New region, new Pokémon and changes, I get. Except, Ash doesn't seem to be taking anything seriously enough. Unfortunately, the "fast" pace isn't helping either. I actually liked those filler episodes when Ash would spend training more. It actually showed growth in his character and his Pokémon. Except for Torterra; the writers just took a step back there. :\
Shooti doesn't bring out the best in Ash, like Paul had done though. That I can see. Paul and Ash shared a storyline with each other. As far as Shooti and Ash goes, they're just rivals. Nothing more, nothing less.
I expected Ash to lose in this episode, so I'm not surprised. There's just something that left me uneasy when it ended.
There's really not much to say about Team Rocket [yet].