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| Machoke, Machoke Man!
Tanba Gym! Wrestling Match!!
|| August 2, 2001
| United States
|| September 7, 2002
|| Team Ota
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 菊地一仁 Kazuhito Kikuchi
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
Machoke, Machoke Man! (Japanese: タンバジム！まっこうしょうぶかくとうたいけつ！！ Tanba Gym! Wrestling Match!!) is the 209th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 2, 2001 and in the United States on September 7, 2002.
Ash and his friends are in Cianwood City with Janina, an apprentice at the Olivine Gym. Janina picks up medicine for Olivine Gym Leader Jasmine's ailing Ampharos and returns to Olivine while Ash plans to challenge the Cianwood Gym. Before he does, though, he goes to investigate a man and a Machoke who are sparring on the beach. The man happily orders everyone to the Cianwood Gym—he's none other than Chuck, the Cianwood Gym Leader!
Ash's challenge is accepted and a 2-on-2 Gym battle begins. Chuck starts with a Poliwrath; Pikachu should have the advantage as an Electric-type, but it's defeated by Poliwrath's physical strength and Double-Slap attack. Ash counters with Bayleef, using its type advantage to beat Poliwrath, so Chuck sends in his Machoke. In the meantime, Team Rocket sneaks into the Gym and gobbles up an unattended meal. They're spotted by Chuck's wife, who mistakes them for students and assigns them to chores.
Back at the battle, Bayleef doesn't appear to be making headway. It uses Vine Whip to grab Machoke's arms, starting a tug-of-war, and Ash wants Bayleef to tough it out for a face-to-face battle with Machoke. Machoke reels Bayleef in, but Bayleef turns it around and knocks out Machoke, winning Ash the Storm Badge! Since Jasmine still isn't ready to battle yet, Ash takes up Chuck's suggestion of a detour through the Whirl Islands. Chuck's wife gives them a free ferry pass and our heroes are on their way!
Ash and his friends are bound for Cianwood City. They stop at the Cianwood Pharmacy and the pharmacist gives Janina the medicine to help Sparkle back on Olivine City. He also gives her advice to take the express ferry to Olivine City which will get her back before nightfall. Ash and friends watch Janina until she is safely gone.
They stumble upon a training session between a man named Chuck and his Machoke. Chuck congratulates Machoke on his defensive maneuvers and asks him to switch to offense. The battle persists and Chuck defends all of Machoke's attacks until a Karate Chop connects across his chest. Chuck then orders a Submission attack. Machoke wraps Chuck up and rolls him around the dirt field and tosses him a good distance. Our heroes run over to Chuck to make sure he is okay. Chuck responds to himself that the submission was perfect. Misty and Brock ask Chuck why he would take a Submission attack from his powerful Machoke. He sheds tears and says that he is very proud of him and yelled to Machoke how perfect the Submission was and then Machoke and Chuck hug, both of them shedding tears. Chuck then asks for Ash's name and what brought him to Cianwood. He then brings up the question if Ash is looking for the Cianwood Gym with a twinkle in his eye.
After Ash answers Chuck's questions, Chuck has Ash, Pikachu, and the others to march double time over to the Cianwood Gym. Machoke is the first to arrive at the Gym while our heroes ask him to hold up. Once they catch up to Machoke, they are all hunched over, huffing and puffing. Chuck is the last to arrive, and he falls on his hands and knees counting. Brock asks if Chuck is okay while Ash wonders how much further it is to the Gym. Chuck points to it, and it is right in front of them. Then all of his students and Fighting-type Pokémon come running out of the entrance to meet Chuck. Chuck then introduces himself as the Cianwood Gym Leader and calls himself the "leanest, meanest, toughest, roughest, fighting Pokémon Master in all the land... but you can call me Chuck." Then everyone kneels at a large dinner table eating a whole bunch of food, when Chuck's wife walks up to Ash with a pot of food asking him if he is here to battle for a Storm Badge. When Ash says yes, she says that she had no problem beating that flabby husband of hers, which Chuck retorted to.
The scene transitions to Team Rocket walking along the road by the coastline, exhausted from their trip on the boat anchor and with no food to eat. Meowth then sniffs up a food aroma that gets Jessie and James sniffing, and then all three of them start to walk towards where the smell is coming from.
Back at the dinner table, Misty says that the food was delicious while Brock studies the food to be Pokémon Power Food to strengthen Trainers and Pokémon alike and comments on the students' dedication to training. Chuck breaks the silence, ready to have the Gym match for the Storm Badge. The scene cuts to the Gym floor. Chuck starts with Poliwrath and Ash starts off with Pikachu and issues a Thunderbolt attack, which Poliwrath dodges. Then he orders Pikachu to issue a barrage of Thunderbolts. After two miss, the third one hits Poliwrath. Ash orders Pikachu to do a Quick Attack while Chuck tells Poliwrath to focus its energy. The Quick Attack has no effect on Poliwrath and Pikachu bounces right back off him and back on the ground. Chuck then orders Poliwrath to do a DoubleSlap attack and Pikachu is knocked out of the battle. Chuck starts to cry and acknowledge that even tough guys do the same. Ash thanks Pikachu for doing a good job and tells him to get a little rest.
The scene switches to right outside the Cianwood Gym where Team Rocket comes out of the bushes and into the Gym to chow down on the leftovers of the Pokémon Power Food. Wobbuffet then comes out of his Poké Ball, pushes his way to the pot of leftovers, lifts the pot up to his mouth and starts gulping down food, not sharing it with the other Team Rocket members.
Back at the Gym match, Ash is thinking about choosing Bayleef, hoping she will have enough strength to beat Poliwrath and Machoke. Ash goes ahead and chooses Bayleef to take on Poliwrath. Chuck commends Ash on his Pokémon choice and for being a strong competitor. Chuck then issues Poliwrath to do a Water Gun attack, which Bayleef dodges. Ash then orders Bayleef to do a Razor Leaf attack, which connects. Then Ash has Bayleef do a Vine Whip which wraps up Poliwrath, holds it up, and slams Poliwrath back on the ground. Chuck orders Poliwrath to focus its energy, and Poliwrath is wobbling trying to stand up straight. Ash then orders Bayleef to Body Slam Poliwrath. Bayleef jumps high and lands hard on it. When the smoke clears, Poliwrath is unable to battle. Ash thanks Bayleef for a job well done and Misty compliments Ash's strategy and Brock adds that it helped that Pikachu wore Poliwrath down. Chuck goes teary-eyed again and compliments Poliwrath for a well fought battle. Chuck then turns to Machoke and says that the time has come to battle.
Chuck orders a Karate Chop attack on him to psyche Machoke up and help Chuck remain focused. While the Karate Chop connects, Chuck orders Machoke to focus its energy on winning and continue to work on focusing. Ash uses this idea on Bayleef. Ash orders Bayleef to Body Slam him. Bayleef uses her Body Slam attack on Ash, but he manages to hold his ground as he takes the power of the attack, telling Bayleef to stay focused.
The scene cuts to Team Rocket, who is lying on the floor completely stuffed and satisfied from eating the rest of the food on the dinner table in the Gym. Chuck's wife then comes up to them and asks how she can help them. This makes Team Rocket say their motto, although Chuck's wife interrupts by coming to the conclusion that they are new students to see Chuck. Chuck's wife tells them to wash the dishes, do the laundry, scrub the floors, and make the beds. James tells her that she doesn't understand Team Rocket's purpose for being there and Meowth complains about doing her dirty work. Chuck's wife then tells them it will help build up an appetite for an afternoon snack — steamed dumplings. That gets the Team Rocket trio excited and they dance around just before doing their duties.
The scene cuts away again to the battle. Chuck orders Machoke to focus its energy while Ash orders Bayleef to stay focused. Machoke attempts to attack Bayleef with many Karate Chops, with Bayleef avoiding them as best as she could, but one Karate Chop from Machoke hits Bayleef and she is down on the ground. Chuck then crosses his arms and orders Machoke to do a Cross Chop attack. Ash orders Bayleef to use her Vine Whip attack and she wraps the vines around Machoke's arms, preventing the Cross Chop attack. A tug-of-war ensues where Machoke pulls Bayleef's vines like a rope, but Bayleef resists. Ash and Chuck want their Pokémon to focus their energy to gain the upper hand. Brock then suggests the idea of Bayleef putting slack in her vines for Machoke to lose its footing and fall to the ground. Misty agrees that it will take strategy as well as strength to win the battle.
Machoke, in the mean time, is reeling Bayleef in to it with her vines. When Machoke pulls Bayleef close to it, Chuck orders Machoke to use its Submission attack. Bayleef is sent flying. Ash decrees the match isn't over yet, as long as Bayleef stays focused. Bayleef gathers herself while in mid-air and Ash orders a Vine Whip attack. The Vine Whip wraps up the Machoke and when Bayleef landed, she lifts Machoke up and slams him right back down on the ground. Then Ash orders Bayleef to do a Body Slam on Machoke, which is a direct hit. Before Machoke could recover, Ash orders Bayleef to use Razor Leaf. Machoke is knocked back on the ground again. Machoke is announced as unable to battle! Ash and Bayleef win the match. Bayleef runs over to Ash and he hugs her for doing such a great job in battle. Bayleef then gets up and Body Slams Ash, but Ash holds his ground again and compliments the Body Slam attack she used in the battle.
Chuck then walks up to Ash and commends him on the great battle, and how he hadn't had a battle like that in a long time, and it was no disgrace losing to a Trainer like him. Chuck also says he admires Ash and Bayleef's strategy and that working closely with your Pokémon is the only strategy you need. Ash says his thanks and Chuck hands him the Storm Badge. Ash, Pikachu, and Bayleef celebrate their victory with Machoke, Chuck, his students, Brock, and Misty circled around them.
The scene changes to nightfall and Ash talks to Janina on the phone. Ash asks if Jasmine is able to battle now. Janina then says that the medicine has helped Sparkle feel a lot better, but it will take some time before Jasmine is up to battling again. Ash fully understands the situation and he will check back with Janina and Jasmine later. Chuck and his wife then suggest to Ash and his friends that they check out the Whirl Islands. Chuck explains that the Whirl Islands have been the source of myths and legends over the years, including mysterious Pokémon. After some discussion, our heroes decide to go to the Whirl Islands. Chuck's wife then gives Ash a card that will pay for the passage on the ferry as a gift for the great battle against Chuck before changing the subject to her husband's flabbiness and Ash doing something right to beat him. The flabbiness line makes Chuck remember it is time to train.
The scene changes to Team Rocket sitting outside of Cianwood Gym going over the dumplings, dinner, dessert, and other luxuries they had today. They say that it was simply a blast.
The final scene switches to our heroes on the boat that will lead them to the Whirl Islands with Machoke, Chuck, and his wife waving to them, giving them luck and wishes on their journey, and declaring they are welcome back to visit them anytime. Our heroes wave back and thank them for everything. As they sail to the Whirl Islands, Misty hopes there are many cute Water-type Pokémon there. Brock hopes there are many cute girls waiting for him on the islands and says that he is on his way. Ash and Pikachu are looking forward to meeting the mysterious Pokémon in the Whirl Islands.
Ash holding the Storm Badge
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Ampharos (US and international), Machoke (Japan)
- This episode's dub title is a reference to the chorus of the Village People song Macho Man.
- This is one of the rare episodes where team Rocket doesn't confront Ash and his friends, despite the fact that they all were in the same Gym.
- This episode was the last time Pokémon Johto was used as the music for the dub's final commercial break's eyecatch. Starting with the next episode, a snippet of the current opening theme is used for the final commercial break's eyecatch, a practice that would continue until the 4Kids dub ended.
- This is the final episode of the fourth season, Pokémon: Johto League Champions.
- This was the last episode of the original series that was dubbed in Czech; the next one would be the first episode of the Diamond & Pearl series.
- The focus on Wrestling could be a reference to famous wrestler, Macho Man Randy Savage.
- Team Rocket does not blast off in this episode.
- After Pikachu was knocked out, Ash and Brock both said that Bayleef was Ash's only Pokémon left that had a type advantage over Poliwrath. However, Ash still had Bulbasaur with him at this point in the series. In addition, Noctowl's Psychic- and Flying-type attacks both would have been advantageous over both Poliwrath and Machoke.
- In the Portuguese dub, Brock states that Poliwrath is a Water/Fire type. This is incorrect as Poliwrath is a Water/Fighting type.
- Brock states that Submission is Machoke's most powerful attack. However, Machoke's Cross Chop has the Base Power 100, while Submission's Base Power is only 80.
- When the students come out and say "Welcome back, Master!" and "Yes!" to Chuck, the Pokémon alongside them appear to be speaking along with them even though they are not supposed to speak the human language.
In other languages