I feel like RPG battles could be explosive and unsafe.
Just Battle Like Dabeatmaster.
Okay, so maybe I'm walking in late here. But I've come up with two ideas.
One, for battles, give each move a specific MCR. If the MCR is met or exceeded, the move hits at full power. Clever strategies can be executed, and it's up to the ref to determine if they work, same as in the Park. After all, the Rangers calculate % damage for attacks in the Park; why don't we just use the same formula for battles?
Two, if simple battles won't work-try Contests. Contests in the anime are built around showing off moves in epic ways-cloaked in a halo of Fire Spin, creating an orbiting solar system with rocks and Confusion, etc.-so this is PERFECT for that.
There is no rule saying that you can't RP in normal battles anyway. In fact, forum battles are perfect for this format and I've done a few like this on occasion. It's entirely up to the user, and I think it works great that way, since people don't have to, but they can if they choose.
Maybe just make the rangers be rp refs also and just do what they do in the park. Maybe each person may command what to do like "Gardevoir, use psychich to send the boulders on the top of the cliff on the opponent." and then the rangers could decide if it hits and how much it does. They would just pretend that whoever last said a command is the trainer and the other trainers pokemon is a wild one. It shOuldnt be too hard.