It is said that Professor Kukui and Guzma are fated to get involved with one another. And thus, on the day Professor Kukui announces the Alola Pokémon League, Guzma watches it live on TV, then comes marching into the Pokémon School.
Ash, at School, has Pikachu use the Z-Move, Corkscrew Crash, to destroy some obstacles. Ash is pleased, and so are his friends, to have witnessed the Steel-type Z-Move. Ash hugs Pikachu, while Kiawe reminds that Pikachu can use three Z-Moves, which has motivated Sophocles to use a Z-Move, too. Suddenly, the principal arrives, asking them to regroup, as the heroes have been told by Kukui to go to Aether Paradise for something important. Mallow wonders what kind of important announcement could it be, but Samson smiles and makes Pokémon impressions. Later, the group has arrived to Aether Paradise, and find a lot of people attending the event, including Professor Burnet. A moment later, Anna comes to the stage, introducing Professor Kukui, who exclaims they will be opening the Alolan Pokémon League. The attendants, as well as the class, is amazed at these news. Kukui explains the League's winner - the strongest trainer - becomes the Champion, but the most important thing about it is to have the trainer and Pokémon fight for that title together. Gladion, along with his Pokémon, watches the news on the screen.
Kukui reminds the importance of learning through battles, clashing against one's opponents, and to inspire hopes and dreams. Team Rocket also watch the news, and realize the winner becomes the first-annual Champion of Alola League. They think of the possibilities, even to give the region's islands to their boss as a gift. Kukui introduces the Island Kahuna - Hala, Nanu, Olivia and Hapu - along with Lusamine, who approve of his idea. Ash waves to Hapu to greet her, and she greets him back, though Burnet warns Ash not to disturb the meeting. Hala admits Kukui's speech to introduce the League moved him and the other Kahuna, and they decided to support the idea. He reminds everyone of the Island Pilgrimage, which are taken by trainers throughout the region's islands. Olivia adds that there was a custom of trainers that fought on Lanakila Mountain. Nanu states that it was Kukui that decided to renew this custom, in form of the League tournament. Hapu explains the League is for all the trainers that want to empower themselves and their Pokémon through battles. Lusamine exclaims the Aether Foundation supports the idea, and shows a stadium being constructed, which should be the symbol of the Alolan Pokémon League.
Kukui tries to inspire everyone to participate, and makes the Masked Royal's pose before correcting himself. After the meeting, Ash reminds how inspiring the Pokémon League is, and promises not to lose. He and Kiawe get fired-up, while Samson asks the rest if they'll participate. Ash voices that idea, thinking the more people, the merrier it will be, knowing that they can go all-out against their rivals. While Lana is interested, Sophocles hopes he doesn't face against Kiawe or Ash, considering his Vikavolt recently evolved. Lillie and Mallow are uncertain yet, but Ash is still happy to know he'll fight in the Alola League. Elsewhere, in a ruined mansion, Team Skull is lazying around. The pink-haired girl, Plumeria, shouts out that their boss has returned. The grunts stand back up, cheerful that the boss, Guzma, has arrived. One guy raps about the pride of the Team Skull, and Guzma asks them how they are doing. The grunts reply they are still sick of cheerful life, and soon, they are joined by Rapp, Tupp and Zipp. The three report that the Alola League is near its opening, which gets Guzma's attention. They state that the Island Kahuna are in the deal, and activate the TV by hitting it.
At Kukui's house, Ash and the professors watch Kukui's speech. Burnet applauds Kukui for his cool speech, while Ash wonders if the Masked Royal will participate. Kukui is in shock, wondering why Ash is asking that, and reminds that man is quite mysterious. Ash is nevertheless pleased, and plans the training for the League tomorrow. Team Skull continue watching the TV, and one considers how fun the League sounds. Others are not impressed, as it is not in their interest. Plumeria silences them, while Guzma aims to destroy their League, and prepares everyone to go to Melemele Island. The next morning, Ash is running with his Pokémon under a sunrise. Team Rocket see an advertisement; James braces Mareanie for training, who glomps and poisons him. Jessie is also hyped, aiming to be the first Champion of Alola, which impresses Meowth for her enthusiasm. Suddenly, Tupp, Zipp and Rapp come, rapping how bad the idea of becoming the Champion sounds. The two are followed by Plumeria and Guzma, while Team Rocket rap their motto. The two sides seem to have an idea who the other one is, but decide to have a battle. Guzma steps in, deciding to fight Team Rocket to crush their dream of the Alola League. Plumeria volunteers to face them instead, but Guzma wants this to be a warm-up battle before he faces Kukui.
Team Rocket wonder who Guzma is, whom Rapp, Tupp and Zipp describe as their leader, the avatar of destruction. Guzma dares them to attack him all at once, claiming he'll destroy them. A moment later, an explosion occurs: Team Skull walks away from Team Rocket, who have been beaten up. Stufful approaches them, and soon after, Team Rocket is carried away by Bewear. At school, as Kukui describes the Alolan Pokémon League, they hear Team Skull coming onto the grounds, and dare Kukui to face them. Kukui asks of the class to stay put, as he goes to deal with these troublemakers. Kukui wonders why are they doing here, and reminds he has a class to attend to. However, he stops, upon seeing Guzma, who smiles, as he gives him the cold look. The heroes arrive, demanding why are Team Skull here. Kukui is troubled, as Plumeria announces the special battle between Guzma and Kukui, and the former exclaims he's going to destroy the latter. Guzma admits he sees something in Kukui's quest to replace the old traditions with something new. However, he does not approve of the Pokémon League, because he states Guzma's the strongest one around. Kukui dares Guzma to enter the League, to prove himself, instead of bragging around.
Guzma is not impressed, and swears to crush the Pokémon League, unless Kukui accepts the match. Kukui promises he won't dare Guzma do that, and notes he hasn't changed a bit. The grunts defend Guzma, stating he should be referred to as "Mister". In that moment, Ash steps forward, challenging Guzma to a battle instead of Kukui. As the grunts protest, Guzma notices Ash's Z-Ring, who states he has passed all four Grand Trials. Seeing Ash is like Kukui, Guzma accepts his challenge, seeing how rebellious the child is. Kukui tries to talk Ash out of this, but seeing his determined look, decides to be the referee instead. Guzma grins, swearing he'll demolish everything that Ash holds dear. Ash is not certain what he means by that, but Kukui voices that Ash is a strong trainer, but Guzma doubts that. Ash sends Pikachu, while Guzma sends a Golisopod. As the battle starts, Guzma mutters "First Impression", causing Golisopod to close in on Pikachu and damage him. Plumeria points out that nobody has ever dodged this move. Pikachu counterattacks with Iron Tail, but Golisopod shrugs off the attack. Golisopod fires Pin Missile, which is stopped by Pikachu's Electroweb. Next, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but Golisopod manages to resist that move.
For a final move, Ash passes the Z-Power onto Pikachu, energizing him up. Pikachu uses the Z-Move Corkscrew Crash onto Golisopod, who raises its arms and deflects the attack. Golisopod, however, uses Liquidation, which bashes Pikachu away. The latter uses Quick Attack, but gets hit by Poison Jab, and gets poisoned as well. Pikachu stands up and uses Iron Tail, but gets stopped by Golisopod's Pin Missile. Pikachu attempts to use Quick Attack, but Guzma replies they are wasting their time. Golisopod uses Poison Jab, but Pikachu evades the attack and hits Golisopod's soft spot. Pikachu is knocked away, but is still able to battle, which makes Guzma frown. Golisopod turns around, and returns to Guzma's Poké Ball. Despite others' surprise, Guzma claims that Golisopod lost interest in the battle. Kukui assumes that Guzma is throwing the match, but the latter simply states he won't partake in a battle, where the outcome is obvious. Ash grits his teeth, since the match is not over yet. Guzma leaves, telling Ash to simply ask his Pokémon. Ash looks at Pikachu, who falls down from exhaustion. Kiawe tosses Ash a Pecha berry, which Pikachu eats to cure its poison status. Guzma points out how pointless Z-Moves are, as Ash fought Golisopod, while Plumeria even invites him to join Team Skull.
Ash refuses to partake. Guzma believes that the fight in Alola League will be very hollow, and is why he wants to destroy the league, while all of Alola will be watching. Kukui steps forward, telling that Guzma will run away this time, like he did one time from the Island Pilgrimage, and the Island Kahuna, too. Guzma becomes silent for a moment, and ignores Kukui, stating that Ash changed his mind about crushing him. He then walks away with his crew. At the ruined mansion, the grunts are lazying around, while Plumeria is typing on her phone, who believes Guzma is making destruction plans. However, Guzma, he thinks of Kukui's words how he ran off again, and angrily slams his fist in the wall.
Near Kukui's house, Ash wants Pikachu to improve his Iron Tail to strengthen the Steel Z-Move. He takes out a frying pan, and Pikachu uses Iron Tail. However, Pikachu slices the frying pan, and gets his tail stuck in Ash's face.
- "Who's That Pokémon?:" Wobbuffet (JP), Trubbish (US)
- The Poké Question segment hosted by Professor Kukui asks who is the leader of Team Skull in today's episode. The correct answer is the yellow answer, Guzma. The other answers are Rapp (blue), Plumeria (red), and Nanu (green).