Well, since DP is over next week and the SL ended last week, let us go back to see which of Ash’s rival battles in a league beats the rest.
I just watched Ash vs. Gary at the Johto League and there were some things that I liked about more than the Ash vs. Paul match. For starters, there was less dialogue from the people in the audience, there were few words from Oak, Ash’s mom and Misty/Brock. All of Ash’s Pokemon got a round that was good except his Tauros that got a quick knockout and Gary’s Arcanine did as well. Really surprised that no Pikachu was used I didn’t expect that.
Ash vs Paul was epic, but Ash really didn’t do the same old out of the box theories that he used in past battles. Don’t get me wrong he did think up Underground Flare Blitz, the Air Master helped Gliscor to think of the “distance to recharge” tactic for Giga Impact, and Buizel’s flotation sac. However, some would say that Blaze was the only reason that he won and really it seems that was the only reason...
I mean remember the match with Gary; heating up the field under Blastoise knowing it would cool it down with water to create a giant smokescreen so he could attack from different angles, using Heracross’ wings to deflect Fire Blast from Magmar and winning by pressing through a Flamethrower with Megahorn, Muk’s body to absorb Blastoise, using Bayleef’s Vine Whip to help it jump in the air, etc.
The other people you can go with are Ritchie (I would be surprised if it gets even one vote…). Also, Harrison, Morrison, Tyson, Nando (sort of well he was a rival to Ash in the league and Dawn at the GF just not much screen time though), Conway (errr…a rival for Dawn’s love???), Paul and Tobias (technically not a rival, but just the same he was a titian in Ash’s path at a league).
The last option "I can think of other league matches that were better" refers to matches like the one in Kanto against Bellsprout, Pete with the Arcanine that used Dragon Rage, Mandie was the one where Krabby/Kingler swept the match, Katie from Hoenn (that was my favorite match in that league) and any others you can think of. Even matches that didn't take place in a league but still involved the rivals; Paul at the lake (or any of their other battles), Ash vs. Gary at Oak's lab they fought there twice, Morrison's Beldum vs. Pikachu or others like that.