Wrestler Antonino Rocca 1957 Original Photo Madison Square Garden Riot


Original press photo showing wrestling idol Antonino Rocca being hoisted upon the shoulders of his adoring fans during the free-for-all riot at Madison Square Garden on November 19, 1957. Near mint condition, measures 10 inches x 8 inches, with a crystal clear image. This was from the infamous riot at MSG after Rocca and Dr. Jerry Graham started to mix it up after a disqualification. Incredible image from that night. Brilliant!


NEW YORK — The New York State Athletic Commission threw the book at four wrestlers and a promoter today as the result of a riot after a tag-team match last Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Antonino Rocca of Argentina and Dr. Jerry Graham of Hollywood, Calif., each were fined $1,000. Dick Afflis of Chicago was assessed a $500 fine, and Edouard Carpentier of France $100.

In addition, Chairman Julius Helfand of the Commission canceled a wrestling show booked for Nov. 30 at the Garden by promoter Walter Smallshaw. This was part of the general fine, for the promoter was held partly responsible for the conduct of the wrestlers.

Approximately 500 of the 12,987 fans rioted soon after Rocca and Carpentier, the heroes, gained a two-of-three falls verdict over the villains, Graham and Afflis. Graham and Rocca tussled on the ring apron after the bout was ended, and two policemen were hurt when the crowd closed in and the fracas began. One officer was hit on the head by a bottle. Extra police were summoned to quell the disturbance.

The Commission approved Smallshaw’s application for a wrestling show at the White Plains County center, Nov. 29, but warned that in the future it would not tolerate any similar actions.

Promoter Willie Gilzenberg of Newark, N.J., announced shortly after the Commission’s action today that he had booked the four fined wrestlers for the Jersey City (N.J.) Armory, Saturday, Nov. 30. That’s the date Smallshaw lost at the Garden.