Here’s every Z-Warrior missing from Goku’s Universe 7 team in Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power, and why they didn’t participate.
Which main characters were excluded from Goku’s Tournament of Power team in Dragon Ball Super, and why weren’t they chosen to participate? The Tournament of Power was the most inclusive story in the history of the Dragon Ball franchise, as it finally made use of several Z-Warriors who had very little involvement in the main story for years. During the tournament, Goku was able to fight alongside old friends like Tien and Master Roshi, whereas in recent storylines, he generally relied on help from just Vegeta. It had been quite a while since several of these characters were actually relevant. Even Gohan, who was once Dragon Ball Z’s strongest hero, couldn’t compare to the likes of Goku and Vegeta in prior Dragon Ball Super storylines.
The return of the Z-Warriors was made possible by the rules of the Tournament of Power, a contest arranged to decide the fate of eight universes. Each universe’s God of Destruction was expected to select a team of the ten strongest warriors to fight it out on a ring built to accommodate 80 fighters. The prize for winning was the Super Dragon Balls, while the cost was the destruction of the team’s entire universe. What this meant was that only one universe could remaining standing when the allotted time ran out.
With everything on the line, Goku had to recruit the most powerful warriors in Universe 7, which he decided should be led by Gohan. Vegeta and Piccolo were easy (and obvious) choices, while some of the others were a bit unexpected and took some convincing. Over the course of a few episodes, Goku was able to persuade Android 17, Android 18, Krillin, Tien, Master Roshi, and Frieza to join forces with him to form Universe 7’s team. But even though Universe 7 had ten slots to fill, not every main character was given their chance to shine. Here’s every Z-Warrior missing from Goku’s team, and why they weren’t there.
Goten & Trunks
Goten and Trunks were shown to be quite powerful in the Buu Saga, as both half-Saiyans are capable of accessing the Super Saiyan transformation, and when they fuse into Gotenks, they can attain a much greater level of power: Super Saiyan 3. Despite this fact, Goku chose not to put either character on his team, and the reason for this was explained during the recruitment process. After they were suggested by Supreme Kai, Goku shot down the idea, stating that Goten and Trunks were “too green.”
Goku admitted that they had “raw power” on their side, but felt that the children were too inexperienced for an event of this magnitude, and wouldn’t be good at using strategy. Their absence isn’t all that surprising, as Goku made a good point about their lack of experience. As Gotenks, the two were strong enough to challenge Super Buu, but it was their own arrogance and childish mistakes that kept them from winning. There’s no reason the situation would have been any different in the tournament.
Majin Buu was originally selected by Goku, and was even included in promotional material for the Tournament of Power arc. Buu powered up and lost weight in preparation for the fighting, causing Goku to feel confident in his abilities.
Though Buu didn’t contribute much to the main story of Dragon Ball Super, he did fight – and defeat – Universe 9’s Basil in the Grand Zeno Expo, thus proving his competence. But, Buu tired himself out, ate too much, and fell asleep before the tournament could begin. Buu’s nap sent everyone into a panic because, at this point, all ten slots had been filled and they weren’t sure who could replace Buu. At the last minute, Goku was able to get Frieza temporarily released from Hell so that he could take Buu’s spot.
Future Trunks returned in Dragon Ball Super and gained several boosts of power throughout his battles with Goku Black and Zamasu. Trunks also has access to the Super Saiyan Rage transformation, a powerful form that only he can use. If included on the team, Future Trunks would have outclassed at least half of the Universe 7 team, putting him somewhere above Android 18 and Piccolo, but likely below Gohan and Android 17.
Future Trunks would have made a solid addition, but it’s not clear how he could have been contacted, now that’s he’s living in the future again. If they did know how to find him, his participation would surely have been opposed by Whis and Beerus, as time travel is strictly forbidden. If it was discovered by the Grand Minister that a fighter from a different time period was on Goku’s team, this could have led to him being disqualified.
Chiaotzu, the longtime sidekick of Tien, was never brought up as a possible candidate for the Tournament of Power (though he was briefly suggested by Tien in the manga version of the story). As for why he was never seriously considered, the answer is likely linked to the concern that he wouldn’t be able to contribute much. Since the Saiyan Saga, he’s been part of a trio, which also consisted of Tien and Yamcha. Chiaotzu was always the weakest of the three, and though he continued to train, it was revealed that by the time of the Cell Saga, he was no longer able to keep up with the Z-Warriors.
That’s why Chiaotzu was the only one left out of the search for the Androids and the Cell Games, while Tien and Yamcha were around for both events. As these battles took place years ago with the Z-Warriors becoming stronger and stronger with time, it stands to reason that the gap between them has grown even wider.
Arguably the biggest omission from Goku’s Tournament of Power team is Yamcha, one of Goku’s oldest allies. Yamcha never received an invitation from Goku to fight in the tournament, but he did expect one. His inclusion was teased, as a series of scenes showed Yamcha anticipating being approached by Goku to compete. He was never mentioned by the Z-Warriors, but was brought up by Krillin and Bulma in the manga. When Buu dropped out, Goku could have pursued Yamcha as their tenth member, but immediately settled on Frieza. Of course, Frieza was a better option in terms of power, but not when it came to reliability. Since Frieza made no secret of his intention to kill Goku, the other members of the team weren’t happy with Goku’s questionable decision. And, there were times when Frieza nearly did come close to betraying Goku.
So why did Goku overlook Yamcha? It would seem, that based on comments published in an anime magazine, the reason is that Goku simply didn’t ask him, either because he forgot or the idea never occurred to him. If Yamcha was selected, he would have been one of the weaker team members, in the same range of power as Krillin and Tien. Some expect that he wouldn’t be as strong as the other two, but a few impressive moments in the anime have shown that Yamcha is Dragon Ball’s most underestimated character.
Admittedly, Yamcha has slacked off on his training, but then, so did Krillin, and they were confirmed to be on the same page in the Buu Saga. There’s no way of knowing now, but he could have outlasted (and outperformed) Krillin — who was defeated fairly quickly because of his failure to stay focused.