Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith was asked in the lead-up to their Anzac Day match if a win over NRL premiership contenders the Warriors meant the Storm were back.
His team emphatically answered that question on Wednesday night, blasting the Warriors off AAMI Park in a 50-10 victory to deliver a statement that they wouldn't be handing over their title without a fight.
The visitors were humiliated in the first half as the defending champions scored six of their eight tries for a 36-0 lead.
More than half of those tries could make the Storm show-reel, with clever kicking by Cameron Munster and Billy Slater and pure speed from Curtis Scott and Josh Addo-Carr contributing to the haul.
Winger Addo-Carr boosted his chances of a NSW State of Origin call-up, standing up Test fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in an 80-metre dash to the line, while he added another try in the second half.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said it was their best performance of the season.
"It was a pretty complete performance," Bellamy said.
"We got off to a flyer - we had a bit of luck with a few bounces - but we were really happy with the intent we started with and we played the way we wanted to play.
"They were equal top so, to win like that, it's a pretty good effort."
The effort was soured by the loss of Origin forward Tim Glasby for four to six weeks, with the Queenslander set to undergo surgery on Thursday for a broken thumb suffered early in the game.
Storm centre Scott also limped off in the 57th minute after twisting his ankle in a tackle, however early medical reports indicated it wasn't as bad as first thought.
The Warriors also had a major casualty, losing star hooker Issac Luke for the match midway through the first half with a knee injury. However, he might miss only a week.
Storm halfback Ryley Jacks scored in the third minute after Slater and winger Young Tonumaipea put through back-to-back pin-point kicks. Within 10 minutes, the floodgates opened.
Melbourne scored three tries within six minutes to stun the Warriors, with back-rower Ryan Hoffman, prop Christian Welch and Slater all crossing to put the game out of reach.
To the Warriors' credit, they held their heads up and were first on the scoreboard in the second half, when they sent the ball wide to a diving David Fusitu'a.
The Warriors continued to threaten but the Storm's defence was almost as good as their attack, repelling five successive sets and forcing them into errors.
Fusitua'a scored a similar second try in the 59th minute but it was the Storm's night to celebrate.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said it was "one of those nights".
"They jumped out of the blocks early and we just couldn't find a way back into the contest," he said.