Back before Jinder Mahal went to Smackdown and subsequently became WWE Champion, he already had one major supporter in the locker room.
The Big Show vouched for Mahal's talent and work ethic during an appearance on Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast.
The interview with Jericho and Show was recorded back in April, the night after Big Show faced Jinder Mahal in a lengthy house show match in Champaign, IL, that included Mahal delivering a body slam for a false finish.
"It was great for him, because I look at what they're doing with him and they're trying to do something with him. Now he's moving to Smackdown so my job as an older guy, an older veteran, is to see someone that has the right attitude, that is doing the right things, that is getting a new opportunity and WWE knows me, Vince knows me, the fans know me, I'm not going to let just anybody go out and do some sh-t like that," Big Show said. "So in one way, I'm kind of giving Jinder a thank you from me and a respect from me for the hard work he's putting in. … I see something in him."
Mahal returned to WWE last summer after the promotion revived the brand split. Mahal was a midcard heel on Raw, but after moving to Smackdown he quickly vaulted to the top of the card and continues to hold the WWE Title, which he successfully retained at Money In The Bank after defeating Randy Orton.
"I really have a lot of respect for what Jinder has done," Big Show said. "One, he's a good dude backstage. He's not an asshole, he's not a prick, (he hasn't) let success go to his head despite his character on TV. He's a hard working dude. He talked smack on 'Talking Smack' a while ago and he was really fired up and showed a lot of passion and a lot of just what Jinder Mahal on the inside is made out of. You know, us as old guys, we don't really have to do anything that we don't want to do. And with him, I wanted to prove a point to a lot of the younger guys in the back too, that you can have a match that's not a spot-oriented match. Tell a story, have some psychology. ... Jinder's work is really good. He's tall, he's like a striking viper or praying mantis or something but physically, he looks impressive. He looks like he could whip somebody's ass."