Dumas financed her training by dancing in a club under the pseudonym Misty.
During her stay in Mexico, Dumas trained under numerous wrestlers, including Kevin Quinn, Miguel Perez, and Ricky Santana.
Wrestling career Dumas first became interested in wrestling after watching Rey Mysterio, Jr., a Mexican luchador, wrestle on an episode of World Championship Wrestling`s WCW Monday Nitro.
She traveled to Mexico in 1998 to learn more about the sport and how to wrestle.
After five months with ECW, she made her final appearance on October 23, 1999.
After honing her skills at the Memphis Championship Wrestling developmental territory, Dumas was given the ring name Lita and paired with luchador Essa Rios.
After returning to the United States, Dumas began working as a valet on the independent circuit.
In the spring of 1999, she was approached by Paul Heyman, the owner and booker of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
Dumas debuted in ECW as Miss Congeniality, the on-screen girlfriend of Danny Doring.
Lita and Rios made their WWF debut on the February 13, 2000 episode of Sunday Night HEAT, where Rios was booked to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship from Gillberg.
Lita mimicked his moves, notably the moonsault and hurricanrana, immediately after he had performed them on an opponent.