When Tad challenged Ash to a battle, he sent Poliwrath against Ash's Pikachu. Poliwrath carried a belt, since Tad and Poliwrath won a championship by defeating many trainers. Pikachu tried to attack Poliwrath, but was defeated quickly by Hypnosis and Water Gun. Ash sent Charizard, who did not obey Ash, allowing Poliwrath to strike it easily using Ice Beam. This hurt Charizard a lot, who got frozen. Tad left with Poliwrath, since he did not want to fight a trainer that cannot handle their own Pokémon. Charizard learned his bond towards its trainer Ash and decided to finally obey him. Later, Charizard and Ash both defeated Tad's Poliwrath using Seismic Toss.
Ash remembered Tad's Poliwrath battling Charizard when he retrieved him in Unova.