By the end, that superiority was still evident on every level. While both teams entered the game as equal flag favourites, one was the bully and one was the beaten.
It might have been a Grand Final rematch, but it was in no way a Grand Final replay, nothing like the pressure-soaked, tight, congested premiership decider between these sides in September last year.
The stars, of high and low profile, were everywhere for coach Alastair Clarkson as the Hawks made it nine wins from their past 10 games against Fremantle.
Sam Mitchell returned from a calf complaint to gather 36 disposals, and Jordan Lewis gave the midfield grunt with 37.
They fed it out to the likes of Bradley Hill and Matthew Suckling, who used their running power and kicking depth to break through Fremantle's defence. Both finished with 30 disposals and a goal each.
Liam Shiels and Isaac Smith covered enormous ground, while Luke Breust's three goals and 24 disposals were the perfect foil for Cyril Rioli's magic, for which Fremantle had no answer.
Will Langford also did his job, shutting down David Mundy and holding the Dockers star to 20 disposals.
"We couldn't have possibly envisaged that it was going to be that good a start for our side; we've got a very, very high regard for Fremantle, and considering they've only conceded five goals per game the first two games of the season," Clarkson said post-game
"To have six goals in the first 20 minutes of the game was really important and that then put them on the back foot a little bit. Scoreboard pressure is the most important pressure you can apply in footy.
"So we're really pleased with our start, our effort tonight and our work rate. We had 22 real goers tonight, which is important against a good side like Freo."
Captain Matthew Pavlich was one of few Dockers to stand up, booting four goals, while Stephen Hill and Danyle Pearce tried to provide some run.
"We're really disappointed, we're licking our wounds at the minute."
Fremantle didn't escape unscathed either, being forced to active substitute Tom Sheridan in the first term after Garrick Ibbotson left the field
with a dislocated right shoulder.
Hawthorn looked to have a worry when David Hale was helped the field cradling his right shoulder in the third term, but it appeared to be only a knock to his AC joint and he returned to the field.
The Hawks' barnstorming first term was enthralling in two ways: because it was sublime, quick and attractive football, and because it left the usually impenetrable Dockers defence looking completely lost.
Spinning kicks bounced awkwardly through for goals, crafty tap-ons across the ground worked, and there was a rhythm to the Hawks' performance, summed up by a fast-moving play that started with a Matt Spangher spoil, included some Rioli brilliance, and was finished with Breust's smarts
Freo took until the 22-minute mark to score – when Mundy ran into an open goal and hit the post – and required a marking decision in favour of Pavlich to boot their first goal a minute later.
By half time, if the Hawks' position wasn't obvious with a glance at the scoreboard, a look at the statistics sheet would have reinforced it.
At the main break, only one Docker (Hill) had hit double figure disposals, compared to 16 Hawks.
Hawthorn's 12.7 was the highest half-time score against a Lyon-coached Fremantle, and the final score was also the highest posted against the Dockers under Lyon since he took charge in 2012.
Before the game, the club unfurled its 2013 premiership flag in front of its Melbourne supporter base. By the end of the game, it was very clear Hawthorn want another one.