Zhao Xia is a 32-year-old professional wrestler from China. She is currently signed with the WWE and performs on NXT under the ring name, Xia Li. She is the first Chinese woman to ever compete in a WWE ring.
Xia’s WWE Tryout
Before joining WWE, Li was a combat-sport athlete, fighting in the martial art of wushu. In January 2017, Li joined the WWE Performance Center after she had impressed talent scouts at a WWE tryout in Shanghai, China. On July 13, 2017, She made her debut for WWE competing in the inaugural Mae Young Classic. She was eliminated in the first round by Mercedes Martinez.
On September 19, 2018, Li competed in her second Mae Young Classic, defeating Karen Q in the first round, but was eliminated in the second round by Deonna Purrazzo. For 2017 and 2018, Li only wrestled at NXT live events outside of the Mae Young Classic tournaments.
Xia Li’s Main Roster Debut
At the Royal Rumble in 2019, Li made her first appearance on a main roster pay-per-view by entering the women’s Royal Rumble match at #11. She lasted only 4:48 before being eliminated by Charlotte Flair. On February 20th’s episode of NXT, she made her television debut losing in a singles match to Mia Yim. In May, she had her first televised victory defeating Rachel Evers on the May 1 episode of NXT.
In November 2019, Li started feuding with Aliyah and Vanessa Borne. She won back to back singles contests against them and then was attacked by Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke after her match against Borne. This led to a non-title match on the following week of NXT, with Li losing to Baszler by submission.
Xia Li’s Various Feuds
In January 2020, Xia Li participated in the Royal Rumble match entering at #24 and lasted 10:49, before being eliminated by Shayna Baszler. At the end of February, Li fought Mia Yim and won the match with a roll-up after a distraction from Dakota Kai and Raquel González. On the March 25th episode of NXT, Li was supposed to face Aliyah in a qualifier match to compete in a Ladder match to determine the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, but was injured by Aliyah backstage before the match started. This led to a match between the two on the April 15th episode of NXT, with Li getting revenge by defeating Aliyah.
On the May 6th episode of NXT, Li wrestled Chelsea Green but was defeated due to outside distractions by Aliyah. The following month, Li and Aliyah fought again but Aliyah defeated Li after Robert Stone distracted her by vomiting in the ring. On the September 16th episode of NXT, Li teamed up with Jessi Kamea in a losing effort against Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro.