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>>The Saiyan Saga

The beginning of Dragonball Z has to do with the arrival of Goku's brother Raditz. Goku, who has grown up on the earth his whole life, is unaware of his Saiyan heritage. Raditz informs Goku who is surprised that he is part of a warrior race known as Saiyans. The Saiyans use their extraordinary powers to take over planets and then sell them to the highest bidder. When Goku refuses to join his brother, Raditz becomes impatient and kidnaps Gohan (Goku's young son). Goku tries to stop him put Raditz knock the wind out of him and takes off with Gohan. Things look bad, since Goku is the Earth's strongest fighter.
Despite the bleak outlook, Goku decides to fight Raditz. Just before he takes off, Piccolo arrives. Piccolo is from the planet Namek, but has been Goku's rival for some time now. Putting aside their differences, Piccolo and Goku join forces to eliminate the bigger threat - Raditz. Goku and Piccolo are very equal in power, and together they form the world's strongest team.
Despite their pooled efforts, Piccolo and Goku find Raditz to be stronger. It could all be over... but wait... Gohan reveals his true power! The four year old boy attacks Raditz upon seeing his father suffering. The blow weakens Raditz enough to allow Goku to hold Raditz, while Piccolo charges up a special beam cannon. The attack kills Raditz, but it also kills Goku.
Raditz lies dying on the ground, as Piccolo informs him of earth's Dragonballs. He tells Raditz that Goku's friends will certainly gather all seven balls and summon the Eternal Dragon. Their wish, granted by the Eternal Dragon, will resurrect Goku. Raditz informs Piccolo that his device he uses to sense powerlevels (the scouter) is also a transmitter. Everything Piccolo just said was heard by the other Saiyans (Nappa and Vegeta)  Raditz tells them that they have one year before the other Saiyans arrive... and the others are much stronger... Shocked, Piccolo finishes Raditz off and then joins Goku's friends, who have just arrived and are gathered around their fallen comrade. Goku tells them to take care of Gohan, and that he'll be back. Then Goku dies...
However, the earth's protector Kami, having heard about the coming of the Saiyans, takes Goku to King Yama. King Yama decides what happens to everyone that dies.
Kami tells King Yama of the earth's predicament, and asks him to allow Goku to travel the dangerous Snake Way and seek the training of the legendary King Kai.
this ends the first 4 episodes of DBZ.
The next 11 or so episodes encompass Goku's journey to King Kai's. The other Z fighters are training for the arrival of the Saiyans.  Gohan is having special training with Piccolo. The Z team includes: Krillin, who is a short monk who became Goku's best friend in Dragonball; Tien, the 3-eyed man who is another close friend of Goku's which he met in the original Dragonball series; Chaitzu the short pale skinned friend of Tien, and of course Yamcha, who used to be Bulma's boyfriend. They have one year to prepare for the arrival of the Saiyans. They train at Kami's lookout, and at one point are taken on a mental combat simulation (sort of virtual reality). It is here that the four Z-fighters square off against two Saiyans. The Saiyans crush the Z-fighters in the simulation. Kami thought that it would be good to show the Z-fighters the startling reality of the Saiyan's strength. When the exercise is finished, the Z-fighters are informed that the Saiyans approaching earth are twice as strong as those in the simulation. The Z-fighters vow to train vigorously for the inevitable arrival of these super-powerful beings.
As the Z-fighters train up on Kami's lookout, Piccolo trains Gohan. He must turn Gohan from a crying four year-old boy to a warrior, and he only has one year to do it. After seeing Gohan's true power in the fight with Raditz, Piccolo feels Gohan will be a big asset when the other Saiyans arrive. Gohan must endure wilderness survival training and sparing with Piccolo, as he matures a great deal. Piccolo and Gohan eventually grow quite fond of each other, as a sort of teacher-student bond forms between them. During this period Gohan is also subjected to the moonlight which triggers the transformation into an Oozaru. Piccolo must destroy the moon in order to save the planet!
While all this is going on, Goku must use caution as he travels down the ten thousand miles of  Snake way. Along the way he must find an escape from the "Home for Infinite Losers" (hell in Japanese) and fight off the temptations of the Snake Princess. Eventually he makes it to King Kai's, who is a rather odd fellow. King Kai's first task for Goku is to catch Bubbles, his pet monkey. Not an easy task, as the gravity on King Kai's planet is ten times greater than Earth's.
It takes Goku three weeks to finally catch Bubbles. His next task is to use an extremely heavy mallet, and try and hit King Kai's other companion, Gregory (who happens to be a cricket). Finally, King Kai teaches Goku the art of Kaioken, as well as how to form a "Spirit Bomb." Time is running out however...
Finally, the Saiyans arrive... Nappa the larger bald one and Vegeta the smaller Saiyan, who plays a major role in DBZ from here on out.  They demand to know where the Dragonballs are but earth's special forces showed up to fight not to give in to their demands.. and so the battle begins.
Basically, the Saiyans arrive and are way more powerful than the Z-team (even with Gohan and Piccolo). First Nappa releases these plant like creatures known as Saibamen. Each Saibaman has a powerlevel equal to that of Raditz (1200). Yamcha is killed in the battle with the Saibamen, but everyone else survives. Then Nappa joins the fray, and the warriors learn that an Elite Saiyan is very tough. Nappa kills everyone ( Tien, Chaoutzu and Piccolo who sacrifices his life to save Gohan) except Gohan and Krillin. Gohan and Krillin are about dead when Goku returns. Goku immediately beats the crap out of Nappa, who is promptly killed by Vegeta for his failure. Then Gohan and Krillin leave in fear of their lives in the upcoming battle. Next is the fantastic finish to the Saiyan saga which pits Goku against his strongest opponent yet, VEGITA!
Vegeta is unimpressed by Goku's Kaioken attack, so Goku tries a double and still isn't good enough to compete. Pushing his body to the limit Goku attempts a Kaioken X3! His power level increases at a tremendous rate, and as he engages Vegeta again, he proves to be too quick for the Saiyan Prince. Vegeta can't understand how Goku increased his powerlevel so much in just one year. Angry and frustrated, he decides to just blow earth up entirely. He flies high above Goku and starts to charge up his Galett Gun. A tired Goku has no choice but to gather his strength, and charge up a Kamehameha. Vegeta: "Let's see what you have Kakarot! GALET GUN, FIRE!!" Goku counters it with his Kamehameha, and neither beam is winning. They are equally as strong. until Goku pushes himself to an incredible Kaioken X4 and overpowers Vegita's attack. Vegeta is so pissed now! He realizes that the only way to win is to use artificial moonlight to transform himself. All Saiyans (who have a tail) have the ability to transform at a full moon into their Oozaru state.
In his transformed state, Vegeta proves to be too much for Goku. He is about to finish Goku, when Gohan, Krillin, and the coward Yajirobe intervene. Yajirobe reluctantly cuts Vegeta's tail off causing Vegeta to return to normal. After his fight with Goku, Vegeta is not quite at full power, so Gohan is able to hold his own against. Meanwhile, Krillin receives some Spirit Bomb energy from the severely wounded Goku. Krillin throws the energy at Vegeta, which initially misses it's target, but hits Vegeta when Gohan bounces it back at him. The blow nearly finishes him off.. and after Gohan transforms into his Oozaru form and it's all over for Vegeta. Krillin had the opportunity to finish Vegeta, but Goku told him not to. They allow Vegeta too escape, who returns half-dead to Freeza's base and starts to heal.