Ash is to battle Richie in the next round of the Pokémon League competition. Misty is looking up some information on the computer about him. She finds that Richie won all of his first four rounds with just one Pokémon. Ash goes to the Pokémon Center and finds Richie there who was just picking up his Pokémon. Ash promises Richie a great battle the following day. Ash picks up his Pokémon and returns to the small house where he is staying to sleep for the night. The next day, they receive a phone call. It is Richie's voice, and rudely insults Misty over the phone. She hands it to Ash, and the voice tells Ash to meet him outside at a specific location and to bring Pikachu. When Ash arrives, he finds Richie (it is a dummy, except Ash thinks it is really Richie) and suddenly is trapped by Team Rocket. They throw him in their van and drive away, keeping Ash from the competition. Ash escapes using Squirtle to flood the van, and Team Rocket are up to their eyeballs in water. The back bursts open, and Ash starts to run back to be in time for the competition. Team Rocket get in his way again, bent on keeping him away from the league competition. He uses Bulbasaur and Pikachu to whip and shock them. He continues towards the league, but Team Rocket catch up on bicycles. They use Weezing to smog him out, but he hops on a bicycle and continues along. They catch up to him in their balloon and hook the bicycle. They start to float away, and so Pikachu is carried up by Pidgeotto to give them another big shock. Pidgeotto then starts to carry Ash toward the stadium. Meanwhile, back at the stadium after already being given ten additional minutes after the battle was supposed to start, they are about to declare that Ash has forfeit the match. Just as they almost declare Richie the winner, Ash shows up floating toward the stadium in the Team Rocket balloon. They begin the battle, and Ash sends Squirtle against Richie's Butterfree named Happy. Squirtle loses, and so Pikachu leaps out to battle and defeats Happy. Richie calls his Charmander and it defeats Pikachu. Ash is out of reliable Pokémon, as Bulbasaur would lose for sure, and so he desperately sends out Charizard. Charizard actually battles, and defeats Charmander. Richie lastly sends out his Pikachu named Sparky. Charizard blows Sparky around a bit, deeming it to not be a worthy opponent and lays down for a nap. Since Charizard refused to battle Sparky won, and Ash was defeated by Richie. Despite his immense disappointment, Ash looks up and congratulates Richie, and they are still friends in the end.