Last time, Ash had begun his battle with Drake for the Orange League Championship. Pikachu and Squirtle had already defeated Drake's Ditto and Onix respectively; Drake's third Pokémon, a Gengar, started things off by confusing Ash's Tauros, so Ash sent Lapras out in his place. In a collision with Lapras's Ice Beam and Gengar's Night Shade, it is unknown which Pokémon will remain standing.
After the explosion from the Ice Beam and Night Shade attacks, both Gengar and Lapras faint. Ash and Drake recall their Pokémon, and with three of Drake's defeated, a field change ensues. The commentator for the match remarks how Ash is the first Trainer to knock out three of Drake's Pokémon in a row. In the stands, Team Rocket decide to capture Dragonite when Ash weakens it.
After the field change into a sandy desert field, Drake calls out his Venusaur and Ash uses Tauros again, who has had his mind cleared from Gengar's Confuse Ray. Ash tries to start things off with a Fissure attack, but the attack doesn't work because the sand on the field absorbs the attack. Drake tells Venusaur to use SolarBeam. Hoping to cause damage before the SolarBeam is charged, Ash tells Tauros to use Take Down, but Tauros is unable to damage Venusaur due to all the sand on the field. Ash tells Tauros to send Venusaur flying. Venusaur is sent soaring into the air. As this happens, Venusaur reverses itself in midair and releases its SolarBeam on Tauros, but Tauros isn't down since the SolarBeam got him unstuck from the sand. Venusaur then launches a barrage of Vine Whips, a few of which hit Tauros, but then Tauros dodges the rest and hits Venusaur with a powerful Take Down, defeating it.
Drake recalls Venusaur and sends out his Electabuzz. Ash decides to let Tauros rest, and sends out Bulbasaur. Drake tells Electabuzz to use ThunderShock, but Bulbasaur is unfazed and counters with a Razor Leaf; Electabuzz is hit by a few of the leaves but then deflects with Thunderbolt. Drake tells Electabuzz to use ThunderPunch, and Ash has Bulbasaur use Tackle. Bulbasaur gets its Tackle in; however, after being hit by Electabuzz's ThunderPunch, Bulbasaur is defeated. Ash sends out Charizard. Electabuzz fights with a ThunderPunch and Thunder, but Charizard stops its attacking with Fire Spin (incorrectly referred as Ember in the dub). Electabuzz attempts to use Thunderbolt, but Charizard grabs Electabuzz and uses Seismic Toss, defeating it. Drake has only one Pokémon left, and he removes the Poké Ball from his necklace and sends out his best Pokémon, Dragonite.
Charizard quickly uses a Flamethrower but Dragonite counters with Water Gun, not only negating the attack but also striking Charizard with the super-effective move. Charizard then attempts to Fly upward, and Dragonite quickly follows. Dragonite starts to use Ice Beam, and one hits Charizard's wing and it starts to go into freefall. Luckily, Charizard recovers and goes in for a Seismic Toss, but Dragonite escapes and turns the move around by grabbing Charizard by the neck. Dragonite then uses Slam and Charizard is sent crashing into the ground. Though weakened, Charizard refuses to go down and gets back on its feet. Ash commands Charizard to use Dragon Rage, and Drake commands Dragonite to do the same. Both attacks collide, and the two Pokémon are sent flying back. While Dragonite is left fazed, it's too much for Charizard and it faints. Ash recalls Charizard, thanking it for wearing Dragonite down. Indeed, Dragonite is already seen breathing heavily from the battle.
Knowing none of his Pokémon are on the same level as Dragonite, Ash decides they will have to work together to it take out. He sends out Squirtle, who is still tired from its earlier battle with Drake's Onix and commands a Hydro Pump, but it is knocked out of the air by Dragonite's Water Gun. Squirtle is sent flying and then Dragonite uses Thunderbolt. Squirtle is able to use Withdraw in time to escape the majority of the damage, but is still badly hurt. Drake commands a Body Slam, and Dragonite flies into the air and starts to descend. Ash tells Squirtle to use BubbleBeam, and the attack hits dead on, causing the Body Slam to fail; upon landing, Dragonite slams its tail into Squirtle hard, knocking it out. Though Dragonite has knocked out two of Ash's Pokémon in a row, its energy is slowly being taken down.
Out of nowhere, Team Rocket appears in their balloon and tosses a net at Drake's Dragonite, trapping the dragon. After Team Rocket says their motto, Drake grows furious with Team Rocket interrupting the match and commands Dragonite to send the bad guys blasting off again.
With Team Rocket out of the way, the battle continues. With only two Pokémon left, Ash decides to send out Tauros against Dragonite. Tauros is still tired from his fight with Venusaur, but is still battle-ready. Drake commands a Fly, followed by a Body Slam. Ash suddenly gets an idea and tells Tauros to take the hit, surprising Drake. The Body Slam hits, but doesn't have the intended effect. Using the sand on the battlefield to absorb the impact, Tauros has caught Dragonite in his horns. Tauros then throws Dragonite into the air and it lands hard on the ground. Dragonite gets up and hits Tauros with a Thunder, knocking the exhausted Pokémon out.
Pikachu is Ash's last chance. The electric mouse hops into the arena ready to fight, despite his early fight with Drake's Ditto. Pikachu starts things off with an Agility, but is knocked into the air by Dragonite's tail. Dragonite gets ready to use Hyper Beam, but Pikachu uses his tail as a spring board to dodge the attack. Dragonite is unable to move to due to the after effects of Hyper Beam, allowing Pikachu to land on Dragonite's head. Dragonite tries to shake him off, but the battles with Ash's other Pokémon have left it quite exhausted. Ash tells Pikachu to use Thunder and Pikachu does so. Dragonite and Pikachu are exhausted after the battle and, after a staring contest, Dragonite falls to the ground, finally defeated.
Ash has won the match and is given the coveted Orange League Winner's Trophy by Drake. Drake congratulates him on a worthy victory, and tells Ash that he's a great Pokémon Trainer, to which Ash responds that it's because he has great Pokémon. As well as receiving the trophy, Ash, Pikachu, Squirtle, Tauros, Lapras, Bulbasaur, and Charizard are given the honor of being inducted into the Orange League Hall of Fame. The episode ends with Ash hoping to tell Brock about his win.