Outside Crossgate Town, the kids meet a Trainer named Shane and his Swablu. He is practicing for the PokeRinger competition, a contest where flying Pokemon battle in the sky to capture a ring and place it on the goal post.
Ash and May both sign up with Taillow and Beautifly. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has also arrived in town. As a child, James received training from a PokeRinger champion, and decides to enter the competition as well.
The competitors are matched up into three separate groups of four. In the first group, Shane and his Swablu use the wind to their advantage and win the round. Ash faces the previous PokeRinger champion in the next group, but knocks out his Volbeat to win. In the last group, May and James face off against each other, but Dustox (borrowed from Jessie) scores the goal.
In the next round, Ash's Taillow faces off a Skarmory and wins easily. Shane goes up against James, but his Swablu gets blinded by the sun, giving Dustox a chance to score.
While the competition is going on, Jessie and Meowth have been tricking Trainers into leaving their Pokemon behind for a special "relaxing" treatment. They trap the Pokemon into a net and prepare to run. Meowth tries to order James to leave with them, but James refuses.
Ash and James begin the final round, but they are interruptedby a freak tornado in the middle of the field that blocks their path to the ring. Ash sends Taillow into the swirling wind and its determination causes it to evolve into Swellow. Swellow snags the ring and leaves the tornado, with Dustox on its tail. Swellow puts the ring onto the goal and James is dragged away sobbing by Team Rocket.
Swellow frees the stolen Pokemon, and then Pikachu sends Team Rocket blasting off with Thunderbolt. Ash attends the award ceremony, where his picture is displayed alongside the previous PokeRinger champions.
- Ash's Swellow
- 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.