Ocal (left) and Jimmy Korderas ringside doing commentary at an independent wrestling show
|Birth name||Arda Ocal|
May 7, 1981 |
North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Alma mater||University of Waterloo|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Arda Ocal
Arda Ocal (Turkish: Arda Öcal) (born May 7, 1981 in North York, Ontario) is a Turkish Canadian television personality, broadcaster, announcer and writer, best known for his time in WWE under the stage name Kyle Edwards, as well as the host of The MSG Hockey Show on MSG Network, as well as various current sports coverage on ESPN and TRT World
His previous roles included being a columnist for the Baltimore Sun publication/blog and as an analyst for Rogers TV and host for YES Network. He was also formerly with The Weather Network as a morning show co-host, The Score Television Network (where he pitched and created the hit TV program "Aftermath" as well as hosted "WWE Experience" and "Countdown to WWE RAW") and Global TV as a sports reporter, as well as a co-host of the daily lifestyle program Daytime on the Canadian channel Rogers TV in Mississauga, Ontario, before beginning to host and provide color commentary for their flagship Brampton Battalion OHL hockey broadcasts and serving as host for Toronto Marlies American Hockey League broadcasts on the channel.
Ocal holds a degree in Mathematics and Business Administration from the University of Waterloo. While there, he spent three years hosting a variety show on CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and released Warrior Nation, a compilation disc of the University of Waterloo's best musical talents, which sold over 4000 copies.
Ocal formerly served as a member of the board of directors at a well known charity in Brampton as well as the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, and was involved with independent pro wrestling group Maximum Pro Wrestling, where he was also a ring announcer, play by play commentator and promoter. As promoter, he was the first to bring charity pro wrestling events to Iqaluit, Nunavut in 2008 (and again in 2011 and 2013). He also previously served as editor-in-chief for Think Impact (a division of Impact, one of Canada's largest entrepreneurial organizations).
Aftermath TV And The Score
In 2009, Ocal created, pitched and hosted "Aftermath TV" weekly on The Score Television Network following the broadcast of WWE Raw on Tuesday afternoons (and previously following the airing of WWE SmackDown on Friday nights, as well as "Aftermath Radio" after WWE Raw, which he hosted with former WWE referee Jim Korderas. Ocal hosted the television program with Korderas and WWE announcer Renee Young. In 2011 Aftermath Radio won a Wrestling Radio Award for Show of the Year and in 2012 Ocal won Host of the Year. He was also a broadcaster with The Score Fighting Series, a Canadian MMA weekly televised program, as well as serving as cage announcer and backstage interviewer for MMA fights across Canada televised on theScore. Ocal also provided MMA fight picks on the Score's mobile application ScoreMobile. In the course of his duties he has interviewed a variety of notable international superstars and aired segments of these interviews on his show. These include: Bret Hart, Sheamus, Honky Tonk Man, The Iron Sheik, Drew McIntyre, Chris Jericho, Gail Kim and Sgt. Slaughter., UFC president Dana White, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, among many others.
Ocal is primarily a broadcaster in sports and lifestyle. On top of OHL hockey, Ocal has provided play by play commentary for IBL Baseball, CSL soccer, high school football, numerous junior hockey games and tournaments, as well as boxing, where in 2011 he most famously called a bout with hall of fame boxing broadcaster Al Bernstein, on which one bout between Samuel Vargas and Ahmad Cheiko became a candidate for Canadian Boxing fight of the year.
From 2007-2008, Ocal served as male host for the daily talk show "daytime" on Rogers TV, which aired in the Toronto area. The program followed a similar format to other popular talk shows, starting with host banter (Ocal worked with co-host Kim McCleary), followed by several guests.
In 2012, Ocal was also the creator / host / producer of "Athlete Tweet Watch", a weekly 3 minute video series on YES Network.
On April 1, 2013, Ocal announced via his personal Twitter account that he left the Score Television Network.
Ocal previously worked on broadcasts for the Toronto Marlies AHL hockey team, the affiliate for the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL franchise. As well, he provides commentary on boxing, soccer and table tennis events.
In October 2016 Ocal began working with ESPN on their esports coverage at the League of Legends World championship semi finals and finals, as well as Blizzcon 2016. He hosted video segments and conducted interviews with players, coaches and luminaries.
In November 2016, Ocal began hosting The MSG Hockey Show, with cohosts Anson Carter and Will Reeve. It is a weekly 30 minute program where "The Xs and Os are thrown out the window" and the show focuses on fun.
Arda also serves as an American sports analyst/pundit on TRT World.
The Weather Network (2013-2014)
Ocal was a national morning show co host and reporter from November 2013 to August 2014, first based in Ottawa then Vancouver. His approach was "Weathertainment", often infusing humor into his reports. During his tenure he interviewed and film comedic features with the likes of Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, Oliver Stone, Ken Dryden, several Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings alumni, Dave Coulier, Margaret Atwood and many others.
Professional wrestling career
Independent circuit (1999–2014)
In the independent circuit in Toronto, Ocal was a promoter, ring announcer, commentator, interviewer, and host. He began in 1999 as a live commentator at local pro wrestling events at flea markets. In 2006, he worked with the now defunct independent promotion Blood Sweat and Ears based in Toronto, Ontario and became affiliated with Squared Circle Training wrestling school. In January 2008, Ocal promoted the first ever professional wrestling events in the Canadian Arctic city of Iqaluit, Nunavut. Wrestlers such as Rhyno, Jay Reso, Lance Storm, Bobby Roode, Tracy Brooks, Christy Hemme, Jimmy Jacobs, Colt Cabana, Matt Morgan, and others have wrestled in the Arctic at these charity events held between 2008-2013.
In the summer of 2008, Ocal promoted a 16-day cross-Canada summer pro-wrestling tour, which saw shows in Mississauga, North Bay, Kenora, Yorkton, Estevan, Swift Current, Winnipeg, Kapuskasing, Timmins, and Manitoulin Island. The tour raised money for various local charities.
Between 2010-2012, Ocal worked for Dragon Gate USA, performed ring announcing duties and commentary with Lenny Leonard or solo. Other broadcast partners included Bryce Remsburg, Colt Cabana, and Johnny Gargano.
In 2012 and 2013, Ocal served as Master of Ceremonies for the George Tragos and Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame induction banquet in WWaterloo, Iowa. Also in 2013 he served as MC for the "Baloney Blowout" event at the annual Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion in Las Vegas, and co-hosted the 2013 New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Ceremony with Howard Finkel.
From 2012-2013, Ocal served as ring announcer and commentator for Smash Wrestling based in Toronto.
On September 24, 2014, Ocal was hired by WWE. He worked under the ring-name Kyle Edwards and hosted WWE Bottom Line, as well as WWE Experience for the European market. Ocal also provided exclusive 1 on 1 interviews with the UK, India and South American versions of RAW as well as WWE.com Ocal then went to debut as a host on the WWE Network Raw Pre-Show on April 27, 2015. In May 2015, Ocal began hosting a weekly segment on the WWE Network and on social media entitled "This Week in WWE History" with Corey Graves. In October 2015, he took over from Tom Phillips as host of the 5 Things series on WWE's YouTube channel.
On April 29, Ocal confirmed on his Twitter that he has parted ways with WWE.
Volunteer work and charity
Ocal has sat on the Board of Directors for the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, as well as tutored and worked with the Brampton Neighbourhood Resource Centre. He has also done extensive volunteer work with the March of Dimes and has canvassed for the Kidney Foundation. From January 2008 - May 2014, Ocal organized, promoted and served as ring announcer for non-profit trips to Iqaluit, Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic. There, he along with a group spoke to children in elementary, middle and high schools, youth centres as well as juvenile detention centres.
In the summer of 2016, Ocal launched "Be A Superhero Today", an Acts of Kindness initiative aimed to motivate and inspire kindness. The twitter handle is @BASTforGOOD and @BeASuperheroToday on Instagram and Facebook.
- "Wrestling Radio Awards".
- April 2010: Arda with Bret the Hitman Hart (6:37)
- May 2010: Arda talks with Sheamus (6:21)
- May 2010: Arda with Honky Tonk Man (5:04)
- June 2010: Arda Ocal with the Iron Sheik (2:46)
- July 2010: Arda with Drew McIntyre (11:24)
- July 2010: Arda talks to Chris Jericho (12:35), August 23, 2010: Arda Ocal talks to Chris Jericho (1:06)
- August 4, 2010: Arda Ocal with WWE Diva Gail Kim (4:17)
- August 4, 2010: Arda Ocal with Slaughter (6:42), August 6, 2010: Paul Brothers vs Sgt Slaughter (2:06)
- "NEW WWE ANNOUNCING HIRE - PWInsider.com".
- Pena, Daniel. "Another Announcer Parts Ways With WWE". Wrestlinginc. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Sep 2014: Dream Come True: Arda Ocal Story Continues