Vicious caught this timid Tyranitar at the Pokémon Hunter's camp in order to get himself a new, strong Pokémon, demonstrate the powers of his Dark Ball and force the Hunter to reveal the place where he had seen Celebi. Vicious also sent Tyranitar to battle against Ash and friends, who were carrying Celebi, but they got away as James' Weezing used its SmokeScreen to distract the Marauder, so he wouldn't "steal their Pikachu away", as Team Rocket thought he was doing.
Later Vicious sent his Tyranitar to battle against Suicune. Brock used his Onix to battle Tyranitar, but the powered-up Armor Pokémon was too strong for Brock's Rock Snake Pokémon. Suicune, however, was able to defeat Tyranitar with a powerful BubbleBeam, and Onix used its last powers to slam it to the Lake of Life. Later, after Vicious was defeated, the freed Tyranitar was seen swimming through the lake and disappearing into the mist, sinking Team Rocket's raft on the way.