Priest Turned Into a Wrestler to Support Orphans Under His Care | His Life Inspired a Movie
Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez's real-life story inspired the movie 'Nacho Libre" starring Jack Black.
There are still people in the world who put the needs of others over their own, and Sergio Gutierrez Benítez's story is one of the best examples of this. Benítez, who was born in 1945, hailed from San Agustin Metzquititlán. Benítez entered the world of wrestlers after leading a difficult life for many years in order to provide for the underprivileged children, but not for himself. The Movie Nacho Libre featuring Jack Black is inspired by Benítez's life.
When he was a teenager he found himself addicted to drugs and his first encounter with drugs was when he was just 11 years old, MyModernMet reported. In an interview with ElConfidencial Benítez said, "By the time I turned 18 I had already become a criminal and a thief. I was working to sustain my dosage. I did everything, I [even worked as] an actor and clown in a circus, but I spent everything on my doses and I needed more, so I started stealing."
When Benítez visited a church and went to confess, the priest did not offer much assistance, instead, he asked him to leave the church. Benítez decided to enter rehab in order to battle addiction after becoming upset. To become the kind of priest he couldn't find when he needed one most, he also enrolled in seminary. He even pursued his education in Rome and Spain thanks to his commitment, he eventually joined the Piarist's Order.
Benítez made the decision to assist those battling addiction. He once came across a tragic incident where a person passed away in his arms. Benítez made a promise to help the poor ever since, and this incident inspired him to find an orphanage. He was ordained as a secular priest in the Diocese of Texcoco.
Benítez established a shelter for the underprivileged and homeless in the year 1976, but he quickly realized how expensive it would be to maintain. Then, Benítez was brought back to mind a movie he had seen called El seor Tormenta ("Mister Storm"), in which a priest turns pro wrestler to support his orphanage. He was inspired by this film to become a wrestler, and he did so.
Benítez spent hours in the early morning at a gym working out to support his orphanage, finishing up in time for the 7 AM Mass. He wouldn't skip showing up at the church's confessional booth even though he would be covered in bruises. He trained for a year before making his debut, winning his first battle for about $15. His ring name is "Fray Tormenta" which was also inspired by the movie. He moved from town to town, hiding his identity behind a red and gold mask.
Fray Tormenta's true name was revealed by accident. One of the known wrestlers named Huracán Ramírez came out to everyone with Fray Tormenta's truth. explaining what exactly happened Benítez said, "the day he called me on the phone and told me: ‘Tormenta, we will fight on Saturday', and then I slipped out: ‘I can't, I have to officiate a wedding.' [He replied] ‘Are you really a priest?' I asked him to keep the secret but that Saturday he came to the wedding, and in a few days everyone knew.”
After 23 years of wrestling, Benítez retired in 2000. Since then, he has been working for many causes that could be beneficial for the poor.