10 Dragon Ball Rematches That Should Have Happened

Dragon Ball is filled with some of the best action in anime & manga, but there are still rematches that should have happened.

For as prominent as action ultimately became for Dragon Ball, rematches were a relatively uncommon occurrence over the course of the series. Really, Dragon Ball’s only major rematches during its original run were the fights between Goku & Tenshinhan and later Goku & Vegeta. Characters don’t often fight the same opponent more than once.

On one hand, that’s not a bad thing as it ensures Dragon Ball’s battles are varied & rarely ever derivative. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities where rematches could have served the story some good. Dragon Ball is filled with some of the best action in anime & manga, but there are still rematches that should have happened.

1. Gohan Versus Vegeta

It’s outright insane just how durable Vegeta is during the Saiyan arc. He takes a beating from Goku, survives their intense beam struggle, gets scarred, gets his tail cut off, and takes a Genki Dama to the face. Before Goku’s ace in the hole connects, however, Gohan needs to keep Vegeta at bay during one of the Saiyan arc’s most underrated fights.

It’s impressive how well Gohan keeps up with Vegeta, and it really helps infer their dynamic on Namek. Given how much stronger Gohan becomes on Namek, the planet would’ve made a nice spot for a rematch– either right before the fight with the Ginyu Force or Frieza. Gohan & Vegeta’s rematch should be interrupted either way, but that in itself would help add drama.

2. Goku Versus Vegeta

So, Goku and Vegeta technically do get their rematch in the Buu arc, but let’s be real, even that fight deserves a rematch. While the anime adds some filler to round out the battle between Majin Vegeta and Goku, the manga has most of it occur off-page. Considering this is the last time Goku and Vegeta fight in the original Dragon Ball, it’s a bit disappointing.

Now, Goku and Vegeta wouldn’t have been able to have their rematch during the Buu arc without it flying in the face of Vegeta’s arc, but a skirmish during the End of Z era would have been nice. Even if it were only a single chapter battle like most of the Buu arc’s battles– anything would be better than the manga version of Goku vs Majin Vegeta.

3. Yamcha Versus God

The 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai is a great tournament for the Dragon Team, even if Krillin and Yamcha never made it to the semi-finals. Yamcha in particular gets humiliated by God (under the guise of Shen) during their match, but he’s able to turn things around by using the Sokidan– a Ki attack that catches Kami-Sama completely off guard.

Yamcha ends up losing, but not before earning God’s praise. The real shame is that Kami acknowledges Yamcha’s competence as a martial artist only for Yamcha to go on and ultimately retire. A rematch between Yamcha and God before the fight against the Saiyans would have given Yamcha’s character more meat to chew on while also making his death even more dramatic.

4. Goku Versus Piccolo

Since Goku ended up defeating Piccolo during their 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai match, there’s no real reason why these two characters need a rematch from a narrative or thematic perspective. At the same time, do they need one? By the start of the Saiyan arc, Piccolo has come dangerously close to closing the gap between him & Goku.

Had Raditz not arrived when he did, a fight between Goku and Piccolo during the Saiyan arc could have been incredible– especially since the Makankosappo was developed specifically to kill Goku. Interestingly, both Dead Zone and World’s Strongest toy with the idea of Z-era Goku/Piccolo rematches.

5. Tenshinhan Versus Jackie Chun

It’s kind of amazing how much growth Tenshinhan goes through during the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai in such a short amount of time. Tenshinhan enters his fight against Jackie Chun completely confident in himself, the teachings of the Crane School driving him. But it takes a single conversation with Chun to make Tenshinhan reevaluate his life’s priorities.

Their battle is short but impactful. It’s the catalyst that sets off Tenshinhan’s arc, after all. Notably, Jackie Chun forfeits the fight before he even gets the chance to go all out. While the Piccolo Daimao arc would not have allowed for a rematch, a filler fight settling their strength leading up to the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai would have been nice.

6. Goku Versus General Blue

Goku and General Blue butt heads quite a number of times over the course of the Red Ribbon Army arc. In fact, General Blue is easily the most prominent antagonist in the arc, eating up a considerable amount of screen time from his introduction up to his death against Tao Pai Pai. Notably, Goku never actually manages to defeat Blue.

Of course, Blue doesn’t manage to defeat Goku either, but it seems as though the Red Ribbon Army arc was building toa fight that never came. Considering Blue’s unique psychic powers, it would’ve been fun to see Goku try to counter him. That said, the end result was arguably better. Tao Pai Pai killing Blue with his tongue and then setting his sights on Goku forever changed Dragon Ballfor the better.

7. Vegeta Versus Cell

To continue the theme of Vegeta achieving redemption, Vegeta should have had an opportunity to destroy Cell. There isn’t really an ideal moment for this to have happened, and it would have felt like a filler at pretty much any moment after the Cell Arc.

That said, Vegeta allowed Cell to reach his Perfect form, and everything that happens after that is Vegeta reaping what his pride sowed. Vegeta taking Cell on in Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan God, or Super Saiyan Blue form would have provided a moment of redemption for Vegeta and could show that, eventually, he is able to cash the checks that his mouth constantly writes.

8. Vegeta Versus Android 18

Much of Dragon Ball Z consists of Vegeta getting embarrassed and humbled at just about every turn, and perhaps no humbling was as great as Android 18 effortlessly smacking down Vegeta during the Android Arc.

Vegeta’s power far exceeds Android 18 by the time of Dragon Ball Super, and this rematch could have taken place pretty much at any point after Vegeta attains Super Saiyan 2. It would have been a little enjoyable for Vegeta to demonstrate how much stronger he’s become in a rematch between himself and Android 18.

9. Piccolo Versus Frieza

By the time of Dragon Ball Super, Piccolo would have stood no chance against Golden Frieza. Piccolo is among the strongest of the Z Warriors (who isn’t a Saiyan, a God, or a Buu), and has always been a fan-favorite of the series.

Piccolo taking on Frieza would have been a satisfying rematch just to see Piccolo force Frieza to activate his Golden form, as Piccolo certainly became more powerful than Frieza over the course of Dragon Ball Z after absorbing Kami. To see that difference in strength exhibited in a fight would be validating for the Piccolo-lovers of the world.

10. Goku Versus Beerus

The original fight between Goku and Beerus is a lengthy and epic struggle between one of the greatest warriors in existence against a literal god of destruction. Goku doesn’t win, but he fights Beerus to a stand-still after first attaining the Super Saiyan God form.

Goku and Vegeta both achieve even more powerful transformations after this initial showdown, with Goku reaching the Ultra Instinct form (which is pretty much established to be the highest potential any mortal could ever reach). With this in mind, it would have been interesting to see if Goku could conquer Beerus in this form, or if that is just a height that Goku could never reach. It is worth mentioning that Super Dragon Ball Heroes presents a rematch between SSB Goku and Vegeta against Beerus, but that’s not quite canon.

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