The Prince of all Saiyans is considered by many to be one of the greatest anti-heroes to bless the anime stage. He’s ruthlessness, love of fighting, and all around badassery make Vegeta fights some of the most exciting in the series.
Vegeta vs Recoome
There’s only a handful of times Vegeta does something out of character, but whenever he does you know its about to go down. Abandoning his one man rampage on planet Namek and teaming up with Gohan and Krillin is one of those times. But drastic times call for drastic measures.
What starts off as an intense volley of punches, kicks, and ki blasts from Vegeta ultimately ends as nothing more than some sort of weird strip. Vegeta only manages to blow up Recoome’s armor, only to then get beaten to a bloody pulp. Not one of the Saiyan Prince’s best moments, but one that contributes a lot to the show. It’s the first time Vegeta allied himself with the Z Warriors, and eventually leads to him joining them back on Earth.
Vegeta vs Zarbon Round 2
The Dark Saiyan Prince is back and stronger than ever thanks to the Zenkai boost from their previous fight. Zarbon’s greatest mistake was only leaving Vegeta on death’s doorstep and not taking him all the way through into the afterlife. Vegeta is only more than happy to return the favor this time around. Vegeta shows his opponent absolutely no mercy in his usual over the top kind of way we all grew to love. (Nothing screams over the top cartoon violence like getting punched, and then blasted through the stomach).
We also get to see Vegeta’s keen strategic mind in action, providing a more in depth look at how Vegeta fights. He easily get the upper-hand by baiting Zarbon to lunge at him. Vegeta then blinds Zarbon with a fistful of dirty he had picked up earlier and creates the opening Vegeta needs to strike his finishing blow.
Vegeta vs Android 19
Quite possibly one of the greatest transformations in the Dragon Ball Z collection. I would even argue that Vegeta’s first on screen Super Saiyan transformation is in the worthy to stand next to that of Gohan’s Super Saiyan 2 transformation against Cell.
What puts this fight on the lists is basically all the things that makes Vegeta, well Vegeta. He comes back from humiliations in a way that makes you forget he was even humiliated in the first place. After losing the chance to become the first Super Saiyan in over 1000 years to Goku (a low class warrior), and the introduction of Trunks’ Super Saiyan form Vegeta finally stuns the Z Warriors with a transformation of his own.
Unlike Goku and Trunks however he shows no mercy with his newfound power. He defeats Android 19 in such a brutal way that you almost forget he’s one of the good guys now. This fight alone perfectly sums up the raw power, sinister undertones, and arrogant personality that makes Vegeta one of the greatest antiheroes in anime history.
Vegeta Fights Goku (Saiyan Saga)
Argued to be on of the first real boss battles of the Dragon Ball Z series, and one of the most memorable Vegeta fights. Akira Toriyama spent the better part of the saga building up the hype behind the mysterious warrior race, and Vegeta delivered with interest.The Saiyan Prince pushes what’s left of the Z warriors to the brink, and Goku proves no match by himself even with King Kai’s training.
What puts this fight on the list (aside from the amazing fight animations) is that it has a lot of firsts and lasts. It’s the last time we’ll get to see the Great Ape transformation used (Dragon Ball GT is non-canon and doesn’t count). It’s also the first time characters powerful enough to destroy the planet in a single blast are introduced. Had Goku not performed the Kaio-Ken X4 Vegeta’s Galick Gun would have obliterated the Earth.
In the end it took Goku completely wrecking his body, a Gohan Great Ape transformation, Krillin, and Yajirobe to contain Vegeta. Noticed I said contain, because even with all that help Vegeta was still able to crawl away from the battlefield alive. Giving proof to the fact that at one point in time Vegeta was indeed stronger than Goku.
Majin Vegeta vs Goku
Punch for punch this isn’t just one of the best Vegeta fights, but one of the best battles in the entire series. Seeing a glimpse of Goku’s power when Goku faced off against Yakon Vegeta realizes that even with all the intense training he underwent after the Cell Games he is still far behind Goku. Thinking that his time on Earth and his family have made him weak he allows Babadi to take control of his mind (although not completely) and tap into his inner hatred.
The two power up to Super Saiyan 2 and commence their most intense and final battle to prove who is strongest once and for all. The fight itself only last a couple of episodes, short compared to other fights in the DBZ series. What it lacks in length however it makes up with in jaw dropping action.
This fight is different from most in the series in that it appeared to be so evenly matched (sure Goku could go SS3, but we had no idea at the time). Most of the fights we had seen up until this point were either completely one sided or started off one sided until someone was able to unlock a new transformation and change the tide of battle.
We also get some great character development from Vegeta. He explains his constant struggle trying to keep up with Goku over the years, and how time on Earth had turned him soft. Goku tries to explains to Vegeta that he can both a great fighter and a loving father and husband. While at first Vegeta scoffs at the idea we see him come around sacrificing himself trying to defeat Buu not only for Trunks and Bulma, but Goku as well.
What were some of your favorite Vegeta fights? I only cover DBZ, but feel free to include any of the other series. Comment your answers below!