Tag! We're It...!
The episode opens with Ash and Brock convincing Dawn to enter the Tag Battle Tournament to get her battle spirit up after losing in the 1st round of the Hearthome Contest. After that, the scene cuts to the stadium with the MC(who also happens to be the Hearthome City Mayor) explains that the number cards each participant holds will determine thier partner as the large scoreboard displays all of the numbers in randomized pairs. Dawn is the first to find her partner who introduces himself as Conway. Brock falls head over heels for his tag partner(it's a girl; surprise, surprise) While she tells Brock her name(Holly) she shoots him down big time by saying she isn't into younger guys. Croagunk is left staring at its own Poison Jab deciding that Brock is already in enough pain as Dawn makes a joke at Brock's "great performance"
Ash finally finds his partner though he wishes he hadn't because it's none other than Paul. After a tense and heated exchange the MC announces that the battles will start in the afternoon so everyone can get to know thier tag battle partners. The first battle features Dawn and Conway. Dawn chooses Piplup while Conway uses a Slowking to combat opposing Scyther and Koffing. Conway tells Dawn to go on the offensive while he'll focus on defense. Dawn seems hesitant, but after having Slowking use Safeguard to negate Koffing's attack and Protect to cancel out Scyther's Razor Wind, Dawn seems convinced. Dawn uses her contest skills to get Piplup into an adventagous position against Scyther and drills it with Peck from above, dropping Scyther for a KO. Koffing's Gyro Ball is stopped dead in its tracks as Slowking uses Psychic upon Conway's command. Soon, Koffing too is dropped for a KO gving Dawn and Conway the opening match win!
Brock's and Holly's match is picked up in progress as one of the opponents's Yanma catches up to Holly's Wingull with a Steel Wing. The other trainer has Bagon use Zen Headbutt as Holly tells Wingull to get up and out of the way. Brock sees there won't be time for that and has Sudowoodo intercept Bagon with Double-Edge. It does more than intercept however as Sudowoodo overpowers Bagon's Zen Headbutt as Wingull is able to fly up safely. Holly then has Wingull use [[Blizzard to get a direct hit on both Bagon and Yanma. Brock then has Sudowoodo use Flail on Bagon which ends up scoring a KO. Wingull finishes the match with a strong Aerial Ace to take out Yanma.
The final battle of the day features Ash and Paul. Thier opponents send out a Magmar and Rhydon as Ash and Paul use Pikachu and Chimchar. Ash has Pikachu use Thunderbolt on Magmar, but he forgets about Rhydon's Lightningrod ability and Pikachu suffers a Megahorn as a result. Magmar then uses Lava Plume which ends up hitting Rhydon as well! Brock points out that since it's a Rock type, Rhydon won't take much from a Fire type move. Paul has Chimchar go straight into the flames as Pikachu jumps high into the air to avoid the strong flames. Paul then tells Chimchar to use Flamethrower and the surrounding Lava Plume actually powers up the attack! It still isn't enough power however as Rhydon is still able to withstand the Fire attack with relative ease and strike back with a Hammer Arm. Pikachu then belts Rhydon with an Iron Tail from above right on the head.
After a quick regroup, Magmar uses Protect while Rhydon uses Surf of all things! Paul has Chimchar begin Flame Wheel, almost wanting it to get blasted by the Water move. Ash panics, knowing Chimchar may not be able to survive the attack and then has a quick flashback to Zoey's double performance from the Hearthome Contest. This seems to give Ash the idea he needs as he has Pikachu use Iron Tail on the wave of water. Sure enough, Pikachu hits it at an angle that splits the water in half; exposing Rhydon for a direct Iron Tail attack for the KO! Ash decides to try and end it here and now as he has Pikachu use Volt Tackle against Magmar as Paul tells Chimchar to use Dig. Magmar counters Pikachu with Fire Punch, but it's unable to defend itself agaisnt Chimchar's Dig which hits in the middle of the confrontation. Magmar is KOed giving Ash and Paul the victory. With that, day 1 is complete. Can Dawn and Conway continue to use the offense/defense synergy? Will Brock continue to make the right calls for his team? And can Ash and Paul somehow get along and work together like a true tag team to find a way to the final day of the tournament? Part 2 and day 2 should give some answers.