Friendly reminder that Guzma accomplished his childhood dream before you even finished your trials. You know, how he wanted to be a Trial Captain and all, but was rejected? Yeah. He accomplished that. Don’t believe me?
Po Town was his bug trial. Consider this: the player goes to Po Town as a distraction so Skull could escort Lillie back to Aether. In order for this to work they had to know where you were, what you were doing, and have a plan to keep you busy long enough to keep you out of the way. So what does Guzma do? He sets up barricades. Trial barricades. And puts grunts out at strategic positions. And lets his grunts keep running their Pokemon Center. Well, that’s all incidental, you might think. They make money from running their center, anyways, so why not let them keep on with it? Besides the part where it would be infinitely easier to let you exhaust your pokemon with your limited resources and have all of his grunts hold you hostage with their healthy, energetic pokemon.
Of course, then you get into the mansion, and that’s when the trial really starts. Every trial in the game has you complete a certain task. You know, defeating a bunch of pokemon, taking pictures, answering quizzes… or finding passcodes. I mean, let’s be honest, here. Team Skull probably doesn’t use passcodes to get to Guzma. They can all tell they’re Team Skull. They have very specific threads. and they don’t ever stop moving their hands. They know when they’re talking to another grunt, and if there’s something urgent they have to tell him there’s no time to have to sit and go through his whole dumb password routine—and even if they did, remember, this whole thing was planned ahead of time. Guzma could have easily coerced his grunts into not saying shit about the passwords and make you waste more time going allllll the way up only to figure out you had to go running around to figure that shit out. But nope. There was one grunt, who decided to tell you very loudly about oh man these passwords are so hard to remember you know those two entire things about Guzma that anyone living in that mansion would know, plus making sure to say no at the end aw jeez aw man whoops I guess I just lost this information somewhere in the mansion and am making no move to try and head you off before you find it haha.
He told you what Guzma wanted him to tell you.
So you get the passwords, and you head on up to see Guzma, but he doesn’t have a totem pokemon or anything, so for your trial you just have to beat him, instead. This isn’t the first time you fought him, and it hasn’t even been very long since the first fight, either. He knows you’ve beaten him before. He knows you might very well beat him again. And he has this entirely inconspicuous treasure chest filled with Buginium Z. You know. That Z-crystal he stole from EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE GODDAMN REGION because he didn’t want anyone else to have it. That Buginium Z. “Well obviously he wants to show it off since he thinks he’s hot shit!” you say, and yeah, that’s probably why he usually leaves it out. Except, remember, he knows you’re coming. He knows he may or may not win. And even then, if he didn’t want you to have the Buginium, he could have just hidden the chest or closed the lid and sat on it. You’re eleven. He’s twenty-something and the tallest character in the game. He could have just put his hand on your forehead and you wouldn’t have been able to reach it. Instead, he leaves it out. Leaves it open. And leaves you alone in his throne room after you beat him. You know. With his prized treasure that he thinks says he’s the most badass Bug trainer in Alola. If he didn’t want you to have a Buginium, he would have damn well made sure you never even saw it. You beat him. He lets you have it.
So you take the Buginium that he’s left sitting out on “accident” and head back out through the mansion, maybe taking one last look for shit before you go because you steal everyone’s things without remorse, and on your way out of Po Town, you notice the barricades are gone. The trial barricades that you can only pass through when you’ve defeated a captain’s trial, like they told you wayyyy back in the very beginning of the game. They could have left those up to slow you down a little bit more, give Lusamine a little more time without having to worry about you getting in the way, but instead Guzma’s let you waltz out without having to jump through any hoops—he left before you, remember. He’s the one who had them taken down.
You have to keep in mind that all of this was planned. That they needed a way to keep you busy so they could take Lillie. That Guzma knew you were coming and had plenty of time to prepare. So you leave Po Town, continuing on your adventure under a little bit more pressure than before, but Guzma? Jackass he may be, for one pokemon battle of one hour of one day, Guzma did the one thing he’d ever wanted to do in the first place:
Guzma was a Trial Captain.