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After many exciting adventures in Hoenn, Ash has finally made it to his 4th official tournement, the Hoenn League. Not wanting to let the other competitors get ahead of him, we find Ash along with Pikachu, Corphish, Swellow, Torkoal, Grovyle and new addition to the team, Glaile, training on the beach in preparation for the tough battles ahead of them. Watching them is May, Max and Brock. May however, seems more interested in the sights, sounds and food of EverGrande City than Ash training his Pokemon. While Brock suggests that they should go to a Pokemon Centre, Ash decides to do some attack training in order to get his Pokemon ready for the Preliminariesthat would take place later that day: At Ash's command, Grovyle performs a Quick Attack along the beach, while dodging Pikachu's Thunderbolts and Glalie's Ice Beam.
However, the intense training is soon interruptedby an old face: Chasing after a run-away rice ball is a short, overweight boy with ginger hair. It's Morrison, a Beldum owning trainer that Ash had met two months previously. Not paying attention to what is going on around him, Morrison fails to notice Glalie's Ice Beam heading towards him until it's too late. At which point, the power of the attack throws him into nearby water- Luckily, he's not badly hurt and emerges in a block of solid ice. After recovering, Morrison pulls out a small, blue hourglass shaped badge from his badge case- The last badge he needed to gain entrance into the Hoenn League, which Brock congratulates him on. Not wanting to be left out, Glalie pops up behind Ash's head to say hello, which Morrison instantly recognises as the Snorunt that he had met the first time he and Ash met each othertwo months ago.
Suddenly, Morrison notices the rest of Ash's Pokemon team, (He had only seen Pikachu and Snorunt prior to this episode.) and is amazed and remarks at how cool they are. Ash then mentions the training that they've been doing, which prompts Morrison to call out his team to compare them. His team consists of Growlithe, Gligar, Swampert, Steelix, Girafarig and his main Pokemon, Beldum, all of which receive approving comments from both Ash and Brock.
However, as seen the last time they met, Ash and Morrison cannot keep their friendly rivalry suppressed for too long, as they soon get excited at the chance to compete again and run off together into a nearby forest leaving Brock and both their Pokemon teams (Who look on, confused.) in the dust.
As Ash and Morrison race against eachother, both boys become oblivious to what is going on around them, which results in both of them falling into what must be all-too-familiar to Ash: A pitfall. Before they can do more than wonder what is going on, three familiar faces in the form of Jessie, James and Meowth appear and begin to recite their motto. After they finish, Ash and Morrison both shout angrily at the troublesome trio, who are looking down triumphantly at their Pokemon-less captures. Team Rocket then stirs up the two boys as they brag about how they're going to take off all their (Ash and Morrison's.) Pokemon.
Meowth then turns around, and excitingly suggests that they go get the Pokemon, and Jessie and James happily agree, thrusting their arms in the air. However, before Team Rocket can go claim their prize, a brown haired boy wearing a long green jacket and red shirt, along with his Meowth (Wearing cowboy style boots and a hat with a feather in it.) stop them in their tracks. As Meowth becomes aggravated at Meowth in Boot's blunt taunt, Ash happily recognises the voice of the boy as Tyson, a trainer he met the day before who had helped him stop Team Rocket getting away with Pikachu. While all this is going on, Meowth is becoming more and more working up at Meowth in Boots cool and calm attitude, to which Meowth in Boots simply smirks. This however only causes Meowth to become more aggrivated, even causing red veins to appear in his eyes. At this point, Meowth decides to forget all about taking Ash and Morrison's Pokemon, extends his claws and hurl himself at still calm Meowth in Boots. James screams at Meowthto stop, and a worried Jessie tries to remind Meowth that they have to go get the boy's Pokemon, but to no avail as Meowth is too busy racing towards Meowth in Boots in pure rage.
Tyson, as calm as his Pokemon, commands Meowth in Boots to perform an Iron Tail attack. Meowth in Boots' tail glows and hardens, and it swings around, smashing it's tail right into his less experienced foe. The power of this attack sends Meowth flying backwards straight into his comrades (Jessie, James, along with Wobbuffet and Chimecho, who came out at the end of the motto.) causing Team Rocket to blast off again into the depths of the forest.
With Team Rocket gone, Ash and Morrison are able to climb out of the pitfall that the three villains dug for them. Ash happily greets Tyson, and Tyson asks the two boys if they're okay. Ash says that they are, and Morrison thanks Tyson for helping them. Suddendly, Brock runs up, out of breath and with a worried look on his face. He came to remind Morrison that time was running out for the Hoenn League Tournement, and that he needed to do it before 5:00 otherwise he wouldn't be able to participate. Scared that he might not be able to take part in the league after all his hard work of collecting badges, Morrison instantly runs off to register, leaving a trail of dust behind him.
The scene cuts to later that day, where Ash and co, along with Tyson and his Meowth in Boots, are talking with Morrison, who just managed to register with five minutes to spare. May asks about Team Rocket, and Morrison tells her with his arms out spread that Tyson and his Meowth in Boots saved them. Tyson then decides that it's time for them to go, and Meowth in Boots walks out of the Pokemon centre, with Tyson following a few seconds later. Ash calls out to Tyson, and he turns his head back and tells Ash and Masamune to do their best. Ash says that he will, and Tyson leaves. Pikachu then jumps off Ash's shoulder and waves goodbye to the departing trainer his Meowth. The group then talks about the upcoming battles, and May asks if they'll be okay, but both boys seem confident.
We then see a bird's eye view of the Hoenn League, and then a pan shot of a group of trainers training their Pokemon. (Castform, Elekid, Kecleon, Ninjask, Shroomish and Dragonite.) We then see various preliminary battles, including Golduck vs. Venonat, Machamp vs. Nidoking, Grimer vs. Hitmonchan and Scyther vs. Magmar. While all this is happening, Tyson and Meowth in Boots are sitting on a bench outside the stadium meditating silently.
We then cut to another preliminary battle, but this time, it's Morrison battling. Ash and May both wish him good luck as he and his Beldum face off against a trainer named Jump and his Electabuzz. To start things off, Morrison orders a Take Down attack, and Beldum immediately fires itself right at the opposing Electric Pokemon. Jump and Electabuzz however do not seem worried, and Jump taunts Morrison and orders Electabuzz to protect itself from Beldum's attack. Electabuzz does so, shielding itself with it's arms. This defensive manoeuvre pays off, as the force of it's attack being blocked sends Beldum flying back and smashing into the battlefield. Morrison tells Beldum to get up, as Ash and co. look on worried. However, Ash is confident that Beldum will pull through. Morrison once again orders a Take Down attack, and once again, Jump simply laughs the attack off and orders for Electabuzz to defend again. This has the same result as last time, and Bedlum is once again sent flying back with Electabuzz seemingy taking no damage.
Changing his tactics, Jump commands a Thunderpunch attack. Electabuzz jumps up above Beldum and charges up it's throbbing arm with powerful electrical energy, and smashes it right into Beldum, who is still on the floor recovering from it's last attack. Morrison calls out to Beldum, who is struggling to get up after the point-blank attack it just recieved. However, he's not the only one who is worried, as Ash, who is watching the battle in the audience, clenches both his fists in frustration at Morrison and Beldum not being able to land a successful attack. As Beldum is unable to use an attack other than Take Down, Morrison orders it once again. Jump again does not seem worried, and orders Electabuzz to defend again. However, Beldum continues to charge into Electabuzz with all it's might, forcing Jump to order a Quick Attack. Electabuzz does so, thrusting it's body and Beldum forward with it's attack, and smashes Beldum right into the stadium wall. Morrison then sees his chance to attack again, and orders a ake Down, which this time, pushes Electabuzz back. Jump does not seem worried, and orders a Thunderbolt attack at point blank range at the speeding Beldum. The force of the powerful electrical attack smashes Beldum right into the stadium ground again. Morrison urges the Steel type Pokemon to continue battling, and Beldum struggles to get up. Jump, convinced of victory, orders another Thunderpunch attack. Electabuzz charges up it's arm once again, but just before it can land a blow, Beldum starts glowing pure white. As the white light expands, Electabuzz is knocked back, as everyone including Morrison, looks on in amazement. Still wrapped in pure light, Beldum grows bigger, and when the light fades, standing there proudly is Metang. Beldum has evolved!
Ash checks Metang with his Pokedex while Morrison stands there, still amazed at what has just happened. Realising he's still in the middle of a battle, Morrison decides to finish things off. Jump, snapping out of his initial surprise, orders a nother Thunderpunch. Electabuzz charges and leaps towards Metang to deliver the final blow, but Morrison orders a Confusion just in time, which instantly freezes the Electric Pokemon in mid-air. Morrison tells Metang that to use Metang to use Take Down to deliver the final blow. Metang locks it's arms into place, and rockets towards the still frozen Electabuzz allowing Metang to smash right into it delivering maximum damage and knocking Electabuzz down for the count. The referee announces that Electabuzz is unable to battle, and that Morrison and his Metang are the winners. Ash congratulates Morrison as the boy excitingly tells Ash that he did it.
However, outside the stadium, not everything is as innocent and happy as Morrison. Lurking in the shadows are two familiar faces, with two very familiar evil smiles on those faces. What could they be planning this time?
Not much, apprantely. Never allowing a money making scheme to pass them by, Team Rocket decide to go back to their tried and tested plan of making money from selling snacks to the League spectators. However, while Jessie and James seem happy enough, Meowth is less than impressed.
The scene then cuts to yet another preliminary battle, this time with Tyson and his trademark Meowth in Boots. Ash and co. along with Morrison appear, and Ash calls out to Tyson, and May wishes the young boy luck. Max however, is too busy looking at the Pokemon belonging to Tyson's opponent: Persian, the evolved form of the very Pokemon Tyson is choosing for his battle, Meowth. In control of the Persian is Yuriko, a young female trainer with hair colour similar to Jessie's, and wearing knee-high socks. Yuriko suggests that they get the battle started, while Meowth in Boots becomes more and more aggravated at the sight of it's evolved form. Seeing this, the young girl's Persian says something which causes Meowth in Boots to become even more frustrated, almost to the point of pure rage.
Max remarks that this match-up of Meowth and Persian will make for an interesting battle, as the two feline Pokemon continue to stare each otherout waiting for the battle to start. Unlike Max, Team Rocket are not interested in the battle, as they continue to wander the stadium stands selling food. Meowth then notices that the Meowth in Boots is battling, but James snaps at him to focus on their work.
Finally, the referee starts the match and Meowth in Boots instantly dashes towards Persian without even waiting for an attack order. Ash and co. are shocked by this sudden action, but Tyson remains calm and orders a Scratch attack. Meowth in Boots extends it's claws and leaps towards Persian, but it's vicious slash is dodged by it's evolved counterpart as it leaps up to avoid the attack. Seeing an opening, Yuriko quickly tells Persian to use it's Fury Swipes as it lands. Persian quickly turns around and jumps towards Meowth in Boots, using it's claws to land several vicious blows on the young feline. Tyson quickly orders a Double Team attack, and Meowth in Boots back flips and creates several identical clones of itself which surround Persian. unfazed by Meowth's sneaky attack, Yuriko orders a Water Pulse attack, creating huge pulses of water to surge through the battlefield which destroys the Meowth copies and hits the real Meowth, sending it flying back. Meowth manages to land on it's feet however, as sh shouts encouragement to Tyson. Deciding it's time to finish things off, Yuriko calls for Shadow Ball, which smashes Meowth in Boots right into the Stadium wall. Not one to give up however, Meowth thrusts himself forward as Tyson orders an Iron Tail. Meowth leaps into the air and smashes its tail into Persian, who is sent spiralling backwards. Not wanting to give Yuriko a moment to recover, Tyson orders a Thunderbolt attack, which Yuriko counters by telling her Persian to dig underground in order to avoid the attack. Meowth in Boots charges up it's energy, and shoots out it's electrical attack right at the hole that Persian escaped through. The attack rips right through the ground until it hits its target, and Persian is thrusted straight out of it's underground hiding place and out into the open once again, screaming as it's still being shocked by the Thunderbolt mid-air. The attack eventually ends, and Persian is sent smashing into the ground and out for the count. Yuriko calls out to her Pokemon s the referee announces that it is unable to battle and that Tyson and Meowth are the winners. However, Meowth does not want to battle to end there, and it extends its claws once again and runs towards the fallen Persian. Tyson attempts to hold Meowth back, but Meowth frees itself from its trainers grip and leaps towards Persian as Ash, Jessie and James all wonder what is going on. But before it can attack, Tyson calls Meowth back to its Pokeball and stares sadly at the red and white ball which holds his comrade.
We then see the group outside of the stadium, standing around Tyson who is still holding Meowth's ball. Eavesdropping into the conversation is Team Rocket's Meowth. Tyson explains that one day, while he was travelling through a snow-covered forest, he happened across a pack of wild Meowth, headed by a Persian. One of the Meowth was battling against the Persian, but was losing badly as the rest of the pack watched on. The Persian used Fury Swipes, knocking the Meowth back, and then Shadow Ball to knock the young feline back. The Persian and the rest of the group then walked off, leaving the young Meowth in the middle of the snow. Tyson then explains how he took the young Meowth and nursed it back to health, and bandaged up it's damaged foot. When Meowth was finally conscious again, Tyson gave him a pair of boots to take the strain off walking and started training him on how to walk on his damaged feet.
As Tyson finishes off his story, the group realise why Meowth had been so wild when it battled Persian and how hard it must have been to take a beating like that again. Due to his own experiences with Persians, Team Rocket's Meowth cannot help but cry at Tyson's story.
The scene then cuts to Ash's preliminary battle, against a young, martial arts user called Genki and his Hitmonlee. Tyson, Brock, Max, May and Morrison cheer Ash on from the audience, and the referee starts the battle off. Both Pikachu and Hitmonlee charge towards eachother, with Genki commanding a Rolling Kick, and Ash ordering Iron Tail. Hitmonlee leaps towards Pikachu and kicks hard with it's extentable legs, but Pikachu quickly dodges and quickly unleashes it's Iron Tail on Ash's command, sending Hitmonlee crashing down to earth. Tyson remarks on Pikachu's incredible speed. Genki tells Hitmonlee to use High Jump Kick, and Hitmonlee attempts to hit Pikachu while combining it's attack with forward flips. Pikachu, however, uses the amazing speed which Tyson just commented on to dodge all three kicks, leading Hitmonlee further and further towards the stadium wall. Seeing it's chance, Hitmonlee thrusts forward to attack, but Pikachu dodges once again at the last moment, making Hitmonlee hurt its knee aainst the hard surface of the stadium wall. Both Pokemon land and face-off, but Hitmonlee starts to feel the pain of it's strained leg. As Hitmonlee's legs are it's main source of attacking, they are also it's weakspot, and so Genki senses that he'll have to end the battle fast, even if it means taking a risk. Ash orders Pikachu to attack, and Genki tells Hitmonlee to use Mega Kick. The fighting Pokemon responds, and smashes its foot hard into Pikachu, but it feels pain while doing so, which Ash senses. Thinking fast, he orders an Iron Tail just before both Pokemon hit the ground. The impact of the attacks causes a dust cloud to appear, and when it clears, Pikachu has smashed straight into Hitmonlee's head with it's Iron Tail, after using said attack to cushion the blow of the vicious kick attack. Hitmonlee falls to the ground, and Pikachu is declared the winner. Ash congratulates his best friend as it jumps into his arms for a celebration hug.
The episode ends with a celebration event to mark the start of the real Hoenn League Tournement, with Ash being the one chosen to light the scared League torch. However, watching on television are Professor Oak, Delia, Tracey, Misty, Norman and Caroline. Ash lights the torch, while the celebration balloons float off into the distance.
Thanks to Alfonso for writing this for us
403: Saved by the Beldum
403: Start The Preliminaries! Morrison Appears!!
Ash, Morrison & Tyson advance through to the next round of the Hoenn League