack but they were sent blasting off again by a Hydro Pump from Raiden's Feraligatr.
The next match is between Raiden's Feraligatr versus a Golem. The gang assumes that Golem is going to win due to its weight advantage, but Raiden turns the tables by using Golem's disadvantages, knocking Golem down to the ground and winning the match. Ash was amazed at his match and learns from it. After a few matches, it was Ash and Snorlax's turn. Snorlax goes up against a Poliwrath and as the match begins, Snorlax makes a surprising win as the Poliwrath attacks Snorlax's stomach and was bounced back, quickly knocking it out. The shocked referee announced the win and Snorlax happily goes for the prize, but Ash quickly manages to call Snorlax back to its Poké Ball. Raiden and Shonosuke were amazed by Ash's Snorlax's ability since Ash is just a rookie. Outside the arena, Team Rocket cooked up a plan by selling phony Pokémon paw prints, supposedly from the Pokémon who are participating in the competition to the audience for money.
Soon, both Ash and Raiden make it to the semi-finals. The two matches are Raiden's Feraligatr against Blastoise while Ash's Snorlax fights Machamp. While Feraligatr wins in a very close match, once again Ash's Snorlax makes an easy win via its stomach, much to Ash's surprise. Raiden congratulates Ash for making it to the finals, but he won't go easy on him just because he's a nice kid. Shonosuke tells Ash that he should be proud of himself; Ash is the first rookie to ever reach the finals. He tells them that finals are next and for them to give it their best.
The final match begins between Raiden's Feraligatr and Ash's Snorlax. Snorlax makes the first move but Feraligatr dodges it. Snorlax barely manages to retain its balance and teetering on the edge of the ring, still manages to dodge Feraligatr's attack. Raiden is immediately shocked and impressed with how deceptively agile Snorlax is. Both of them make an impressive move but as Feraligatr was pushing Snorlax out of the ring, Ash tells Snorlax to take a deep breath, using its stomach to push Feraligatr away, saving Snorlax. Feraligatr manages to toss Snorlax, but Snorlax manages to land in the ring with a huge impact, causing the entire stadium to shake. Because of that, Feraligatr loses its balance and Snorlax manages to push it out of the ring, winning the match and the competition. Misty and Brock are happy that Ash won, even though Misty was sad that Feraligatr lost.
The prize-giving ceremony begins as Ash was presented the King's Rock and a one year supply of Pokémon food. Happily, Snorlax rushes towards it, eats the entire supply of Pokémon food and goes to sleep. The gang was glad that they don't have to carry the supply with them and Ash returns Snorlax into its Poké Ball. Ash decides to send back his Snorlax to Professor Oak and get back his Noctowl since he can't spare enough food for Snorlax. Both Raiden and Ash shake hands and Raiden wishes him good luck on all his Johto League matches.
In the end, Team Rocket, with a bag of phony Pokémon paw prints, notice the competition is already over and have to wait for next year to sell it.
- Ash temporarily sends Noctowl to Professor Oak's Laboratory in exchange for his Snorlax.
- Ash participates in a Pokémon Sumo Competition and wins, earning a King's Rock as a reward.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline.
TV episode debuts
Who's That Pokémon?: Ledyba (US and international), Feraligatr (Japan)
- Brock breaks the fourth wall at the beginning of this episode.
- Despite the Pokémon Sumo Competition's weight requirement of at least 80 kilograms, many of the competing Pokémon's listed species weights are below the requirement, such as Arbok (65 kg) and Nidoking (62 kg). This is most likely because each species of Pokémon can vary in weight in the anime, as opposed to the games, where members of a species almost always weigh the same.
- The idea of Pokémon sumo wrestling would later be revisited in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver with the Ring Drop and Circle Push events of the Pokéathlon and in The Journalist from Another Region with the Pokémon Sumo Tournament.
- Music from The Power of One can be heard in this episode.
- The King's Rock Ash acquires in this episode is later used in Outrageous Fortunes to evolve Misty's Poliwhirl into a Politoed.
- This episode was banned in South Korea, likely due to it being focused on sumo wrestling.
- In the English dub, Meowth says, "Try not to have a cow, Jessie." This is a reference to the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, specifically Bart Simpson's catchphrase "Don't have a cow, man!".
- Ash tells Professor Oak that Snorlax is his only Pokémon that meets the weight condition, but any of his 88.4 kg. Tauros could also qualify.
- During one of Feraligatr's lunges at Blastoise, its jaw is blue instead of cream.
- On the rostrum, a Machamp's jaw is miscolored dark-gray instead of cream. It is also erroneously drawn with fangs.
- In one scene, Nidoking is gray instead of purple.
- During another scene, the competing Pokémon are shown on a wall. Six are shown, but there should be at least eight. Since the sumo competition is a single-elimination style tournament, there must be two, four, eight, sixteen, or etc. competitors.
- The original airing of this episode on Hungama TV in India started the episode directly from the title card, skipping the part of the episode that comes before it.
- The red symbol on the picture frames was removed in the English dub.
In other languages
|Bulgarian||Господари на ринга|
|Dutch||Meesters in de Ring|
|European French||Un tournoi poids lourd|
|Hebrew||מלכי הזירהmalkei hazira|
|Hindi||रिंग मास्टर्स Ring Masters *|
|Portuguese||Brazil||Gigantes do Ringue|
|Portugal||Mestres do Ringue|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Maestros del ring!|
|Spain||Maestros de sumo Pokémon|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|