The last event of the Twinleaf Festival is upon us, and it’s the Festival Battle Challenge! The winner of the event will get the chance to battle none other than Barry’s father—the Sinnoh Battle Frontier Tower Tycoon, Palmer! Ash emerges victorious from the challenge, so he and Palmer begin a one-on-one battle with no Pokémon substitutions allowed on either side. Palmer brings out his gigantic and powerful Rhyperior, and Ash surprises everyone by calling out his Grotle! Although Rhyperior’s power seems overwhelming, Grotle’s tenacity completely impresses Palmer. In the end, Rhyperior’s final Rock Wrecker proves too much for Grotle to handle, and Palmer finishes with the victory.
Ash takes his defeat well and gratefully accepts the Gold Trophy for winning the Festival Battle Challenge. Saying goodbye to Palmer and to Dawn’s mom, our heroes head toward the Sunyshore Gym and Ash’s next Sinnoh Gym challenge. And who should go along with them to challenge the same Gym himself but Palmer’s son—Ash’s rival and friend—Barry!