Sale scored three first-half tries through Sam Tuitupou (twice) and Dwayne Peel as they opened up a 25-14 advantage, with Nick Macleod adding the rest from the boot. Wasps' response came from three Elliot Daly penalties and a Dominic Waldouck touchdown.
The Sharks repeated the try-scoring feat in the second period with Andy Powell, Johnny Leota and Rob Miller all going over, although two late Joe Simpson scores made the score more respectable.
With Danny Cipriani being linked to the Greater Manchester outfit this week, incumbent fly-half Macleod started out determined to continue his fine recent form.
And he was influential in the opening score. After former Wasp Powell had made a fine burst up the middle, the hosts' stand-off timed his pass perfectly for wing Tom Brady to off-load to Tuitupou, who dotted down.
Macleod added the extras before the visitors hit back. When Sale infringed at the breakdown, young centre Daly kicked over the resultant penalty.
He added another, this time from the halfway line, two minutes later as the Wasps' pack got the upper hand in a scrum.
Despite appearing dangerous with ball in hand, Sharks' mistakes and ill-discipline allowed Daly to kick the visitors into the lead.
However, Sale regained the advantage when Peel collected Nic Berry's charged down clearance. Macleod converted superbly from out wide before Wasps levelled the scores at 14-14. After Powell had spilled the ball from a grubber through, Waldouck was on hand to collect and score.
It was a bizarre and wonderfully enthralling opening period with both teams willing to spread it wide. The hosts, in particular, were having plenty of success in the midfield, with Tuitupou very much to the fore.
And after Macleod had put Sale in front with a three-pointer, the centre three-quarter went over for his second score of the first half when he broke the gainline, chipped through before getting the final touch.
The home side's fly-half then added a drop-goal as they deservedly went into half-time with a nine-point lead.
Sale also dominated possession and territory in the early stages of the second half. Although Daly reduced the arrears with another penalty, Jack Wallace was sin-binned for collective repeated infringements.
Wasps were duly punished as Powell powered over to cap an excellent individual performance, Macleod converting.
The visiting centre was then on target with the boot to reduce the gap, but Sale continued to pile on the misery.
After Leota had barged across the whitewash, the centre set up Miller for the Sharks' sixth score, Macleod adding the extras to both.
However, the visitors refused to lie down and Simpson showed typical sniping instincts to go over for two quick tries, Nicky Robinson converting both.
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