June 10, 2006
Fray Tormenta anticipates Nacho Libre
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
LAS VEGAS -- Just as there is a man behind the lucha mask, for the movie Nacho Libre, there is a man behind the story. And just like any other fan, he's looking forward to seeing the movie at the premiere on Tuesday.
Fray Tormenta (Father Sergio Gutierrez Benitez) is the Mexican priest who would don a mask to compete as a professional wrestler in his native country for many years, raising money for the running of an orphanage in Texcoco.
Tormenta is in Las Vegas for the annual gathering of wrestlers known as the Cauliflower Alley Club. But Tuesday night, he'll be at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles for the debut of the movie starring Jack Black loosely based on his life.
"They did consult with me, spoke with me and whatever," Tormenta said through his translator and friend Joe Quevedo.
He never thought that his life story would make it to the big screen.
"There were other movies that were made about other wrestlers," Tormenta said, referring to the plethora of lucha libre movies with the likes of El Santo, Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras.
"I always thought about being a wrestler, but just for the kids, for the orphanage," he said.
Surprisingly, Tormenta revealed that there was no deal in place for the orphanage to make even a small fraction of the proceeds from the screenings.
But the publicity for his story continues. Sports Illustrated has been in touch for an update on his life, following the well-known Rick Reilly feature on Tormenta from a decade or so ago.
NOTE: We'll have more on Nacho Libre on SLAM! Wrestling in the
coming days, including a review.
SLAM! Wrestling producer Greg Oliver is in Las Vegas for the Cauliflower
Alley Club reunion, and will be filing a report on Saturday's banquet with
its many honorees. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org -- but don't
expect a reply any time soon. Internet hook-ups in Vegas aren't all that
easy to get; perhaps the powers that be just want people to gamble???