At the Cerise Laboratory, Ash learns that the World Coronation Series has over 10,000 participants, with new ones joining in all the time. Since his first step towards reaching Leon is to get to the Great Class, he has to win a lot of battles. Ren suggests he should take on a high-ranking opponent to quickly climb the ranks. Ash searches from his Rotom Phone for any strong Trainers in Vermilion City, and he settles on the Trainer ranked as the 2,109th: Visquez, the substitute Gym Leader of the Vermilion Gym. Professor Cerise informs him that the official Vermilion Gym Leader, Lt. Surge, is away for training at the moment, and Visquez, his substitute, is also a strong Trainer.
As Ash and Goh head towards the Vermilion Gym, Goh asks Ash if he already has the Vermilion Gym Badge, which Ash confirms, recalling how he beat Surge and his Raichu to earn his third Badge. A Spearow flies by, and Goh and Raboot chase it to catch it, while Ash keeps traveling to the Gym.
At the Vermilion Gym, Visquez is lecturing a challenging Trainer about his lack of spirit, but also compliments his skills, and shows her respect by finishing off the Trainer's Hypno with her Raichu's Volt Tackle, ending the match. Afterwards, Visquez's assistants, Steve and Tony, inform her that this was the last challenger for the day. Visquez's Raichu still seems eager for more battling, though, and she expresses her hopes of a World Coronation Series participant showing up. Just at that moment, her Rotom Phone alerts her of the presence of one such participant, with Ash knocking on the Gym door seconds later. Visquez, Steve, and Tony open the door for him, and Ash introduces himself, requesting a battle with Visquez. She accepts, and an official battle appointment is made on their Rotom Phones. Inside the Gym, Ash is surprised to hear that Visquez has heard of him, his Pikachu, and his Vermilion Gym battle from Surge. As Visquez explains that her Raichu was also trained by Surge, Goh shows up. Ash introduces him to the others, and Goh reveals that he succeeded in catching the Spearow from before. Visquez is honored to learn that Ash has chosen her as his first World Coronation Series opponent. Just then, a Drone Rotom flies in to act as the official referee of the battle.
Ash and Visquez soon take their places at the ends of the battlefield, while Goh, Steve, and Tony move to the stands. The Drone Rotom explains that the battle will be two-on-two, with both sides allowed to make substitutions. Both of them choose their first Pokémon at Drone Rotom's signal, with Ash picking Pikachu and Visquez choosing Raichu. Goh checks Raichu's Pokédex entry and encourages Pikachu not to lose. The battle begins with a clash of two Thunderbolts, before Raichu goes into its strongest move, Volt Tackle, right after. Ash has Pikachu use Iron Tail for a grounding effect, repeating his strategy from his Gym battle with Lt. Surge. Still, Raichu eventually pushes through and sends Pikachu flying. Mid-fall, Raichu surprises Ash by using its tail to catch and fling Pikachu. Ash quickly counters by having Pikachu use Iron Tail while spinning, bouncing off a wall to hit Raichu. However, just before the attack hits, Visquez has Raichu use Reflect to shield itself, avoiding a lot of damage. She compliments Ash's skills, and Ash remarks that he's used to turning challenging situations into opportunities. Seeing that Pikachu is tiring out, Ash calls him back for a rest, sending out Gengar to replace him.
Gengar opens up with Night Shade, which Raichu tries to counter with Thunderbolt, only for Gengar to dodge it and deal a direct blow on Raichu. Gengar then moves on to use Ice Punch, easily phasing through Raichu's tail and dealing another hit. Visquez tells Raichu to use Volt Tackle, but it gets stopped in its tracks by Gengar's Psychic, which then sends Raichu slamming into a wall, taking it out of the fight. While Ash compliments Gengar, Visquez recalls Raichu and sends out her second Pokémon, Electrode. She commands it to use Magnet Rise, which not only raises it off the ground, but chunks of the battlefield as well. Visquez explains that they've developed this strategy to counteract the Ground-type moves most challengers use here. Electrode starts bouncing around the floating floor pieces, rapidly striking Gengar from all directions. Even Gengar's attempt at flinging Electrode away with Psychic only momentarily slows down the assault. Gengar tries to use Night Shade, but Electrode evades the attack and uses Discharge, knocking Gengar out. While Ash recalls Gengar, the effects of Magnet Rise wear off and the battlefield returns to normal.
Ash sends Pikachu back out to face Electrode. Visquez is determined to finish the battle and tells Electrode to use Rollout, which strikes Pikachu time and time again, getting stronger and faster with each hit. Before Pikachu can be defeated, however, Ash tells him to jump on Electrode and use Iron Tail, quickly bringing the Ball Pokémon's rolling to a stop. Pikachu the starts running on top of Electrode to spin it in the opposite direction and gain control over its momentum. Just before Electrode hits a wall, Pikachu jumps off of it, and as Electrode is sent bouncing off the wall, Pikachu lands a finishing Iron Tail. However, Electrode then suddenly starts to detonate, the final blow having activated its Aftermath Ability. Ash quickly tells Pikachu to use Electroweb, and when the explosion clears, Pikachu is shown to have used the Electroweb to shield himself, leaving Electrode as the only one to have gone down. Drone Rotom then officially rules Ash as the winner of the match.
Ash and Visquez shake hands, with Visquez admitting her defeat and telling Ash that she's going to tell Lt. Surge of this battle, saying that he's sure to want to battle the new and stronger him. Ash is also excited of the possibility of battling Lt. Surge again. Drone Rotom flies off to update the World Coronation Series rankings, and Goh rushes to the battlefield as well, complimenting Ash's battle. Just then, Ash receives a message on his Rotom Phone, informing him that his ranking has shot up all the way to 3,763 as a result of defeating Visquez. Visquez, meanwhile, is devastated to see her ranking having gone down. With this victory, Ash has taken his first step towards facing Leon in the Master Class.