I think the reasoning was the wanted it to be a "fun thing" and not have the same animosity you can get with regular ol' pvp. This is the same reason they gave for not keeping track of losses, because they wanted to keep it lighthearted.
I don't even do pet battles but that still sounds silly to me. OK, so they decided at the last minute not to show you who you were fighting, but why even show you a fake person? I also find it odd that players can't find new people to battle. Are there really that few people using it? Or is it one of the things they decided not to do cross realm?
Why does sewage flow uphill leaving Undercity?