Wallace also excels in Pokémon Contests and, in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, can be encountered in Master RankBeauty Contests. He is apparently close to Steven Stone, and assists him in the Cave of Origin quest in Ruby, Sapphire, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire. He is the only character in the games to have the Trainer classSootopolitan (Japanese: ルネのたみCitizen of Rune) and the only character in the anime to be referred to as a Contest Master (Japanese: コンテストマスターContest Master).
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Wallace occasionally enters Pokémon Contest Spectaculars. The player may compete against him in the Master Rank of the Beauty category after entering the Pokémon League's Hall of Fame. During the Delta Episode, Wallace is revealed to be a descendant of the ancient people of Sootopolis, making him one of the few people capable of opening the sealed entrance to the Sky Pillar. Before the player enters the tower to pursue Zinnia, Wallace battles them with his Champion team from Emerald. At the end of the Delta Episode, Steven requests Wallace to take his place as Champion when he someday leaves it to travel the world, which Wallace accepts.
"My name is Wallace. I'm this town's Gym Leader. I've also been entrusted with the protection of the Cave of Origin. This sunshineR/downpourS is caused by a power emanating from the Cave of Origin. That… That is the Red OrbR/Blue OrbS. I see. Follow me."
"The Cave of Origin is ahead. No one from Sootopolis is permitted to enter the Cave of Origin. But you must go. Together with your Red OrbR/Blue OrbS. You must go regardless of what awaits you inside the Cave…"
If talked to again
"You must go together with your Red OrbR/Blue OrbS. You must go regardless of what awaits you inside the Cave…"
"Allow me to formally introduce myself. I am Wallace. The Gym Leader of Sootopolis. There's something about you… A difference in your demeanor. I think I sense that in you. What happened inside the Cave of Origin, and what you did, I will likely learn through our upcoming battle. Now, show me. Show me the power you wield with your Pokémon. And I, in turn, shall present you with a performance of illusions in water by me and my Pokémon!"
"Bravo. I realize now your authenticity and magnificence as a Pokémon Trainer. I find much joy in having met you and your Pokémon. You have proven yourself worthy of the Rain Badge. Accept it."
After being defeated
"Having that Badge assures you full obedience of all your Pokémon to every command you make. The Badge also allows the use of the HM move Waterfall to scale walls of cascading water. And, so you never forget the battle we shared, take this…"
"The TM I handed you contains Water Pulse. In use, it will occasionally confuse the target with ultrasonic waves."
If talked to once again and player skipped Fortree Gym
"There remains but one Badge to obtain in Hoenn. If you wish to challenge the Pokémon League, you must obtain the last Badge from the Gym in Fortree
If all 8 Badges are collected
"Trainers who have gathered all the Gym Badges of Hoenn should make way for the ultimate destination. The Pokémon League. Travel to the easternmost reaches of Hoenn, to the island Ever Grande. The Pokémon League is there."
"Ah, so you are <player>? I've heard tales of your exploits. My name is Wallace. I was once the Gym Leader of Sootopolis, but something came up. So now, I've entrusted my mentor Juan with the Gym's operation. … … … … … … … … … … … … Groudon and Kyogre, the two Pokémon wreaking havoc here, are considered to be super-ancient Pokémon. But there aren't just two super-ancient Pokémon. There is one more somewhere. Somewhere, there is a super-ancient Pokémon named Rayquaza. It's said that it was Rayquaza that becalmed the two combatants in the distant past. But even I have no clue as to Rayquaza's wherabouts…"
"<Player>, do you perhaps know where Rayquaza is now? If you do, please tell me."
Cave of Origin: "The Cave of Origin? But that's right here! I need you to do better than that! Please, I need you to think about where Rayquaza might be right now."
Mt. Pyre: "Mt. Pyre? But when I met the old lady there earlier, she made no mention of it. I very much doubt that the old lady would try to hide something from me… <player>, could you think about this more carefully for me?"
Sky Pillar: "The Sky Pillar? That's it! It must be the Sky Pillar! <player>, there's no a moment to lose! We'll head to the Sky Pillar right away!"
Don't remember: "Huh? You don't remember? Hmm… That's a problem… Can't you remember somehow?"
After finding the Sky Pillar, before solving crisis
"Oh? <player>? Haven't you scaled the Sky Pillar yet? I'm sure that you can make it to the top of the Sky Pillar…
After solving crisis
"<player>… The leaders of Team Magma and Aqua, I don't think they meant harm. It wouldn't hurt to hear what they have to say for themselves."
After solving crisis and talking to both Archie and Maxie.
"<player>… My eyes didn't deceive me. Thanks to your help, Sootopolis… No, all of Hoenn was saved. On behalf of the people, I thank you. This is a gift from me. Please accept it."
"That Hidden Machine contains Waterfall. If you have the Rain Badge, a Pokémon that has learned that HM move can force its way up waterfalls. And where does one get the Rain Badge? You know, don't you? That's right! You have to beat the Sootopolis Gym Leader. When you're all set to go, step through that door."
If talked to again
"I'm sure that you will be dazzled by my mentor's breathtakingly elegant battle style."
"Oh, my, I'm terribly sorry! In my haste, I didn't noticed that I'd left you behind! I've opened the locked door of Sky Pillar. <player>, let's be on our way!"
"It's an earthquake! There's not a moment to waste! We've got to hurry!"
"Hmm… The situation is getting worse… This isn't good… The weather distortion is spreading even here… <player>. Rayquaza should be farther up from here. I'm worried about Sootopolis. I've got to go back. Everything is in your hands now. Don't fail us!"
"Welcome, <player>. That incident in Sootopolis City… That was superb work, putting an end to that crisis all by yourself. Oops! It wouldn't be fair to say that you alone ended the crisis. You overcame that difficult situation by working as one with your Pokémon. We Trainers raise Pokémon by giving them items and by teaching them new techniques for battle. But we ourselves also learn many things from Pokémon. And this is where your achievements are put to the test against what others like you have achieved. Now! Who can most elegantly dance with their Pokémon in Hoenn? Show me right here and now!"
"I, the Champion, fall in defeat… That was wonderful work. You were elegant, infuriatingly so. And yet it was utterly glorious! Kudos to you, <player>! You are a truly noble Pokémon Trainer!"
After being defeated
"The Pokémon you sent into battle… At times they danced like a spring breeze, and at times they struck like lightning. It was with light, yet surefooted, elegance that you led your Pokémon. Even I felt bedazzled by your masterful performance! You now stand at the glorious peak of the Pokémon League. I now proclaim you to be the new Hoenn region…"
"<Player>! No, let me rephrase that properly. The new Champion! Come with me."
"I'm sorry, but… From here on, only those Trainers who have become Champions may enter. You'll have to wait outside with Prof. Birch."
"This room… This is where we keep records of Pokémon that prevailed through harsh battles. It is here that the League Champions are honored."
"Come on, let's record your name as a Trainer who triumphed over the Pokémon League, and the names of the partners who battled with you."
"Hello, <player>. Have you met Steven? He is… Actually incredibly skilled. However, he's an odd soul who rarely battles. Instead, he would rather look for rare stones. I'm sure he's digging in a cave or a craggy mountain somewhere. But what is a rare stone exactly? All I can think of is a Meteorite…"
"My name is Wallace. I'm this town's Gym Leader. I've also been entrusted with the protection of the Cave of Origin. This droughtOR/downpourAS is being caused by a power emanating from the Cave of Origin. That is the Blue OrbOR/Red OrbAS. I see. Follow me."
"There is nothing to fear. The Blue OrbOR/Red OrbAS he/she bears… Its ancient powers will protect both the boy/girl and his/her Pokémon."
"Yes. The energy overflowing from the Cave of Origin just now… It is the same energy that gives Groudon its power… With the Blue Orb, which contains the power to suppress that… It should be possible to calm the rage of this flood of magma. Of course the Blue Orb's power alone will not lead you to where Groudon waits. You will not reach Hoenn's Core that way. Use the suit that you were just given. With that, it will finally become possible to stand up against the forces of nature."OR
"Yes. The energy overflowing from the Cave of Origin just now… It is the very energy that gives Kyogre its power. With the Red Orb, which contains the power to suppress that, it should be possible to calm the force of this great flood. Of course the Red Orb's power alone will not lead you to where Kyogre waits. You will not reach Hoenn's Core that way. Use the suit that you were just given. With that, it will finally become possible to stand up against the forces of nature."AS
"No man or woman from Sootopolis is permitted to enter the Cave of Origin."
"But you must go, together with your Blue Orb. You must go regardless of what waits for you inside that cave…"OR
"But you must go. Together with your Red Orb. You must go regardless of what awaits you inside that cave…"AS
"Allow me to formally introduce myself. I am Wallace. The Gym Leader of Sootopolis City. There's something about you… A difference in your demeanor… I think I sense that in you. What happened inside the Cave of Origin, and what you did there… Our upcoming battle will make that all clear. Now, show me. Show me the power you wield with your Pokémon. And I, in turn, shall present you… with a performance of illusions in water… by me and my Pokémon!"
After being defeated
"I realize now your authenticity and magnificence as a Pokémon Trainer. I find much joy in having met you and your Pokémon. You have proven yourself worthy of the Rain Badge. Accept it. Having that Badge assures you full obedience of all your Pokémon to every command you make."
"And so you never forget the battle we shared…"
"The HM I have given you contains Waterfall. It allows you to smash into an opponent with the force required to climb a waterfall itself. Yes, it is a mighty move… And yet it also has a certain elegance and can sometimes cause opponents to flinch. Now, with the power of the Rain Badge, you will become able to use this HM move, Waterfall, to scale walls of cascading water. Many paths are open to you now. One path would take you to the Pokémon League. It is the goal that all Trainers in Hoenn aspire to reach after obtaining all eight Gym Badges. If that is the path you chose, then you must find your way to the island said to be the most remote in Hoenn: Ever Grande. But if it is a different path you seek, and you would rather pursue Pokémon and a completed Pokédex… The rumors that reach me on the wind whisper that Professor Birch in Littleroot has created a more powerful Pokédex. Visit him, obtain this new technology, and I have little doubt you will encounter more diverse Pokémon than ever before. …I will hope that a bright future waits for you, whatever path it is you choose."
After becoming Champion
"You have even surpassed Steven… I am disappointed at my inability to find any fitting words to offer you—you, standing now at the summit of all Hoenn Trainers. I look forward to the day when we battle once again."
"What a…glorious turn of events…"
"To think that this tree… I never knew we had received it from that huge man who visited from the Kalos region… Goodness me, old master. This has been a learning experience. I thank you for this."
"No, no, you're too modest. Hah hah hah… Now then…"
"Welcome again to Sootopolis, our new Champion, <player>. Steven has told me everything. Do you wish to go to the Sky Pillar? It is true the cave that leads to the Sky Pillar can only be opened by the hand of someone descended from the ancient people of Sootopolis…as, indeed, am I. Or by one of the Draconids, who have also lived in Hoenn since ancient times… The Sky Pillar is in fact an altar built for the ascension of Rayquaza—that Legendary Pokémon long said to be the protector of the Hoenn region. Only the ancient Draconid people know how to summon Rayquaza to the Sky Pillar. Steven has told me of the woman Zinnia. She must be trying to revive Rayquaza for some purpose. I shall go first to the Sky Pillar. When your preparations are complete, come join me. The Sky Pillar towers over everything upon one of Route 131's small islands."
"As you can see, I have undone the seal on the entrance to the Sky Pillar. Follow the path within, and you will reach the pillar in time."
"However… To go beyond this point… There is one more trial you must overcome. This is my duty as one of the ancient Sootopolitans, a duty passed down to me by my former master. You must battle me. Here and now. Prove to me that your power is great enough to face what lies ahead! Now tell me… Are you prepared?"
No: "I see. I will wait. Prepare yourself."
Yes: "Then let us begin… Champion of Hoenn. You, who should exhibit the most graceful art in battle with your Pokémon… I would have you show me your true strength!"
"To defeat me, a descendant of the ancient Sootopolis people, and even when I was holding nothing back…"
After being defeated
"As I have come to expect from you, <player>… You are an excellent Pokémon Trainer. The Pokémon that you sent out in that battle… At times dancing as lightly as an elusive spring breeze… Yet striking with the sudden surety of lightning from the blue. Watching you command the battle with such ease and grace… Even I might succumb to your charm. Now go forth. Find the truth that you seek. As one of the ancient people of Sootopolis, I cannot intrude upon this holy place. I will return to Sootopolis for now and try to lay plans in case the worst should come to pass despite all our efforts. I'm sorry that we always seem to be leaving the fate of all the world in your hands. Yet there it lies once again. Good luck to you, young Champion!"
"No introductions necessary, Lisia. I would say that <player> and I… know each other quite well already.
"He/She defeated me when we battled. And if that were not enough, he/she is also a great Trainer who carried out splendid deeds for Hoenn. That is who <player> is."
"You appear to be well."
"Lisia has been so enraptured by the contest spectacles that I felt compelled to see them for myself. It has been many years since I last took part in the likes of a contest… And here I find you once more. It is not only in my own Gym that you have defeated me, but you have bested me in contests as well. It seems I still have much to learn…"
"I suppose you're right."
"<player>, I'm sure you've grown to understand this already. No matter whether you stand in a Pokémon Gym or a Contest Hall, a Trainer who holds to his/her belief in the Pokémon beside him/her… The Pokémon that battles on, believing in the Trainer with whom it stands together… The settings may differ, but their labors come to fruition in a way that honors their bond! There is equal beauty in both!"
"Yes… And confoundingly elegant!"
"You two have shown yourselves to be fine Trainers, with bright futures ahead of you."
If talked to again
"What is it?"
Tell me about Lisia.: "Lisia is the daughter of my elder sister and does not live in Sootopolis any longer. She was tucked safely away during that infamous incident, so she would probably be quite shocked to learn your part in it."
So you did contests?: "Yes, I once tried my hand at contests. But Lisia has a natural talent for them that greatly surpasses mine. She became an idol almost overnight. As a result, I was able to apply myself fully to my role as Gym Leader. After this, I almost feel as though I should give Contests another try. Or perhaps I should steal the title of Pokémon League Champion from you. That could be quite amusing…"
After exhausting both options
"I imagine Steven must be gnashing his teeth over missing today's Contest Spectacular."
Wallace debuted in Our Cup Runneth Over!. He was first seen on the Sinnoh Nowtelevision program when Rhonda advertised the Wallace Cup taking place on the shores of Lake Valor. Ash and his friends were looking for Wallace and found him relaxing near a lake with his Milotic. Even though Wallace had his day off from his busy schedule, he allowed the group to stay. Wallace had Dawn show off her Contest moves to him. She did so by having a practice Contest Battle with Ash. He praised the two for their match while Brock explained that Buizel used to belong to Dawn and he was traded to Ash in exchange for Aipom. After watching Ash and Dawn's practice match against each other, he asked Ash to enter the Wallace Cup with his Buizel.
Team Rocket show up in their disguises. Despite having more company, he did a practice appeal with his Milotic for them to prove what relaxing and playing with Pokémon can do during his time off. When Milotic finished with Twister, Wallace left in a wave formed by the appeal. Wallace was then seen on TV being interviewed by Marian.
In Staging a Heroes' Welcome!, during the beginning of the Wallace Cup, Wallace made a speech onstage and held out the audience and participants the Aqua Ribbon. He concluded the speech by having Milotic perform as part of his appearance. He then acted as a Contest Judge for the Performance Stage.
In Pruning a Passel of Pals!, Wallace welcomed back the participants as the Wallace Cup was resumed. He judged the battles of the Battle Stage, including the one with Ash and Kyle.
Wallace continued acting as judge for the Battle Stage in Strategy With a Smile!. When May and Dawn were in the finals and were about to begin their battle, Wallace gave some encouraging words to the two. After Dawn was able to defeat May and win the Contest, Wallace awarded Dawn the Aqua Ribbon. Wallace then closed the Wallace Cup by having Milotic use Hydro Pump in the air.
Due to his accomplishments, Wallace attained celebrity status and amassed a strong fan following. His fans will wait for him outside hotels and wear caps similar to the one he wears. Despite this, Wallace is shown to be a humble and modest person who likes his privacy. However, he will still treat others kindly if they happen to encounter him when he is not working.
This article is missing information on this character's Japanese voice actor. You can help by adding this information.
Milotic is Wallace's only known Pokémon in the anime. It first appeared with its Trainer at "Sinnoh Now", when Dawn was watching TV. Previously, Milotic had helped Wallace become a Contest Master with the help of its beauty and skill. It first debuted in Our Cup Runneth Over! when Wallace had a secret training session with it out on a lake. Ash and his friends came across them and were impressed with its beauty and graceful moves. Milotic even gave Pikachu and Piplup a ride around the lake on its back. Later, Wallace did a practice appeal with his Pokémon for the gang and the Team Rocket trio.
Milotic helped Wallace make his sensational entrance to the Wallace Cup. It is clear that Wallace's fans also have a great love for Milotic as they went wild when it appeared. It even helped pass out the Ribbon to Dawn after she won the Wallace Cup.
He and Winona had a romantic relationship in the past. When Wallace beat the Pokémon League, he turned down the position of Champion to take over the Sootopolis Gym after his master, Juan. However, he also had the intention of staying close to Winona. Winona was opposed to this act, as she found the idea of a man much stronger than her constantly around to be smothering, which led to her breaking off their relationship.
Wallace first showed up when Flannery called all of the Gym Leaders to Fortree City to have a meeting about the mysterious organizations Team Magma and Team Aqua. Due to having business elsewhere, Wallace was forced to attend via video rather than be there in person. When the other Gym Leaders began taking sides on whether one team is evil and the other on the side of good, Wallace sided with Team Aqua due to him being a Water-type Trainer. After the discussion ended, Wallace talked to Winona about the death of Mt. Chimney causing the sea levels to rise. Wallace revealed that he was heading to Fallarbor Town to discuss the changes in climate with Professor Cozmo. In addition to his quest, Wallace also participated in a Pokémon Contest. He managed to win easily, which gained the attention of Ruby, who challenged Wallace to show off his skills. Ruby was defeated, but he was so impressed by Wallace that he demanded that Wallace become his master and train him in the art of Pokémon Contests. Wallace initially refused, but changed his mind after seeing how strong Ruby was and finding out that he was the son of a Gym Leader. Once Wallace had finished his mission in Fallarbor Town, he went to Fortree City to meet with the other Gym Leaders and took Ruby there with him.
After some discussions occurred, Wallace saw Ruby suddenly running away. He follows after, only to find Slateport City flooded. Wallace helps the rescue the populace and eventually finds Ruby participating in a Pokémon Contest. Wallace enters the Contest as a mystery competitor and has it rigged so that Ruby would lose. Ruby is angered by this and takes his frustrations out on his Feebas, Feefee. Wallace reveals himself and berates Ruby for his horrible behavior. When Ruby realizes his mistake, he finds that Feefee had run away and that it was too late for him to apologize. Wallace continues to tell Ruby how horrible his behavior was, but the stress causes Ruby to pass out crying as he apologizes to his runaway Pokémon.
Wallace in an appeal with his Pokémon
When Groudon and Kyogre are awakened, they begin causing droughts and downpours throughout Hoenn. Wallace decides to help battle against one of the Legendary Pokémon, but Winona informs him that the people behind the attacks are controlling Kyogre and Groudon at the Seafloor Cavern. After deciding to join in the fight, Ruby reveals that with Sapphire's Relly, he and Sapphire will be able to go to the Seafloor Cavern. After Ruby and Sapphire leave, Wallace heads off to help Brawly and Roxanne combat Groudon. Soon after arriving, all three are interrupted by the Three Fires of Team Magma, Blaise, Tabitha, and Courtney. The three grab Wallace, Brawly, and Roxanne and takes each of them to Lilycove City to prevent the Gym Leaders from stopping Groudon any further. Wallace is taken by Tabitha to the top of the Lilycove Department Store.
Wallace manages to nearly defeat Tabitha, but an earlier exposure to the Blue Orb caused Tabitha to temporarily go crazy. Tabitha starts attacking Wallace in an unpredictable frenzy, forcing Wallace to try and escape. At the last second, Steven arrives to save Wallace and take his place in fighting Tabitha. Steven reveals that he has a plan to stop Groudon and Kyogre and has gathered all of the Hoenn Elite Four to enact it. Steven gives up his title as Champion and hands Wallace the Champion's Cloak.
With the other Gym Leaders too injured to continue battling, Wallace and Winona both head to Sootopolis City to help Ruby and Sapphire against Groudon and Kyogre. When he arrives, Wallace finds Ruby beaten and worried that they won't be able to win. Wallace snaps Ruby out of it by reminding him that he is fighting for the people he loves. Ruby thanks Wallace for helping bring back his confidence and goes to continue the battle alongside Sapphire. Together, Ruby and Sapphire force the Red and Blue Orbs out of Maxie and Archie's bodies, but the explosion caused by the attack sends them to Mirage Island, where they are trained by Juan. In the meantime, Wallace, Steven, and the Elite Four use the Legendary Pokémon Regirock, Regice, and Registeel to contain the energy created by Groudon and Kyogre clashing with each other. After Ruby and Sapphire return, Groudon and Kyogre are defeated and return to their long slumber. However, the strain of controlling the three Legendary Pokémon put too much strain on Steven, and he eventually dies from exhaustion. Despite the loss of Groudon and Kyogre, Archie and Maxie come out of hiding to kill Ruby and retrieving the Red and Blue Orbs to reenact their plans. Wallace and Sapphire head inside the battleground to stop the villains.
Wallace in the thirteenth chapter
Once they arrive, Wallace realizes that Steven gave him the Champion's Cloak because he knew he would die after his plan succeeded. Wallace puts on the cloak and proceeds to attack Archie and Maxie. He manages to easily defeat them, but they reveal they had captured Winona and hold her hostage. Having no choice, Wallace is forced to lay down his Poké Balls and allow the villains to defeat him. After both Team Magma and Team Aqua are defeated, Wallace celebrated the victory with his allies and thanked Ruby and Sapphire for their assistance in the battle. With the help of Ruby's Celebi, those who died in the battle were revived.
Wallace appears at the wedding between Wanda and Riley alongside Winona, Ruby, and Sapphire. He and Winona stay behind to attend the reception while Ruby and Sapphire go to their mission at the Battle Frontier.
Wallace, along with the Hoenn Gym Leaders and Elite Four, is called to Sootopolis City to assist in stopping a meteoroid threatening to destroy the planet.
Elizabeth (Japanese: エリザベスElizabeth) is Wallace's first known Pokémon. She was first seen with Wallace after he won a Contest. When an argument between two spectators started, Elizabeth was used to calm them down and put out a fire created by one the spectator's cigarette. When Slateport City flooded, Elizabeth was used to help rescue some of the drowning people and Pokémon. During his battle against Tabitha, Wallace used Elizabeth to weaken Tabitha Torkoal's Fire-type attacks.
Charles (Japanese: チャールズCharles) is Wallace's second known Pokémon. When Slateport City flooded, Charles was used to help rescue some of the drowning people and Pokémon. At the final battle, Charles was used to battle against Archie and Maxie. He managed to easily defeat their Pokémon, but Wallace was forced to give up after seeing Winona held hostage.
None of Charles's moves are known, and his Ability is Water Veil.
Richard (Japanese: リチャードRichard) is Wallace's third known Pokémon. He was first seen being used in a Contest alongside Wallace's other team members. When Wallace came to help Brawly and Roxanne, he used Richard to attack Groudon.
Phillip (Japanese: フィリップPhillip) is Wallace's fourth known Pokémon. It was first seen being used in a Contest at Fallarbor Town. When Slateport City flooded, Phillip was used to help rescue some of the drowning people and Pokémon. During his battle against Tabitha, Wallace used Phillip to defeat Tabitha's Torkoal. At the final battle, Charles was used to battle against Archie and Maxie. It managed to easily defeat their Pokémon, but Wallace was forced to give up after seeing Winona held hostage.
Registeel was awakened by Steven so that it could use its powers to help contain the energy created by Groudon and Kyogre's battle. While Ruby and Sapphire trained on Mirage Island, Steven and Wallace both used Registeel while the Elite Four used Regice and Regirock. After Groudon and Kyogre were defeated, Steven died from exhaustion due to controlling three Legendary Pokémon at once. Registeel then left to part unknown and was later captured by Brandon.
A number of Wallace's lines before, during, and after the player's battle with him in Emerald are extremely similar to Steven Stone's at the same time periods in Ruby and Sapphire. In particular, the line Wallace says upon defeat is the same as Steven's, only with references to elegance added.
In the Pokémon White canon, Wallace and Iris are very similar: they were both trained by Gym Leaders, and both were the eighth Gym Leader in their respective regions, and afterwards, became the Champion, while their mentors took their places in their Gyms.
However, this is not true in the Pokémon Black canon, where, despite having been trained by a Gym Leader, Iris was never one herself before becoming the Champion.
In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, when he is battled in the Delta Episode, he uses his Champion team from Emerald, with almost the exact same levels.
Additionally, after completing the Delta Episode, Steven mentions to Wallace that he will relinquish his position as Champion sometime in order to travel the world, and asks Wallace if he will become Champion in his place, referencing their roles in Emerald.