On their way to Fortree City, they stop at a village, Crossgate Town. They spot a Swablu, but with a collar in its mouth. Suddenly, a wind blasts it down, so Ash sends Taillow to rescue the Swablu. Taillow rescues Swablu, but a boy comes to get Swablu. He introduces himself as Shane. Max wonders what's that ring, so Shane says it is for the PokéRinger competition. Shane explains what PokéRinger is - a competition where a trainer with a Flying type Pokémon can compete. The Pokémon needs to grab the ring first and place it on a hook to win. Shane mentions that the competition will start the afternoon, so May will enter with her Beautifly and Ash with his Taillow.
A screen displays the former winners of the PokéRinger contest. Those winners are honorary citizens of Crossgate Town. Shane also mentions that many are new to the competition. Team Rocket is skeptical about the reward, but James remembers that he worked hard for these kind of competitions. He remembers the wounds when he sees his master - one of the champions of the contest. James is determined to enter and win that contest. The screen randomly chooses 4 contestants. In A block, Shane is chosen among some unknown trainers. The B block consists Ash and some 3 other contestants, from which one is the champion. Ash wants to battle him, but the champ insults Ash, thinking he ain't a challenge.
James also appears, but he won't fight Ash and May as a member of Team Rocket, but as a competitor. Lastly, in the C block, May, James and some 2 other contestants are in that group. The A block team has its balloons released to begin the competition. Shane sends Swablu, while the others send Wingull, Yanma and Pelipper. Pelipper attacks with Water Gun, but Swablu gets through. Yanma uses Swift, but misses. Swablu goes up, as the other Pokémon are swept by the wind. Swablu takes the ring and places on the hook, winning the round. Next, it is Ash, the champ and 2 other contestants. Ash sends Taillow, and the others send Golbat, Ninjask and Volbeat.
Volbeat attacks with Thunder, immediately defeating Golbat and Ninjask. Taillow goes after the ring while Volbeat attacks with Thunder, hitting Taillow. Taillow frees itself from the attack and gets the ring. Volbeat attacks with Thunder, but misses Taillow, but the ring falls down. Volbeat takes the ring, but soon drops when Taillow used Wing Attack. Taillow takes the ring and places on the hook, so Ash wins. The champ is surprised to see Ash won... The C block is also prepared to go compete. May sends Beautifly, James sends Dustox and the trainers release Crobat and Jumpluff. They all go after the ring, but Dustox gets the ring first. Bautifly attacks with Gust, blowing Jumpluff and Crobat, but in so doing, Dustox "rides" the wind and places the ring on the hook, so James wins.
Meanwhile, Jessie and Meowth offer massage, but in reality, they want to capture the Pokémon. Taillow and Skarmory are in semi-finals. Skarmory is seen to have a ring already, but Taillow takes the ring, places it on the hook - Ash won the semi-finals and progresses to finals. James and Shane are also going to battle, but wait until the wind calms down. When the ring goes up, both Pokémon go. Swablu is closer, but Dustox stops. The sun affects Swablu, blinding it for a while. Dustox tackles Swablu, gets the ring and places it on the hook. James will also progress to the finals.
Jessie and Meowth have captured the Pokémon, so Meowth needs to get James and get out. Meowth gives signals to James, but James signals that he needs to finish - he is in the finals and will not leave. Ash sends Taillow and James Dustox. Dustox attacks with Psybeam, damaging Taillow. Taillow frees itself from the attack and attacks with Wing Attack. Taillow goes after the ring, and so does Dustox. The wind is beginning to be felt, so Dustox goes away. Taillow is stricken by the wind, however it is a tornado. Dustox stays put, but Taillow goes inside the tornado to get the ring. Taillow flies hard and is blown by the tornado. Ash encourages Taillow to get that ring, and suddenly, it evolves into Swellow!
Swellow has no difficulty when being into the tornado, so charges after the ring. It gets it and goes to place it. Dustox uses Poison Sting, hurting Swellow and getting the ring. Dustox is near the ring, but Swellow uses Wing Attack on the ring, throwing it on the hook. Ash wins the competition, although James feels he disappointed his master. Jessie and Meowth appear in the balloon with the stolen Pokémon. Swellow uses Wing Attack, cutting the net and setting the Pokémon free. Pikachu blasts them off with Thunderbolt. Ash becomes the new honorary citizen of the Crossgate Town.
- Ash's Swellow
- Featured Pokémon: Swampert, Marshtomp, Spheal, Golduck
- At the beginning of the episode, a classic Pokémon identification can be seen. In this episode, it is a Horsea.
- The episode's title is a reference to the phrase "that's just swell".
- This marks the first time Meowth fills in for James in the Team Rocket's motto, though he had done so for Jessie previously.
- This marks the first time James borrowed a Pokémon from Jessie, who usually borrows Pokémon from him.
- Oddly, Wobbuffet hiccuped at the end of the motto. It said "Wobba-hic!".
This episode marks one of the extremely rare occasions that a member of Team Rocket refers to one of the main characters by name (this being James while speaking to May after entering the PokéRinger competition).
- This marks the first time Team Rocket's original theme is played since Hoenn Alone!, the last episode of the original series, making it the first time for it to feature in the Advance Generation series. It is also the first time that both the original and new themes are played in the same episode. However, note that the beginning of the original theme music appeared in AG020 and AG024.
- This episode is similar to Pursuing a Lofty Goal! in multiple ways:
- Ash enters a PokéRinger with his Flying-type Pokémon, while James enters with one of Jessie's Bug-type Pokémon.
- In each episode, the over-confident and boastful former champion enters only to be knocked out in the first round.
- Ash's Flying-type Pokémon evolves into its final form, helping him win the contest.
- Ash's Pokémon hits the hoop over the goal section with its wings (even the background music is the same in both episodes).
- Instrumental versions of Advance Adventure and OK! are used as background music.
- Instead of Wing Attack, Ash commands Taillow to use "Wing".
- When all of Team Rocket's captured Pokémon were in a net, one of the Golbat looked like a Crobat.
- While Shane is talking to Max about the competition, the man who is sitting behind him is slightly overlapping Shane.
The challengers were divided into three blocks, and from each one the winner moved to the semifinals. However, there were four semifinalists instead of three. When first round started, there were contestants from B-block (including Ash and Volt) instead A-block (with Shane) on the display board.
- When the B-block group started Ash's balloon had a Pikachu instead of Taillow, the Pokémon he was using.