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Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss Destroyed At 'VPR' reunion ... Almost Became Physical

Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss were dragged through the mud at the "Vanderpump Rules" reunion taping Thursday ... and we're told the show got so bad, Andy Cohen had to separate 2 other cast members to prevent an assault and battery.

Sources close to production tell TMZ ... the taping became explosive within 2 minutes, and never let up for the entire 5 hours of shooting. NO ONE sided with Tom and Raquel. Quite the contrary ... they were annihilated by everyone, including Lisa Vanderpump and Andy Cohen.

One source described it this way... "It was like a nuclear bomb went off in the studio."

As for which cast members almost got in the fight ... we know it was not Tom, Raquel or Ariana ... we're told the instigator "is not someone you'd guess."

Andy asked Tom and Raquel how their affair started -- they didn't give a time frame but said they hooked up but didn't immediately dive into a relationship ... there was some period of time before they were all in with each other.

As for Ariana ... it's interesting. She was equally enraged with Tom and Raquel. We're told she did not go over the top, even though she cried at times. One source said the way she was speaking and what she was saying sounded like she's had some serious therapy.

We're told Tom, in particular, was just destroyed ... so much so, they all took a break to calm down, but when they came back it was just as intense.

We covered the Scandoval developments in the latest episode of The TMZ Podcast.

And, there's this ... Andy asked Tom and Raquel if they're still together, and the takeaway is that yes, they still are. But, a source close to production tells TMZ, "That relationship is like on an egg timer. It's not gonna last."

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