It was the best and worst of times for tag team wrestling in 2018, but in order not to totally spoil the arrangement of combos ahead, it's perhaps worth assessing the philosophical shifts across the industry rather than jump immediately to those that affected the changes.
A renaissance of sorts occurred in WWE in 2017 thanks to two deep crews keen to reinvigorate a league wrecked from years of neglect. Driven by NXT's own reinvention of the genre, the SmackDown Live and Raw rosters produced some of the best matches of the year to try and remind Vince McMahon why it was sometimes actually worth paying four men to do the job of two.
It continued in earnest in patches in 2018, though both sets of belts were left to bleed out after wretched WrestleMania switches put the straps across the wrong shoulders. Frustratingly, the company's developmental brand were still showing their peers how to do it properly. Dave Meltzer dished out a rare five-star rating to a taped NXT television match - itself a rarity without the disadvantage of being a canned classic potentially already spoiled to a mass audience.
Across the rest of the wrestling world, tag team wrestling struggled to strive in an era where solo stars are making towns and money once again. Across New Japan Pro Wrestling and the independent scene though, there were some intriguing innovators ensuring the highest profile pairs keep pace...
10. Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr
Prolific across the global independent scene in 2018, neck stuff aficionados and bruising brothers Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr left as many folk laying on canvases as fans did dollars for their devastating displays.
Making splashes in their Impact Wrestling efforts for that company's modest television audience, the pair earned plaudits and paydays across the world as solo and doubles deviants, chasing pops from head drops and gasps from ghastly attacks. The two worked separately at ALL IN, but the realism in their relationship put them back together in the eyes of the audience on the night, particularly when they shone so spectacularly in their showcase showdowns.
Rumours have repeatedly swirled that the pair are WWE-bound, despite the company's abject failures with pushing masked performers apart from Rey Mysterio over the last decade. By all accounts, Vince McMahon was obsessed with a finding a successor to the 'Biggest Little Man', but his recent return has highlighted how big the gap was between the king and the pretenders to his throne.
Whilst the pair could rip apart Lucha House Party faster than Kalisto and co could a pinata, the banknotes they currently scrape from the ring may amount to more than developmental deals that neglect them creatively and commercially.