Salza is from the same solar system as Jeice, from a planet named Coola No. 98 (formally planet Brench). His planet's very high gravity helped him develop into a very fast and agile fighter. Salza is also very intelligent, he is capable of speaking 7,000 languages and is stated to be the genius of his planet.
To become leader of the Armored Squad, Salza was in competition with Ginyu. He is also among the few people who have seen Ginyu's true form.
On Earth with Cooler, Salza successfully takes down Gohan and Krillin. After his comrades Neiz and Doore are executed by Piccolo, he fights against the Namekian himself. Salza decides to attack Piccolo with his Salza Blade Technique, but the Namek quickly gains advantage over him. Luckily for Salza, Cooler shows up and defeats Piccolo, ordering Salza to go after Gohan. Salza follows Gohan and destroys the bag containing the Senzu Beans. He then battles Krillin and Gohan and defeats them with ease. When Goku recovers from his injuries and witnesses Cooler blasting Piccolo, Salza takes the opportunity to punch a stunned Goku in the face, but to no effect, as Goku doesn't even flinch and sends Salza crashing against a mountain simply by expelling his power aura. After Cooler is defeated, Salza emerges from the rubble, having survived Goku's earlier retaliation, ready to exterminate what remained of the battle-weary Goku, Gohan, and Krillin, but from afar, Piccolo shoots a Special Beam Cannon straight through him, finally killing Salza.