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Meet Fray Tormenta, the Wrestling Priest Who Inspired Nacho Libre

It’s a little known fact that Nacho Libre, a character played by Jack Black in the 2006 eponymous movie, is actually based on a legendary real-life Mexican wrestling priest. In the film, Nacho Libre is the undercover identity adopted by Black, a monastery cook, in order become a luchador, a masked lucha libre wrestler. The idea of a priest donning a lucha libre mask is rather outlandish, but Sergio Gutierrez Benitez, a.k.a Fray Tormenta, actually did that in real life!

Born in 1945, Benitez is a Catholic priest who runs a home for orphans. As he struggled to support the kids, he decided on a rather radical means of raising money – becoming a wrestler. He designed his own red-and-yellow lucha libre mask (yellow for liveliness he must display in the ring, and red for the blood he must spill on behalf of the orphanage), and adopted the name ‘Fray Tormenta’.

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