Let me make this perfectly clear: there are some censorships that are ridiculous (removal of blood—though there are rare exceptions as even in Japan really gory moments are censored unless it's on a pay-per-view channel—removal of anything related to death, and erasing any and all evidence of Japanese origin are some of the more common ones). However, there are some censorships that are necessary if it's to be shown to an audience of a different mindset. The Western audience has a different sense of humor than the Japanese audience which doesn't always translate well over the language barrier. The Western audience also has a different view to what is appropriate for children.
I guarantee that someone in the Pokémon fandom has called foul on the removal and heavy editing of this episode. After watching the episode, I can understand. The reason for this removal was because of James' cross-dressing that went a bit “too far”, if you want to say that, in which he dresses himself in a bikini complete with inflatable breasts. This is only for like... a total of two minutes you see him in the disguise? This is because there is this beauty contest that was going on for whatever reason (plot convenience), and Ash and gang are using it to raise money for the old man whose boat they nearly wrecked and have to pay him back—even though originally they were working for him to pay it off. He's also got rent to pay to this nasty bitch named Brutella (whom is similar to her cousin Nastina, whom is just as much of a nasty bitch as she is) who taunts him and doesn't care her temporary workers are sabotaging him, so they decide to host this contest. The contest takes place in the second half of the episode, which is where the majority of the edits/removal happened.
If this were any other show, the edits would definitely be called out for without question. For whatever reason, 4KIDS chose to ban the episode—which really doesn't make a difference, honestly, since it's just filler. The episode would be dubbed and consequently air about twice a few years later, but it's banned nevertheless. (I do not remember seeing this air, to be honest, but it felt familiar to me.) However, I am going to defend 4KIDS' decision in banning this episode when they did. Remember that the 90s was still a sensitive time for anime—especially since there are some aimed at children, Pokémon and Sailor Moon being the prime examples. Anime was still a very small niche here in the States, most adults didn't know of it (still holds true to this day, but it's not as bad as it used to be). No matter what, if there was ever an instance of something inappropriate being shown on any shows for children, be it Western cartoon or anime, that show was going to get ratted on. Mothers would've had conniption fits, and demanded its removal or a better censorship. Thus, moral guardians and censorships had to be like hawks when looking over these episodes to prevent this (not that stuff still slipped by them, but when it's blatant... sometimes...).
Yes, they probably still could've aired the episode after they finished cutting and editing it, but they didn't do this for some reason. They couldn't leave it untouched either because of the aforementioned moral guardians and soccer moms. If they did, Pokémon would've gotten into big trouble in the States (and I believe the Porygon incident was mentioned just before this episode was nearing its place in the line-up, so that would've added an even bigger mark to the show's reputation, at least here in the States).
Now that that's been taken care of, the episode was “meh”—probably because it's a filler, but another is because nothing interesting happens. Outside of James' infamously memorable disguise and I guess all the girls dressed in bathing suits, it's not an episode one can look back on fondly. Team Rocket are just a bit goofy in this episode than they were before, and it's Meowth who does all of the (rather nasty) sabotaging. Professor Oak shows up in person for the first in a long while along with Delia and Gary, but that's about it. No character building, no entertaining battles, there's really nothing to see here unless you just want to see James in a bikini for two minutes, or to see Gary gloat for the short appearance he's in.
Sorry if this doesn't seem like a review on anything that happened in this episode, but really, this is all the episode is good for is to just make you ask the question “How much is too much?” after you watch it. I'm sure the Japanese audience found it hysterical, but I personally just sat here staring at the screen thinking to myself, “I've seen worse [now that I'm an adult],” and not cracked a smile because I personally don't see the humor in it. Whoosh, over my head, in one ear and out the other, you get the drift. And then I thought about my mother, and had an unsinkable feeling that had this episode remained unscathed, she would've banned Pokémon from the house. (She's not too fond of anime to begin with, even though she's sort of mellowed out over the years about it.)
The 90s, man. With all the crap anime had to go through to get to where it is today in the States (especially once children's anime became marketable), it's really a miracle it's survived this long here, and this includes Pokémon—the infamous Porygon episode notwithstanding. Dubbing companies and networks had to make choices every day that helped pave the future for these shows, as one wrong step would've gotten them pulled off the air in a heartbeat. It probably wasn't a fun time for anyone who worked with children's anime. In hindsight, in my personal opinion, they did the right thing.
Doesn't mean all of the episodes they banned had good reasons, though... even if they were temporary bans.