Xia Li made her main roster WWE debut on last Friday’s SmackDown. But just a couple of months ago, she wasn’t waiting by her phone for the call-up from NXT. She got the surprising news during the WWE Draft.

“Actually, I found out while I was eating at home,” Li told Daily DDT. “I just hear my phone go beep, beep, beep and there were many messages. I’m thinking, ‘What just happened? Why is it so busy? Oh, I got drafted!’ That’s how I found out. Before that, I was having some dark matches at SmackDown, so I know that’s the test.”

Before she was called up, WWE officials gave Xia Li a thorough look. She appeared in six non-televised “dark” matches before SmackDown broadcasts between July and the WWE Draft in October.

“My friends told me about [doing dark matches],” Li recalled. “If they move me up, that’d be great. If not, I’m happy with what I’m doing in NXT, so I’m okay with both because I believe one day if that happens, I will be there [no matter what].”

Xia Li made an explosive debut on last Friday’s SmackDown. Augmented reality special effect lightning blasted across the screen during her entrance. Her debut was preceded by a series of vignettes that aired on SmackDown. Li says those segments are a true reflection of her past growing up in China.

“They asked about my background and about my family, so I told them my story,” Li explained. “That vignette is a real story about my real life. I’m really happy they put my real story on TV and there’s a lot of feeling there. When they [aired] it, I cried. If I have that feeling, they will have that same feeling. Also, I had a dream, like a superhero dream, when I was a child, so this is kind of my dream come true with a superhero dream on TV. I’m very happy that they have this whole package for me and they did an amazing job.”

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