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AG125 : Like a Meowth to a Flame
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG127 : From Brags to Riches
Saved by the Beldum
AG126   EP400
Start the Preliminaries! Masamune Appears!!
First broadcast
Japan April 28, 2005
United States March 11, 2006
English themes
Opening Unbeatable
Japanese themes
Opening ポケモン シンフォニック メドレー
Ending GLORY DAY 〜輝くその日〜
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 十川誠志 Masashi Sogo
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation director 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
No additional credits are available at this time.

Saved by the Beldum (Japanese: 予備選スタート!マスムネ登場!! Start the Preliminaries! Masamune Appears!!) is the 126th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 400th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 28, 2005, and in the United States on March 11, 2006.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Where's Morrison? That's the question on Ash's mind as he trains his Pokémon in preparation for the big tournament in Ever Grande City. When Morrison finally makes his appearance, he and Ash immediately start up their friendly rivalry again, which leads to them falling into a Team Rocket pit trap! Tyson and his Meowth in boots show up just in time to help out—Tyson's Meowth defeats Team Rocket's Meowth once more, using Iron Tail to send the villains flying.

Once everyone is registered for the tournament, the one-on-one preliminary rounds get underway. Morrison and Beldum face a Trainer with an Electabuzz, and Morrison is relying solely on Beldum's Take Down attack. This doesn't work too well until Beldum evolves into Metang and wins the match. As for Tyson, his Meowth takes some hits from a Persian, then comes back to win its first round. But once Persian is knocked out, Meowth charges after it and Tyson must recall it to its Poké Ball.

Tyson later explains why his Meowth is so troubled. When he met Meowth, it was lying hurt in a forest after a Persian defeated it in a battle for leadership. Tyson took care of Meowth, which was how it got its boots—originally they were just to help protect its injured legs. But to this day it still has a grudge against Persian.

And now it's Ash's turn to battle! Pikachu handily wins its round, so all three Trainers can look forward to their next challenge in the Hoenn League.


The day before the Ever Grande Conference is due to begin, Ash continues his training regime with his Pokémon as his friends watch on. During the session, Glalie unleashes an Ice Beam and scores an unintentional direct hit on Ash’s rival Morrison. After recovering, Morrison reveals his eighth Badge to the group, admitting that he can now compete in the Hoenn League, which Brock congratulates him on. Not wanting to be left out, Glalie pops up behind Ash's head to say hello, which Morrison instantly recognizes as the Snorunt that he had met the first time he and Ash met each other two months ago. Spotting the rest of Ash's Pokémon team, Morrison calls out his team for comparison: Growlithe, Gligar, Swampert, Steelix, Girafarig and his main Pokémon Beldum, all of which receive approving comments from both Ash and Brock.

Soon enough, Ash and Morrison cannot keep their friendly rivalry suppressed for too long, as they soon get excited at the chance to compete again and run off together into a nearby forest leaving Brock and both their Pokémon teams in the dust. As Ash and Morrison race against each other, they fall into pitfall trap prepared by Team Rocket. Ash and Morrison both shout angrily at the troublesome trio, who are looking down triumphantly at their Pokémon-less captures. Team Rocket stirs up the two boys as they brag about how they're going to take off all their Pokémon. However, before Team Rocket can go claim their prize, Tyson, along with his Meowth stop them in their tracks. As Meowth becomes aggravated at Tyson's Meowth's blunt taunt, Ash happily recognizes the voice of the boy as Tyson, another Conference hopeful he met recently. Meowth soon forgets all about taking Ash and Morrison's Pokémon, ignoring his teammate’s pleas. He extends his claws and hurls himself at Tyson's calm Meowth. Tyson, as calm as his Pokémon, commands his Meowth to perform an Iron Tail attack. Its tail glows and hardens, and it swings around, smashing its tail right into his less experienced foe. The power of this attack sends Meowth flying backwards straight into his comrades causing Team Rocket to blast off into the depths of the forest.

With Team Rocket gone, Ash and Morrison climb out of the pitfall trap and thank Tyson for his assistance. Suddenly, Brock runs up, breathless and with a worried look on his face as he reminds Morrison that he still needs to register for the Conference. Scared that he might not be able to take part in the League after all his hard work of collecting Badges, Morrison instantly runs off to register, leaving a trail of dust behind him. At the Pokémon Center, Morrison manages to register for the tournament with five minutes to spare and reunites with Ash, his friends and Tyson. Morrison again thanks Tyson for his assistance. Meowth tips its hat before storming off, seemingly agitated. Tyson decides that he should leave as well, admitting that Meowth had been through a lot. Tyson wishes Ash and Morrison all the best in the preliminaries, and the pair reply confidently.

The preliminaries, a set of one-on-one matches kick off the Ever Grande Conference. Morrison is up first, and selects his Beldum to take on Jump and his Electabuzz. To start things off, Morrison orders a Take Down attack, and Beldum immediately fires itself right at the opposing Electric Pokémon. Jump and Electabuzz however do not seem worried, and Jump taunts Morrison and orders Electabuzz to use Protect. Electabuzz does so, shielding itself with its arms. This defensive maneuver pays off, as the force of its attack being blocked sends Beldum flying back and smashing into the battlefield. Morrison tells Beldum to get up, as Ash and his friends look on worried. However, Ash is confident that Beldum will pull through. Morrison once again orders a Take Down attack, and once again, Jump simply laughs the attack off and orders for Electabuzz to use Protect again. This has the same result as last time, and Beldum is once again sent flying back.

Changing his tactics, Jump commands a Thunder Punch attack. Electabuzz jumps up above Beldum and charges up its throbbing arm with powerful electrical energy, and smashes it right into Beldum, who is still on the floor and recovering from the last attack. Morrison calls out to Beldum, who is struggling to get up after the point-blank attack it just received. As Beldum is unable to use an attack other than Take Down, Morrison orders it once again. Jump again does not seem worried, and orders Electabuzz to use Protect again. However, Beldum continues to charge into Electabuzz with all its might, forcing Jump to order a Quick Attack. Electabuzz does so, managing to send Beldum right into the stadium wall. Morrison sees his chance to attack again, and orders a Take Down, which this time, pushes Electabuzz back. Jump calls for a Thunderbolt attack, and the point-blank attack smashes Beldum right into the stadium ground again. Morrison urges the Steel-type Pokémon to continue battling, though Beldum struggles to get up. Jump, convinced of victory, orders another Thunder Punch attack. Electabuzz charges up its arm once again, but just before it can land a blow, Beldum starts glowing pure white as it miraculously evolves into Metang. Realizing he's still in the middle of a battle, Morrison decides to finish things off. Jump, snapping out of his initial surprise, orders another Thunder Punch. Electabuzz charges and leaps towards Metang to deliver the final blow, but Morrison orders a Confusion just in time, which instantly freezes the Electric Pokémon in mid-air. Morrison tells Metang to use Take Down to deliver the final blow. Metang locks its arms into place, and rockets towards its immobilized foe, knocking Electabuzz down for the count. The referee announces that Electabuzz is unable to battle, and that Morrison and his Metang are the winners. Ash congratulates Morrison as the boy excitedly tells Ash that he did it.

However, outside the stadium, not everything is as innocent and happy as Morrison. Lurking in the shadows, Jessie and James smirk as they prepare for their latest money-making venture as snack vendors, Meowth however is less impressed.

Ash, his friends and Morrison make their way to another stadium, this time to support Tyson and his trademark Meowth in their preliminary match against Vivica and her Persian. Max remarks that this match up will be interesting as Tyson's Meowth becomes increasingly aggravated at the sight of its evolved form. Finally, the referee starts the match and Tyson's Meowth instantly dashes towards Persian without even waiting for an attack order. Ash and friends are shocked by this sudden action, but Tyson remains calm and orders a Slash attack. Meowth extends its claws and leaps towards Persian, but its vicious Slash is dodged by its evolved counterpart incredible leap. Seeing an opening, Vivica quickly tells Persian to use its Fury Swipes as it lands. Persian quickly turns around and jumps towards Tyson's Meowth, using its claws to land several vicious blows on its opponent. Tyson orders a Double Team, so Meowth back flips and creates several identical clones of itself which surround Persian. Unfazed by Meowth's sneaky attack, Vivica orders a Water Pulse attack, creating huge pulses of water to surge through the battlefield which destroys the Meowth copies and hits the real Meowth, sending it flying back. Meowth manages to land on its feet. Vivica calls for Shadow Ball, which smashes Meowth right into the stadium wall. Not one to give up however, Meowth thrusts himself forward as Tyson orders an Iron Tail, sending Persian spiraling backwards. Tyson instantly orders a follow up Thunderbolt attack, though Vivica has her Persian Dig underground to avoid the attack. Meowth charges up its energy and aims its attack at the dig hole. The attack rips right through the ground until it hits its target, and Persian is thrust straight out of its underground hiding place and out into the open once again, screaming as it's still being shocked by the Thunderbolt mid-air. The attack eventually ends, and Persian is sent smashing into the ground and out for the count. Vivica calls out to her Pokémon, but the referee announces that it is unable to battle, declaring that Tyson and Meowth are the winners. However, Meowth does not want to battle to end there, and it extends its claws once again and runs towards the fallen Persian. Tyson attempts to hold Meowth back, but it frees itself from its Trainer's grip and leaps towards Persian as the crowd are left startled by the ferocity. But before it can attack, Tyson recalls Meowth back to its Poké Ball, gazing at it in concern.

Afterwards, Tyson details when he first encountered Meowth to Morrison and the group. Eavesdropping into the conversation is Team Rocket's Meowth. Tyson explains that one day, while he was traveling through a snow-covered forest, he happened across a pack of wild Meowth, headed by a Persian. One of the Meowth was battling against the Persian, but was losing badly as the rest of the pack watched on. The Persian used Fury Swipes, knocking the Meowth away, and then Shadow Ball to knock the young feline back. The Persian and the rest of the group walked off, leaving the young Meowth abandoned in the middle of the snow. Tyson explains how he took the young Meowth and nursed it back to health, and bandaged up its damaged legs. When Meowth was finally conscious again, Tyson gave it a pair of boots to take the strain off walking and started training it to walk on its damaged feet. As Tyson finishes off his story, the group come to understand Meowth’s aggressive attitude when it battled Vivica’s Persian. Due to his own experiences with Persian, Team Rocket's Meowth cannot help but cry at Tyson's story.

Later, Ash's preliminary battle, against a young, martial arts user called Gilbert and his Hitmonlee. Tyson, Brock, Max, May and Morrison cheer Ash on from the audience, and the referee starts the battle off. Both Pikachu and Hitmonlee charge towards each other, with Gilbert commanding a Rolling Kick, and Ash ordering Iron Tail. Hitmonlee leaps towards Pikachu and kicks hard with his extendable legs. Though Pikachu quickly dodges and quickly unleashes his Iron Tail on Ash's command, sending Hitmonlee crashing down to earth. Gilbert tells Hitmonlee to use High Jump Kick, and Hitmonlee attempts to hit Pikachu while combining his attack with forward flips. Pikachu, however, uses his amazing speed to dodge all three kicks, leading Hitmonlee further and further towards the stadium wall. Seeing his chance, Hitmonlee thrusts forward to attack, but Pikachu makes a last minute dash to safety, causing Hitmonlee to hurt his knee against the hard surface of the stadium wall. Both Pokémon land and face-off, but Hitmonlee starts to feel the pain of his strained leg. As Hitmonlee's legs are his main source of attacking, they are also his weak spot, and so Gilbert senses that he'll have to end the battle fast, even if it means taking a risk. Ash orders Pikachu to attack, and Gilbert tells Hitmonlee to use Mega Kick. The Fighting Pokémon responds, and smashes his foot hard into Pikachu, but he feels pain while doing so. Thinking fast, Ash orders an Iron Tail just before both Pokémon hit the ground. The impact of the attacks cause a dust cloud to appear, and when it clears, Pikachu has struck Hitmonlee's head with his Iron Tail after using the attack to cushion the blow of the vicious kick attack. Hitmonlee falls to the ground, and Pikachu is declared the winner. Ash congratulates his best friend as he jumps into his arms for a celebration hug.

Afterwards, Ash is selected for an honor – to carry the sacred flame up to the stadium torch. Watching on television are Professor Oak, Delia, Tracey, Misty, Norman, and Caroline. Ash lights the torch to mark the end of the preliminary matches, while the celebration balloons float off into the distance.

Major events

Morrison holding his eighth Badge
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts




Pokémon Trainer's Choice

Pokémon Trainer's Choice: Tentacruel



  • When Ash asks Brock about Morrison, Brock says that no one with that name had registered for the contest, but this confuses a regular competition with an actual Pokémon Contest. Brock persistently refers to it as such throughout the episode.
    • In addition, May later says the same thing after Morrison registers.
  • After Shadow Ball hits Meowth, the tips of May's gloves are missing.
  • When Tyson is tending to his Meowth during the flashback, the tips on Meowth's feet are missing.
  • In the English dub, the briefly-seen Machamp and Grimer are mistakenly given Machoke's and Muk's voices, respectively.
  • In the Brazilian dub, Rolling Kick is referred to as Soco Rolante (literally "Rolling Punch").

Dub edits

  • The rice ball that Morrison is chasing turns into a sandwich once again.
  • The shot of Pikachu getting hit by Hitmonlee's Mega Kick is covered by an impact animation in the English dub.

Pokémon Trainer's Choice

In other languages

AG125 : Like a Meowth to a Flame
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG127 : From Brags to Riches
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.