Why Goku Chose Frieza:
One of the most well-known supervillains in the Dragon Ball Universe, Frieza was in many ways the first antagonist that helped launch Dragon Ball to new heights. Frieza opened up a new frontier for Dragon Ball. And as we all know, the rest is history. Dragon Ball Z became one of the most popular anime shows both inside and outside Japan. There is one more villain who might be as equally if not more popular than Frieza. We are talking about Cell. In more ways than one Cell, it would have been a much better choice at being a part of Universe 7’s team that took part in the Tournament of Power. Goku decided Frieza was a better choice. But why!!
Throughout the history of Dragon Ball, Frieza is a villain that has appeared several times and has been defeated every time he had surfaced. Be it Goku or Future Trunks, Frieza has bit dust for quite a few number of times at the hands of the Z Fighters. The cell would have been a better candidate for the role of a Z Fighter taking part in the Universe 7 team’s attempt at saving their universe during the Tournament of Power. Frieza being chosen over Cell made no sense until he played a crucial role in helping the Z Fighters save the universe not once or twice but multiple times.
The question that still lingers is – Even though Frieza did prove him-self, why was the decision to omit Cell was made by Goku in the first place??
The cell was a creation of the evil Doctor Gero. As the ultimate creation of the android creating genius, Cell was supposed to defeat Goku and wipe away the years of humiliation Goku had dealt Doctor Gero with. After absorbing Android 16, 17, and 18 as well as mimicking the abilities of most of the Z Fighters, Cell was the perfect supervillain to take on the Z Fighters. He was responsible for the death of Goku as well.
The problem is Cell’s arc ended there. There has been little to no character development for Cell post the Cell arc. Frieza, on the other hand, has had a lot of character development and power upgrades ever since he came back from the dead after his first fight with Goku on the Namekian Planet. He was again defeated by Future Trunks but that did not stop his minions from using the Dragon balls to bring Frieza back from the dead again. After coming back, Frieza trained rigorously to become even stronger and achieved a golden from that was able to withstand Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue.
Cell did possess Frieza’s powers when the latter briefly visited Earth before Future Trunks killed him. But it was not enough for the writers to consider Cell to be a better candidate to take part in the Tournament of Power. In fact, there is one more reason why Cell was not chosen by Goku. He was still stuck in Hell. In the non-canon Dragon Ball GT arc, Frieza and Cell join forces to defeat Goku for good when all three of them were in hell. Goku, even though he was in his child-like form, was able to access all his enhanced physical attributes that he had gained after years of training and fighting extra-terrestrial threats. While Cell has had miniscule power upgrades.
So bottom line – Cell was given a rain check while Frieza gave the golden ticket because Cell’s arc was over. Frieza still had the potential to do more in the Dragon Ball universe. We are not denying Cell’s legacy. He will always be seen as one of the greatest fighters and supervillains that Goku has ever faced. But Frieza has managed to suppress fans’ expectations and keep growing stronger while Doctor Gero’s ultimate android antagonist still remains trapped in hell, with little to no boosts to his power levels after he was killed by the Father-Son Kamehameha by Gohan and Goku. Well, now you know the possible reason why the writers chose to keep Cell from entering the Tournament of Power.