The heroes arrived to Lake Acuity, where it is rumored that Uxie, one of the Legendary Lake Trio, lives. Ash cannot wait for his battle against Pual; even Pikachu is confident. Ash gives Nurse Joy his Pokémon to see if they are all right. Brock cannot resist Nurse Joy's charm and flirts, which causes Croagunk to stab him as usual. Ash asks her if she saw a trainer named Paul nearby. Nurse Joy saw him, as he came for his Pokémon to be checked, so Ash runs, but Nurse Joy knows he does not know where the battle field is.
Team Rocket got a job and Ash asks them if the battle field is prepared. Though taken back, they respond he should look elsewhere. A man comes, introducing himself as Olivier, who will act as a referee, per Reggie's will. He tells Ash that there is a substitute. Electabuzz uses ThunderPunch, hitting the ground hard. Reggie admits Paul has trained well. Paul asks why now, so Reggie replies battle with Brandon seemed to have an effect on him and it might be good to have the battle sooner than later. Nurse Joy checked Ash's Pokémon and they are all fine. Ash believes that when he defeats Paul, he will begin to respect Ash's battling style. Chimchar is especially confident, making Brock be reminded of Cynthia's words that Chimchar holds a greater destiny, one that bounds Ash and Paul.
The gang comes to another field, where Paul and Reggie are. Reggie thanks Ash for coming, thinking it was destiny that will now commence the battle. Reggie believes that with them being rivals, they can understand what the other has to offer; his strength and his weakness. It is why it is a 6-on-6 battle, and since it is not good to use the field outside the Center, Reggie tells them to battle here. Olivier comes in the balloon and Team Rocket, as his helpers, prepare the machine which displays Ash's and Paul's Pokémon. Ash calls heads and Paul tails; the result is heads, so Ash gets the first attack. Ash sends Buizel and Paul his Torterra.
Surprisingly, Ash calls Buizel back. Instead, he sends Gliscor, telling Paul he met it when it was a Gligar. Gliscor starts with Sand Attack. Torterra uses Giga Drain, but misses. Brock and Reggie suspect Paul ordered it on purpouse to miss to have Ash get his guard dropped for a moment. Gliscor uses X-Scissor, hitting Torterra. Torterra uses Frenzy Plant, but misses Gliscor. Gliscor uses Fire Fang and X-Scissor, which both wound Torterra. Gliscor uses Steel Wing, but Torterra crunches its tail. This causes Torterra to safely use Giga Drain. Reggie explains that Paul planned well to get Gliscor to get on his Torterra and trapped it. Gliscor frees itself using Fire Fang. Since it took a lot of damage, Ash calls it back.
Dawn already feels intense, even if it was the first battle. Ash sends Staraptor, who uses Brave Bird, but Torterra cancels it with Stone Edge. Paul calls Torterra back. Reggie asks Dawn and Brock if Ash changed his strategy or his Pokémon, but they tell him he did not, as he focuses on training his Pokémon from Sinnoh. Reggie now knows that Paul switched his from his previous journies to get the advantage over Ash's Pokémon. Paul sends Weavile, while Ash keeps Staraptor. Staraptor uses Quick Attack, hitting Weavile. Weavile uses Swords Dance to increase offense. Staraptor uses Aerial Ace, but Weavile slows him down with Blizzard, then jumps on him and uses Metal Claw. Staraptor uses Close Combat, preventing Weavile from using Metal Claw. Staraptor uses Brave Bird, going through the Blizzard and defeating Weavile.
Ash knows it is far from over, as he has seen Weavile was faster than Staraptor. Ash and Paul call their Pokémon back, while sending Electabuzz and Grotle. Electabutt uses Light Screen, protecting itself from Energy Ball. Paul calls Electabuzz back and sends Honchkrow. Grotle uses Razor Leaf, but Honchkrow dodges and uses Night Slash. Grotle uses Energy Ball, but Honchkrow is still protected by Light Screen. Honchkrow uses Haze, leading Dawn to believe Paul did change his battle style for this battle. Grotle uses Razor Leaf and Honchkrow comes, hitting it with Night Slash. Grotle uses Synthesis to renew itself. Honchkrow charges with Sky attack, so Grotle uses Rock Climb. After the collision, Grotle is defeated.
Ash and Paul call their Pokémon back. Pikachu wants to battle, so Ash sends him. Paul sends his Magmortar, as he had time to evolve it from Magmar.
- Music from Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea and Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is used as background music.
- This is the first time Pikachu was chosen to battle Paul since When Pokémon Worlds Collide!
- The disguises used by Jessie, James and Meowth in this episode are the same that were used in Holy Matrimony!, which first aired in Japan exactly eleven years before the debut Japanese airing of this episode.
- When Ash, Dawn, and Brock arrive at Lake Acuity, there is no snow by the lake despite it being surrounded by snow in the games and in May and Zoey's flashback in Pruning a Passel of Pals!.
- The dub's title is based on the saying "Pedal to the metal" and the word "mettle", meaning 'spirit' or 'quality of temperament'.
- Cartoon Network's standard-definition feed starts to become inconsistent in how the anime is aired, switching between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios before consistently being shown in 4:3 four episodes later for 14 weeks; Cartoon Network later stopped their cropping practices during the week prior to the initial dub airing of Sticking With Who You Know!, allowing the 16:9 letterbox presentation. Due to the opening credits now being formatted with the 16:9 aspect ratio in mind, the names in the opening credits are now cut off when Cartoon Network chooses to show the show in 4:3 in standard definition.
- However, if one watched the episode on Cartoon Network's high-definition feed or on Cartoon Network Video, the episode always airs in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Also, from this episode until Three Sides to Every Story!, if one watched an episode on Cartoon Network's high-definition feed, the first part of the episode (until the episode's title card appeared) would be shown in a 3:2 aspect ratio.
- When Honchkrow hits Ash's Grotle, the scoreboard does not show Honchkrow at all, and shows Electabuzz being sent out. Seconds later, when the scoreboard is being updated with Grotle's KO, Honchkrow is seen.
- Brock mentions that Ash has battled Paul's Torterra several times before, though this is untrue. In the many times Ash has faced Paul, Paul has never used Torterra against him.
- Ash has, however, battled against a Torterra before, in The Rise of Darkrai, though it was Maury's, not Paul's.
- When Ash arrives at the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy tells him she is looking after Paul's Pokémon. However, when Paul is seen, without him having had any chance to collect his Pokémon, Paul has his team already.
- Ash says that Water-type moves will not work very much on Torterra. However, Torterra is Ground-type as well, meaning it would take normal damage.
- When Paul sends out his Magmortar, the screenshot shows that it stands a few feet away from Pikachu. However, when the camera switches to the battle from a distance, (just as the episode is about to end) the space between the two Pokémon has widened so that Dawn, Brock, Reggie, Team Rocket and the Referee can be seen in the middle of the battle.