9:16 AM PT -- We got some new information that might explain why Joe Gorga got as riled up as he did. An eyewitness at the wrestling match tells TMZ ... Gino's opponent that day excessively slammed him on the mat not once, but twice -- and not just that, but he shot a dirty look at Joe upon being declared the winner.
We're told the kid stuck his tongue out right at Joe at this moment, and it was essentially fired off as a F-U -- that's how Joe took it anyway. Joe's rep, BTW, confirms this account.
Joe Gorga is officially one of those parents after losing it on the referee of his son's wrestling match -- a nose-to-nose showdown that ended with Joe getting booted outta the gym.
In video, obtained by TMZ, Joe can be seen losing his cool Saturday at Parsippany Hills High School in NJ -- where his son Gino was in the middle of a match that ended with him getting pinned by his opponent.
That made Dad leap from the stands and charge at the ref, but not before staff members and other parents jumped in to make sure it didn't turn into a brawl.
Par Hills TV
As Joe's led away, the ref blows his whistle in disgust and repeatedly orders him to leave the gym altogether for the remainder of the wrestling action.
Days later, Joe's still heated -- a rep for the 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' star tells TMZ Joe felt the ref made some bad and unfair calls during the match, and Gino's opponent was mistreating him ... at least in Dad's eyes.
The rep says Joe never had any intentions of hurting anyone or getting physical. He just let his emotions get the best of him.