Johnny Gargano has backed calls for Chad Gable to be given a bigger chance to shine in WWE – insisting he deserves far better.
Gable is undoubtedly one of the company's purest talents, athletically gifted and popular with fans, but has rarely been taken seriously on screen in recent years.
The 34-year-old was a successful amateur wrestler before transitioning into the professional wrestling world – making his WWE breakthrough in NXT as one half of the American Alpha tag team.
Alongside Jason Jordan, Gable wowed fans in what was WWE's developmental brand, claiming the NXT tag team titles and pulling out many five-star matches.
The two enjoyed relative success when called up to the "main roster" in winning the Smackdown tag titles in 2016, but would lose them within three months.
WWE broke up the pair the following year and, after flirting with other tag partners, Gable was repackaged as a singles competitor with a new look and name – Shorty G, in reference to his perceived lack of height in the company's land of the giants.
Even allowing for the wrestling world's habit of utilising talented athletes in comic cartoonish or comical styles, the use of Gable over the last year or so has left fans frustrated.
Gargano, himself an accomplished tag team star and singles performer, admitted in an exclusive interview with Daily Star Sport that he feels his colleague deserves more.
Granted, Gable has been afforded a good share of television time as Shorty G, but Garagno and a legion of others would like to see him given a more authentic platform.
"With what he's shown people he's capable of doing, I think he's tremendous," said the Ohio native, of his old rival.
"I am in that camp of people who wants more for him because he has shown that, when you give him the ball, he can run with it further than anyone – he can go.
"Even Kurt Angle, one of the best of all time, says that Chad Gable is like a mini him – you've got a mini Kurt Angle on your hands!
"You've got to strike while the iron is hot and Chad, if he gets an opportunity, will make the most of it, and hopefully he'll get that opportunity."
If Gable ever did want inspiration on how to succeed as a singles star in WWE, he could do much worse than to look to Gargano as an example.
The former DIY member was a successful singles wrestler on the independent scene before hitting the heights alongside Tommaso Ciampa in tag team circles.
He's now back flying solo – flanked by wife Candice LeRae – and challenges for the NXT North American Championship at NXT Takeover 31 this weekend.
He continued: "With what we do in wrestling, it is all about timing.
"You've got to be prepared, and just from seeing how hard that guy works, he is always prepared. So now it just comes down to timing.
"I do believe that if he keeps working hard, he'll get the opportunities he deserves. I think Chad Gable will show the world... when the time comes, he's gonna kill it."
Watch Johnny Gargano and the stars of NXT perform at NXT Takeover 31 on Sunday, October 4. The event streams live on WWE Network. Visit wwe.com for more.