He tried to convince his son Kyle Hamm to run the dojo since he claimed that he was too old to do it, and Kyle refused to do so. So they challenged each other to a match. If Kyle won, he would be free to do whatever he wants, including his wish to run his own noodle shop. Since Master Hamm broke his back, Ash took over for him, while May took over for Kyle. When they battled, Team Rocket interrupted the match and captured Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. So Terri, the only student of the dojo, used Hitmontop to battle them. Ash finished them off with Pikachu's Thunderbolt.
Now, Master Hamm understood why Kyle likes making noodles and thus decided to travel around making noodles.
Hitmonlee was used to battle Kyle's Hitmonchan, but because Master Hamm's back hurt, the battle was canceled. Later, Hitmonlee was used by Ash to battle May and Hitmonchan.