After being ordained in 1969, he began taking in orphans. One day four years later, he was watching wrestlers on TV when he heard about the "great sums of money" wrestlers made, and he told himself, I could do that. But he couldn't do it because no one would teach him. "Nobody wanted the competition," he says. Finally a wrestler named the Leader agreed to show him a few moves and holds. For a year he learned the ropes until the day came for his first professional match. Against—who else?—the Leader.
"The Leader must not have taught me everything" the padre says. "I lost."
Since then, he has found his way. Now he is one of Mexico's most popular wrestlers, and he hasn't lost in the last six months. Heaven hath no fury like a priest trying to make a truck payment. The Mexican people eat it up. When someone throws Fray Tormenta out of the ring, mothers and children jump out of their seats, dust him off and give him a boost back through the ropes. Fans often toss money onto the canvas after his matches. Sometimes, as he's walking up the aisles to the changing room, the people's handshakes contain money. Even the photographers help out. They always shoot the padre from the feet up. "To make me look like a giant." he says. He's 5'7" and weighs about 200 pounds.
At his age and size, the father needs all the help he can get. In fact he probably stays alive in wrestling only because the people will it to be so. After all, who can really believe his eyes when a man usually twice his opponent's age and half his strength cleans up so consistently? All is forgiven, though, when a man is eye-gouging for the Lord.
Besides, who wants to be the one to tell the padre it's time to hang up his boots? And then tell his kids?
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against...the rulers of the darkness of this world.
You figure God is in the padre's corner?
"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man," says the Bible (Genesis 9:6). It also says (Psalm 37:8), "Cease from anger, and forsake wrath." Ever see a wrestler refrain from either?
Father Gutierrez has suffered broken ribs, twisted shoulders, broken fingers. Could he have wrestled 14 years without anointing others with the same punishment? Wrestling is so bloody in Mexico that it was taken off television for the children's sake. And the padre wrestles for his children? In Mexico pro wrestlers have actually been killed. This is not exactly ministering to the sick.
And what of the deceit inherent in pro wrestling? Not every fan knows that he wrestlers play it the way the promoter's script reads. Isn't the priest, then, in the business of lying? Perhaps he wears the mask to hide his face from God?