Same reason for incineroar for me as well, aothe unique evolution for me was sceptile one since pokemon gets stronger after evolving unlike in the case of sceptile and the charizard one since it was the first true memorable evolution of the series.
Hawlucha is definitely underrated and so is talonflame, it is definitely stronger than staraptor and rowlet. Among his other underrated pokemon are galarian sirfetchd. Its personality and nature makes him interesting.
I blame that on over excessive marketing who wanted to show more AG, it was similar with alain's charizar as well whose feats were mostly i its ME form.
Well you can say that status quo for writers was more important than storyline progression, i always felt had ash met alian in semis he would...