Ash and friends are almost to Petalburg City. Ash can't wait to battle Gym Leader Norman, while May and Max look forward to seeing their parents again. They remind Ash that he needs to pick three Pokémon to battle with, so Ash calls all of his out to decide.
After trying to get oranges out of a tree, the Pokémon are captured by Team Rocket in a net. Grovyle cuts the net and frees the Pokémon, and everyone congratulates the Grass-type. The gang sits down for lunch, but are interrupted by a dancing Ludicolo and its Trainer Poncho. Poncho challenges Ash to a battle; if Poncho wins, he gets the kids' lunch.
Ash is ready to use Grovyle but Corphish wants to battle. Ash and Corphish aren't really in synch, so Corphish is badly beaten. Poncho takes the sandwiches and leaves to eat, but is followed by the angry Corphish.
Team Rocket shows up again and grabs Poncho and Ludicolo in a net, but Corphish pops their balloon. Ash and friends arrive, and with Ash's teamwork, Corphish successfully takes out Team Rocket. Poncho apologizes for taking the sandwiches, and Brock makes stew for everyone.
Ash proposes a rematch with Poncho and Ludicolo, this time using his Torkoal.