There is a claim that Goku has never truly emerged victorious against Vegeta

The recent release of the new Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero film has reignited the debate over which character is stronger, as the film features a cinematic fight between the two iconic characters. In the film, Goku and Vegeta engage in an exhibition match where they are not allowed to power up. In a surprising turn of events, Vegeta emerges as the winner of the fight, which has led many fans to believe that this is the first time that Goku has lost to Vegeta.

However, this is not entirely true, as an analysis of their previous fights reveals that Vegeta has never actually lost to Goku. Their first battle took place during the Saiyan Arc, where Vegeta and his lackey Nappa came to Earth to use the dragon balls to grant themselves immortality. After many of Goku’s allies were killed, Goku and Vegeta finally squared off, with both characters throwing Earth-rattling blows in an ebb-and-flow match-up. Although Goku gained a clear advantage by using his kaioken power-up and arbitrarily multiplying his output, the damage inflicted on Goku’s muscles, combined with Vegeta crushing Goku in his Ozaru form, resulted in Goku being unable to continue the fight. Although Vegeta technically won this battle, his victory gets lost in translation as he gets jumped by Gohan, Krillin, and Yajirobe, and flees Earth, which is mistakenly interpreted as a loss.

Their second battle took place during the first quarter of the Majin Buu arc, where Vegeta allowed himself to be transformed into Majin Vegeta by the villain Babidi. In theory, this transformation was meant to put Vegeta under Babidi’s control, but in actuality, Vegeta used it as a means to get a power-up and force Goku to fight him before his time on Earth expired. The pair’s face-off in a rocky wasteland was better experienced through the anime than the manga, as Toei Animation added its own anime-only beats to the source material’s brief battle. In the end, Goku and Vegeta postponed their bout to help their friends battle Majin Buu, but not before Vegeta knocked Goku out and went into the fight alone. Despite this clear victory, the fight was inconclusive due to outside interference and the sudden presence of a bigger threat.

The majority of Dragon Ball Z fights follow wrestling rules that aim to protect the franchise’s biggest stars from character-defining losses. Therefore, big-money matches between fan favorites like Piccolo and Vegeta have never happened in the entirety of the series, despite fan interest in discovering which of the two is stronger. Furthermore, the creators have occasionally created top-billing “twice in a lifetime” matches between Goku and Vegeta, only to throw shenanigans into the mix to protect their characters’ mystique. These kinds of inconclusive battles happen a lot in anime.

While some Goku fans may argue that their poster boy hero has at times emerged victorious, the evidence suggests that this is not entirely true. Although the power creep and the need to create new forms for Goku have occasionally led to the mistaken belief that he has more victories than he actually does, the official record shows that Vegeta remains undefeated. Therefore, despite Goku’s status as the hero of the Dragon Ball Z franchise, he has yet to win a face-off with his rival Vegeta.

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