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My theory on why Giovanni is in the PWT in BW2

Novia

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So, we all know that Giovanni is in the Kanto Leaders tournament in the PWT instead of Blue, who instead competes in the Champions tournament. The question is: why is a wanted man and a former Gym Leader allowed to participate in the PWT? My personal headcanon is that after being defeated by the player in the Kanto games, Giovanni goes into his solitary training to become a better trainer (as per what he says after you defeat him in his gym), and later reforms and regains his position as the Viridian City Gym Leader by the time BW2 came.

Let’s also consider the fact that Blue has been seen travelling to other regions, like Kalos and Alola. Why is a Gym Leader travelling all over the world instead of staying in his Gym all day and waiting for challengers? The answer is that Blue probably was no longer a Gym Leader by then. Perhaps Blue later became a Champion again, after Red left, explaining why Blue is part of the Champions League in the PWT (I know that the more likely reason is that it’s because Blue is the Champion that you face in the Kanto games). He then becomes a travelling champion just like Cynthia, visiting the other regions. This would have to take place after HGSS.

The Viridian City Gym then becomes vacant again, and the now-reformed Giovanni returns to reclaim his former position as the Ground-type Gym Leader of the gym. He then starts his new life as a gym leader instead of a mafia boss.

I like to imagine that the Giovanni from Pokémon Origins is the same person as this Giovanni; the one who tells Red that he will no longer be the boss of Team Rocket, but simply the Gym Leader of Viridian City, and insisted on handing the badge to him despite Red claiming that he was not battling Giovanni as a Gym Leader.

Yeah, Giovanni still says mean stuff in BW2, like saying that he will make you experience a world of pain for your insolence like in the Kanto games, but I think that’s just him being bitter over the fact that he got beaten by at least 3 kids in the past (Red/Leaf/Chase/Elaine and Blue in the Kanto games, and Ethan/Lyra in HGSS). The fact that he’s officially allowed to participate in the Kanto Gym Leader tournaments suggests that he probably officially became a Gym Leader again.

I felt that he did have the potential to reform, and that he can be a pretty nice person - he accepts defeat graciously in the Kanto games and gives you his badge and a useful TM, and in Pokémon Masters, he recognises your strength with your partner, and also mentioned in his event that he wanted to change his ways, and compete fair and square in the PML.

The Giovanni from USUM is supposedly from another timeline where he succeeded in his plans, so that Giovanni isn’t the same as the one from the Kanto games/HGSS/BW2. (For some reason, Pokémon is starting to sound like the Zero Escape series)

All of this is just pure speculation, but I like the idea of him going from being a mafia boss to just a simple fedora-and-trenchcoat-wearing Ground-type Gym Leader. It doesn’t help that Giovanni is one of my favourite Pokémon characters
 

Esserise

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I like this reading of the situation; it's certainly more interesting to try to integrate these appearances rather than writing them off as "non-canon."

My only interjection would be that I don't think you strictly need to be an active Gym Leader in order to participate, as we see is the case with the Striaton triplets, Lenora, and Brycen. So in theory, Giovanni could still enter even as a former Leader. But that's really kind of irrelevant to your overall point, because it is also true that Blue does seem to move around a lot, which would be inconvenient for Trainers in Kanto who are challenging the Gyms. In fact, his and Red's appearance in Alola is them accepting an invitation to become the new facility heads for the Battle Tree, which sounds like a long-term engagement. So handing the Gym off to Giovanni after he's done his time and reformed makes sense.
 
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