How was Paul actually a rival towards Ash throughout the DP saga? In all of his appearances, he acted as if he was being mean to Ash for no reason instead of acting like a rival, which in turn made Ash act like him a little bit in terms of tone. Also, I felt like all of the battles that Ash and Paul participated in were rigged to make Paul's attitude the correct way of speaking to someone, even though most of those battles should not have determined if Ash was stronger than him or not due to the rigging happening.
Why was it something acceptable that they could do where when other people do it, they get into trouble? Also, what was the whole point of the Ash and Paul rivalry in the first place if Ash got easily defeated by Trip's Snivy after the Sinnoh League?