Dragon Ball: Vegeta’s Best Fight In Every Arc

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time in Dragon Ball history where Vegeta wasn’t on everyone’s radar. Introduced to set up the Saiyan saga’s climax, Vegeta served as the arc’s main villain before transitioning into quite an important supporting role– one that would last all the way to the end of the series.

Vegeta’s come into his own as a character since, but he’s primarily been framed through his relationship with Goku. Even when Vegeta isn’t fighting his perpetual rival, his best battles usually have something to do with Goku one way or another. But that doesn’t make Vegeta’s fights any worse. If anything, Goku’s effect on Vegeta’s psyche often leads to some of Dragon Ball’s best-seen fights.

  1. Cell: Vegeta Versus Android 18

Vegeta’s reintroduction into the Cell arc is one of his biggest moments in Dragon Ball. It’s the only other time in the series, other than the Saiyan arc, where Vegeta is definitely stronger than Goku. With the Heart Virus weakening Goku’s body, Vegeta swoops in to save the day and kill Android 19.

Unfortunately, Vegeta finds the prospect of stronger Artificial Humans hard to ignore and is awfully satisfied when Dr. Gero activates Androids 17 and 18. Until the latter puts Vegeta in his place. Vegeta loses this battle but in spectacular fashion. There’s something satisfying about watching Vegeta break under 18’s infinite stamina.

2. Frieza: Vegeta Versus Recoome

The attention given to Vegeta during the Namek arc is almost ingenious. Not only does Vegeta’s hunt for the Dragon Balls serve as a twisted counterpart to Goku’s (Complete with Vegeta finding the 4-Star Namekian Ball first,) he keeps getting stronger as he survives near-death encounters.

Thankfully, that time never comes as the Ginyu Force land on Namek and proceed to brutalize the Dragon Team. Vegeta manages to kill Gurd and lock Recoome in what looks to be a lethal combo, but the latter takes all of Vegeta’s damage in stride before breaking him into the literal ground.

3. Saiyan: Vegeta Versus Goku

Seldom is a character’s debut battle their best, but this might very well be the case for Vegeta. Goku’s showdown with Vegeta is one the Saiyan arc spends quite a bit of time building up to– between Goku training with Kaio in the afterlife, and him rushing to the battlefield while Nappa tears the Dragon Team apart.

Goku puts up an incredible fight and even overwhelms Vegeta with the use of Kaioken x4, but the stress put on his body ends up hindering Goku for the rest of the fight. What follows is Vegeta giving Goku the punishment of a lifetime.

4. Majin Buu: Vegeta Versus Fat Buu

There’s an atmosphere to the first half of the Buu arc that’s lost by the time Fat Buu becomes Evil Buu– in large part due to most of the Earth’s population dying shortly after. There’s a lot of tension building up to Majin Buu’s chaotic awakening, making his first incarnation particularly creepy.

In conjunction with Vegeta’s mid-life crisis, the two coming to blows soon after Buu hatches results in a fantastic fight. Majin Vegeta maintains his aggression from his fight with Goku, and Fat Buu fights unlike any other villain in the Z-Era. Vegeta is ultimately pushed into sacrificing his life is one of the series’ most emotional moments.

5. Resurrection F: Vegeta Versus Frieza

Resurrection F is a lousy movie and arguably the worst thing to come out of modern Dragon Ball– which is straight out evel in its own right as it was the immediate sequel to Battle of Gods. The film really takes a dive when Goku starts to fight Frieza, taking attention off the supporting cast and pacing it onto a poorly choreographed fight.

Goku loses in a terribly bland battle, but it’s followed by Vegeta giving Frieza the beating of a lifetime. Worn down by his battle with Goku, Frieza can’t fight back whatsoever against Vegeta. Except by blowing up the Earth, that is.

6. Battle Of Gods: Vegeta Versus Beerus

It’s kind of remarkable how much Battle of Gods resembles the original series in comparison to modern Dragon Ball. Tonally and thematically, it very much feels like there was an 11th “Beerus arc” after the Majin Buu ended.

Vegeta, in particular, spends most of the movie putting his pride aside and trying to pacify Beerus in order to protect Earth. When Beerus slaps Bulma, Vegeta enters a rage that pushes his strength past that of even Super Saiyan 3 Goku. Vegeta even manages to draw blood, something Goku couldn’t do against Beerus.

7. Universe 6: Vegeta Versus Cabba

For what it’s worth, Vegeta’s fights leading up to Hit all have an early Dragon Ball essence to them. Vegeta’s match with Cabba even plays out like an inversion of Jackie Chun’s with Tenshinhan all the way back in the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai. Both feature a martial arts master instilling greater confidence into a younger ideological opposite. Vegeta’s mentorship of Cabba even comes back in a satisfying manner during the Tournament of Power.

8. Moro: Vegeta Versus Moro (Round 1)

Although Vegeta’s more recent fight wasn’t anything to write home about (and arguably one of Vegeta’s worst,) a lot of the disappointment stems less from the battle itself and more due to how good their first battle on Namek was. In a change of pace, Vegeta gets the big early fight against the villain. And really the only one.

This is still one of the more unique battles in the arc, and it’s a shame Vegeta & Moro’s rematch went down so traditionally.

9. Universe Survival: Vegeta Versus Jiren

All things considered, the Tournament of Power doesn’t go too poorly for Vegeta. He may not win or defeat Jiren (or even Toppo in the manga,) but Vegeta at least goes out with dignity and his main fight against Jiren is incredibly strong in both mediums. It’s the anime, however, that really sells the fight

Vegeta cannot compete, wasting all his energy against an opponent who has enough Ki to go toe to toe with Ultra Instinct Goku. This was always a losing battle for Vegeta, but a stylish one.

10. Goku Black: Vegeta Versus Goku Black

In the anime, Goku Black’s sole transformation is Super Saiyan Rose, whereas the manga gives him regular Super Saiyan first.

Vegeta ends up fighting Goku Black in both forms, but what makes their battle notable (other than Goku Black using regular SSJ) is the fact that Vegeta strategizes around using Super Saiyan God in conjunction with Super Saiyan Blue. By keeping God his base and only triggering Blue to attack, Vegeta circumvents SSB’s stamina drain while overpowering Goku Black in the fight.

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