After visiting a merchant to complain about the berries he sold to her, Kelly tripped over, but Grumpig used Psychic to save her berries. After introducing herself and Grumpig, Kelly heard May won two ribbons, so she and Grumpig tickled her, forcing her to show those ribbons. Later on, Team Rocket attempted to snatch Grumpig, who was saved by May's Bulbasaur and Combusken. On the day on the Contest, Grumpig and Combusken glared each other, as they were rivals.
During the first round of the Contest, Kelly sent Grumpig and threw some Poké Blocks, to let Grumpig levitate them in a circle and juggle them using Psychic. While Kelly got the audience to clap, Grumpig jumped away and ate the Poké Blocks, scoring 27.7 points. After winning the next two rounds, Grumpig faced Combusken in the battle. Grumpig started off with Iron Tail, which Combusken blocked. Combusken fired Fire Spin, which got redirected by Grumpig's Psychic. Combusken retaliated with Sky Uppercut, negating its own Fire Spin attack. Grumpig lifted Combusken in air with Psychic and attempted to defeat it with Bounce. However, Combusken used Fire Spin on the ceiling and the flames spread around, which damaged Grumpig. Grumpig's concentration was messed up and it fell down, but Combusken held it and used Fire Spin on the ground, which made both of them land easily on the floor. Time was up and Combusken, who lost less points, won the battle.
Before arriving to Slateport City for May's Grand Festival, she and Ash remembered their past adventures so far. May recalled fighting against Kelly's Grumpig, using her Combusken. While Grumpig used Psychic to bind Combusken, the latter used Fire Spin on the ceiling. The flames burned Grumpig, disrupting its Psychic attack.