[Top 10] Dragon Ball Best Vegeta Fights

Saiyan prince Vegeta, proud and smug as usual. Copyright 2009, Toei Animation.
Saiyan prince Vegeta, proud and smug as usual. Copyright 2009, Toei Animation.

With battles like these, no wonder Vegeta is Goku's sworn rival.

Looks like the “Prince of all Saiyans” has learned some new moves — the latest issue from manga Dragon Ball Super depicts Vegeta using a unique spirit technique in his battle against the wizard-villain Moro. Then again, the Saiyan has always been known to amaze in the various fights he’s had in the Dragon Ball saga. So, to honor his most recent accomplishment, let’s celebrate Vegeta with a list of his top ten fights in the franchise!

10. Vegeta vs. Dodoria, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

"Ok, ok, you got me! My boss and I blew up your planet. I can go now, right?"

Context of the Fight: 

Vegeta has decided that he’s tired of living under the bootheel of the Frieza Army. However, since Frieza isn’t the type to accept a resignation, nor Vegeta the type to give one, that leaves only one option: Destroy Frieza and his forces! The first step was taking out former comrade Cui, and now Vegeta moves on to Dodoria, one of Frieza’s high-ranking officers.

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Dodoria Fight Awesome: 

•    Not counting Cui given he was already Vegeta’s equal beforehand, this fight has the Saiyan truly turning against those who forced him into servitude.
•    It reveals the truth behind planet Vegeta’s destruction and the near-extinction of the Saiyans. (Given his role in that incident, how could Dodoria *possibly* think telling Vegeta about it would save him?)
•    Vegeta reveals how stone-cold he is by expressing his relative indifference to the loss of his home-world and then erasing Dodoria for good.

9. Vegeta vs. Zarbon (2nd Round), Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

Beauty never tarnished? Yeah, right.

Context of the Fight:

Following the death of Dodoria, Vegeta’s next major target in the Frieza Army is Zarbon, Frieza’s advisor and 2nd-in-command of the Namek expedition. His first fight with the green-haired gentleman, unfortunately, was a fiasco that left the former at death’s door and the latter unruffled. Now, however, thanks to the power-up he received from surviving their first conflict, Vegeta returns to take sweet revenge.

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Zarbon (2nd Round) Fight Awesome:

•    An arrogant pretty boy who loathes ruining his good looks nonetheless gets his gut punched through? Priceless.
•    Vegeta’s thrashing of Zarbon is all the more satisfying given the guy nearly killed him scarcely a day ago.
•    That Vegeta is so ruthless in this fight is already chilling, but having said fight in front of Bulma and Krillin just makes it more so. (Hey Bulma, say ‘Hi’ to your future hubby!)

8. Vegeta vs. Jeice, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

(*Looks at power level on scouter*) "This won't end well."

Context of the Fight:

First was Cui, then Frieza’s officers Dodoria and Zarbon, and just recently Ginyuu Force members Guldo, Berter and Recoome. Man, Vegeta’s been busy! Even so, his Frieza Army Revenge Tour isn’t finished yet, as he now goes up against the Ginyuu Force’s 2nd-in-command, Jeice.

What makes the Vegeta vs. Jeice Fight Awesome:

•    Vegeta constantly teases and trolls Jeice while the fight goes on, even goading him into using his scouter to see Vegeta’s power level for himself.
•    In light of this and his previous beatdowns, Vegeta’s declaration that he will soon become a Super Saiyan is both plausible and unnerving.
•    Jeice’s death is alternately well-deserved and almost pitifully anti-climactic. Oh, you’re the 2nd strongest member of the Ginyuu Force? Now you’re dust.

7. Vegeta vs. Goku Black (2nd Round), Dragon Ball Super

"Stab an energy blade through *me*, will you!?"

Context of the Fight: 

To help Future Trunks, Vegeta and Goku travel with him to his timeline. It is there that they encounter Goku Black, a version of Supreme-Kai-trainee Zamatsu who possessed an alternate Goku’s body using the Super Dragon Balls. (Ugh, time travel.) Circumstances then force Vegeta to fight Goku Black for a second time.

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Goku Black (2nd Round) Fight Awesome:

•    Vegeta subtly and implicitly (though perhaps grudgingly) acknowledges his respect for Goku, as well as Goku’s eternal quest to grow stronger.
•    Vegeta calls out Zamatsu/Goku Black for not relying on his own strength. (Does that mean he repents of what he did in the Buu Saga?)
•    Vegeta’s able to work out some of his frustration with Goku’s antics in a way that’s sorta healthy! (Just think of Black as a pillow or punching bag!) 

6. Vegeta vs. Cabba, Dragon Ball Super

"What're ya gonna do, ya little pipsquea- oh shit."

Context of the Fight: 

While competing in a tournament that pits fighters from the 7th and 6th universes, Vegeta meets Cabba, a Saiyan counterpart who lives in the 6th. Eventually the two are set against each other in the ring, which allows Vegeta to get a measure of this unknown Saiyan’s strength. At first unimpressed, Vegeta eventually manages to goad Cabba into a fight that benefits them both. 

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Cabba Fight Awesome:

•    The audience gets to see just what the Saiyans of the 6th Universe can do. (Apparently not much, at least without help from the 7th Universe).
•    Vegeta takes his role as Prince of all Saiyans seriously, as he (covertly) teaches Cabba how to turn into a Super Saiyan.
•    Vegeta both makes a new friend and becomes a mentor, sharing the wisdom of self-respect and honor to a fledgling Saiyan warrior.

5. Vegeta vs. Toppo, Dragon Ball Super

Vegeta & Toppo, "discussing" theology.

Context of the Fight:

The clock is running out in the Tournament of Power, a multiverse battle royale held by Omni Kings Zeno and Future Zeno. With only the 7th and 11th universe’s fighters remaining, Vegeta must eliminate Toppo, the top candidate to become the 11th universe’s next God of Destruction. But can Vegeta ‘destroy’ a Destroyer?

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Toppo Fight Awesome:

•    Vegeta showcases his growth from living on Earth all this time – he now fights for family, fellow Saiyan Cabba, and his honor as a Saiyan warrior.
•    Vegeta can now use his power-bomb move (first seen in the Buu saga of Dragon Ball Z) without turning into a stone corpsicle. 
•    The fight more-or-less shows Vegeta defeating a God of Destruction. (Better watch out Beerus!)

4. Vegeta vs. Android 19, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

"Run, fat boy, run!"

Context of the Fight:

Goku’s been (temporarily) KO’d by his heart virus, so Vegeta steps in against the androids. The Dragon Gang isn’t confident this will go well at first, but the prince surprises everyone by going Super Saiyan. Confident that he’s now returned to his rightful place on the Saiyan throne, Vegeta then literally destroys Android 19. 

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Android 19 Fight Awesome:

•    Vegeta joins the Super Saiyan club, showing that even scumbags can do it if their ‘pure hearts’ happen to be pure in rage rather than selflessness.
•    Vegeta seemingly proves that he is Goku’s equal (if not his superior, as he might say.)
•    One of the (supposed) androids that even Future Trunks, a Super Saiyan himself, couldn’t beat is crushed without a sweat.

3. Vegeta vs. Semi-Perfect Cell, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

Calm down, Cell. I mean, "nobody's perfect," right?

Context of the Fight: 

Newly emerged from a year of training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber (or the Room of Spirit and Time, take your pick), Vegeta decides to test his new strength on Cell. The latter, confident in his own power after having absorbed Android 17, gladly accepts the challenge. He’ll soon regret that he did.

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Semi-Perfect Cell Fight Awesome:

•    It’s the first time a Saiyan has transcended the Super Saiyan form, which had previously been thought the pinnacle of Saiyan strength.
•    In Vegeta’s mind, his new transformation shows he’s transcended legend itself and redefined the limits of his race. He’s not just better than Goku now, he’s the best Saiyan in history, bar none.
•    The contrast between the supremely self-assured Vegeta on the one hand and the stupefied, tantrum-throwing Cell on the other is hilarious.

2. (Majin) Vegeta vs. Goku, (2nd Round) Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

"Killing my rival in exhange for dooming Earth? Sure, where do I sign?"

Context of the Fight:

Refusing to stand in Goku’s shadow anymore, Vegeta accepts Babidi’s magic in order to gain the power to challenge our hero. Given that it risks resurrecting Majin Buu, who could destroy Earth and much more, Goku is understandably furious at this decision. Vegeta doesn’t care though, so Goku must try to beat the prince before Babidi can bring back Buu.

What Makes the (Majin) Vegeta vs. Goku Fight Awesome:

•    It’s a rematch years in the making, both in-story and out. The audience was just as eager as Vegeta to see the two duke it out again.
•    It is the culmination of Vegeta’s festering resentment at Goku’s one-upmanship. That he would essentially sell his soul to Babidi for power testifies to how galled he felt.
•    It really seemed that Vegeta and Goku were giving their all in this fight, and the fact that it still lasted so long was both thrilling and terrifying. 

1. Vegeta vs. Goku (1st Round), Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

Sorry Vegeta, but you can't keep a good Kakarot down.

Context of the Fight:

It’s here that Vegeta first meets and battles Goku, who flummoxes the elite warrior from the get-go. Goku trounces him with the aid of his new Kaio-Ken technique, and then uses a Kaio-Ken-powered Kamehameha Wave to counter Vegeta’s Galick Gun. Even when Vegeta goes all out with his Great Ape transformation, Goku tags in Krillin, Gohan and even Yajirobe for the finisher.

What Makes the Vegeta vs. Goku (1st Round) Fight Awesome:

•    Before this bout, Vegeta saw himself as the pinnacle of the Saiyan elite. Goku surpassing him redefines Vegeta’s very notion of reality.
•    It features the famous ‘Galick Gun vs. Kamehameha Wave’ scene, one of the most iconic moments of Dragon Ball history.
•    This fight is the starting point of Goku and Vegeta’s life-long rivalry, a defining aspect of Dragon Ball canon that persists to this very day.

I truly hope you’ve enjoyed the list I put together! However, I’ll acknowledge that these are my own top fights, rather than anything official; your own might look different! If you want to let us know what your top Dragon Ball Vegeta fights are, feel free to comment and discuss below!

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Delighted at sharing his name with Middle-Earth's most faithful companion, Sam takes his own journeys into stories and games with the hope of sharing them with the world.
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