Fighting

Florida Panthers Personality Andrea Ocampo D’Marco joins WWE NXT

South Florida’s own Andrea D’Marco interacting with fans during intermission of a WWE NXT show in March at The Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables.
South Florida’s own Andrea D’Marco interacting with fans during intermission of a WWE NXT show in March at The Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Photo By Jim Varsallone

South Florida’s own Andrea D’Marco is a new ring announcer for WWE’s NXT.

For those who attended the NXT shows in March in Miami and West Palm Beach, you may recall Andrea working alongside NXT ring announcer Dasha Fuentes.

Andrea D’Marco is Andrea Ocampo, the former Florida Panthers In-Arena Host at the BB&T Center in (South Florida) Sunrise. A fan favorite, she also wore a few other hats while working with the NHL’s Panthers, including their Latin Market Manager and Reporter. Her work with the Panthers set the foundation for this WWE NXT opportunity.

“It wasn’t a one-stop shop situation,” Andrea said. “Jonny Greco, a producer for NXT, actually put the feelers out there to my old boss [Pete Soto] from the the Florida Panthers, the game presentation director, asking if he knew somebody -- a Latina who could host -- and see if he had any recommendations.”

Soto sure did

“He put my name into the hat,” she continued, “and that’s when everything started. Jonny Greco got a hold of me, and I put a video audition together and submitted that. Jonny called me, but unfortunately at the time I couldn’t make it to the [Performance Center in Orlando], because the Florida Panthers season was in full force.

“So I wasn’t able to do an in-person audition. Everything fell flat. Nothing happened. Then a couple of months later, I reached out to Jonny. We were speaking back-n-forth, and then I was told they were looking for the same position, and that’s when I definitely made it to the audition.”

While NXT made a South Florida trek in March, the Panthers competed on the road. So Andrea got her feet wet by working along side Fuentes at The Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables and the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.

“Thank goodness that I was a part of the NXT shows in South Florida,” she said, “and I was lucky that I got that opportunity to get a feel of the actual shows. The fact that it was in my hometown definitely made me feel a lot more comfortable, especially that I saw a lot of familiar faces in the audience.”

South Florida NXT fans -- many also sports fans -- welcomed her to this different genre of sport.

“It definitely wasn’t hockey,” she chuckled. “I knew I had so much to learn, but at the same time I knew I made the perfect decision. It was so much fun.”

Prior to joining WWE, the confident, lovely and inspiring talent discussed and showed (first-hand) her Panthers’ job duties which were aplenty. She noted Producer Alek Graupera, Samantha Lisowski, Viktor E and Stanley C. Panther were some who helped her elevate the fans’ in-arena experience throughout each Panthers’ home game.

She is No.29 in your program but No.1 in your hearts.

A former NFL Miami Dolphins cheerleader, Andrea is a graduate of Western High School in (South Florida) Davie, where she was a Wildcats’ cheerleader.

“I grew up dancing and in the performance arts,” she said, “and then after high school, I auditioned for the Miami Dolphins [cheerleaders]. So cheerleading and dancing were always a huge, huge part of my life.”

Andrea attended Florida International University in Miami and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She is a professional salsa dancer and offers The Media Gypsy Blog. She also worked as the In-Stadium Host for NCAA Division I Florida Atlantic University football in Boca Raton and spent time as a travel host for Walt Disney World.

She loves fashion as evident by her elaborate wardrobe, and her favorite color is blue, which she will sometimes wear during events, when applicable. Fans see that, and now many more eyes will be on her and her attire in her new employment.

NXT, which grooms staff and talent for the WWE main roster, continues to develop, growing into its own hot pro wrestling brand, which is seen weekly -- globally -- on WWE Network. So it’s a very good time to be working for NXT.

“I want to be a better professional, and I want to be the best ring announcer that I can be,” she said. “I see that it’s a very dynamic opportunity with NXT, and I want to be an extension of the [NXT] team professionally and personally.”

Panthers loss, WWE’s gain

When the Florida Panthers were eliminated by the New York Islanders in a heartbreaker in overtime in Game 6 of the first round of the NHL Playoffs on Sunday, April 24, it didn’t take long for her to join her new team. She made her way to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando on Monday, April 25.

The Florida Panthers, her colleagues and fans said good-bye and thanked her via her Twitter, following that game. Some even noted they were WWE fans -- sad she left the Panthers but happy she became a member of WWE, where they said they will continue to interact with her via social media.

And social media is something Andrea enjoys, especially when it involved interacting with fans before, during and after Panthers’ games.

She’ll enjoy it even more with a very active and expansive WWE social media following, making for a nice tag team with her and the WWE Universe.

Social media

Her Twitter handle: Andrea D’Marco - TV Host, Model, Actress

Her Twitter description (TV Host by day Ninja by night! WWE/NXT Host, Disney Travel Host, Public Speaker, Digital Content Creator, Media-Gypsy!)

For her Twitter click @AndreaDMarcoWWE

Empowering women

Andrea also speaks to young women, discussing business acumen, life challenges and goal setting.

“I have a love for teaching,” she said, “and it’s important to give back, which is why I like mentoring young girls.”

- NXT on WWE Network

WWE NXT is 8 p.m. Wednesdays on WWE Network.

@WWENXT

@WWE

@WWENetwork

- NXT in Fort Pierce

NXT will return to the Havert L. Fenn Center on Saturday, June 4 in (South Florida) Fort Pierce.

Bell time is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: General Admission $10; Gold Circle (Ringside) $20.

NXTFortPierceTickets

- NXT abroad

To see NXT in a city near you, check

www.wwe.com/events

https://nxttickets.ticketforce.com/

- NXT/WrestleMania 33 Orlando

WWE WrestleMania 33 is Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. During WrestleMania Week, WWE NXT is Friday, March 31 at the Amway Center, home of the NBA Orlando Magic.

- Pro Wrestling On The Web

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

@jimmyv3

YouTube jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)

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