The Chiefs lived up to their title of Super Rugby Champions when they crushed the Cheetahs 45-3 at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.
The Chiefs outscored the Cheetahs by six tries to none in a match that the Cheetahs dominated much of the possession and territory.
The Chiefs appeared to be happy to defend for almost the entire first half but in the second half they scored five tries.
The Chiefs operated at around 75% of their ability for most of the match but when they brought on their replacements such as Craig Clarke they took complete control of the match.
The Cheetahs enjoyed as much as 79% of the territory in the first half but whenever the Chiefs had the ball they took their opportunities and scored.
In their first home game at Waikato Stadium since beating the Sharks in last year's final, the Chiefs scored four of their six tries in the closing quarter of the fast-paced spectacle.
However, before travel fatigue began to hit the Cheetahs in their first game after the long flight from South Africa, they had the Chiefs on the back foot.
For most of the first half the Chiefs were defending, and although they managed to lead 10-3 at the turn they held only 21 percent of territory but that changed after a half time talk by coach Dave Rennie.
The Cheetahs started the match enjoying the same form they had in their stunning second-half fightback against the Sharks last week with flanker Pieter "Lappies" Labuschagne driving them forward.
But, the sole try in the opening 40 came from a rare Chiefs' foray into Cheetahs territory where Messam took the ball from the back of a ruck and drove over the line.
Gareth Anscombe, who finished with a match-haul 20-points, added the conversion and a penalty while Johan Goosen was successful with only one of four penalty attempts for the Cheetahs.
Goosen was not the only Cheetah to be off-song as handling errors and misdirected passes meant they failed to cross the Chiefs line despite frequent charges by Labuschagne taking them within striking distance.
Ben Afeaki scored the second try, a minute after half-time when a defensive clearing kick by Goosen was charged down and the Chiefs' prop was on hand to snap up the loose ball and dive over the line.
As momentum began to switch to the Chiefs, the Cheetahs hung on as long as they could until the floodgates opened in the final quarter, allowing Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Anscombe, Rhys Marshall and Ben Tameifuna to cross for tries.
The Chiefs now travel to South Africa to play the Stormers next week at Newlands in Cape Town, while the Cheetahs face the Highlanders in Invercargill.
Final Score Chiefs 45 (10) Cheetahs 3 (3)
Tries - L Messam, B.Afeaki ,A Tikoirotuma , G Anscombe, R. Marshall, B.Tameifuna
Pen - G Anscombe
Con - G Anscombe 5
Pen - J Goosen
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1:Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 2:Glen Jackson
TMO : Vinny Munro
1. Pauliasi Manu, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Ben Afeaki, 4. Michael Fitzgerald 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam ,(c) 7. Sam Cane, 8. Fritz Lee, 9. Augustine Pulu ,10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma ,12. Bundee Aki, 13. Tim Nanai-Williams ,14. Lelia Masaga, 15. Gareth Anscombe
16. Rhys Marshall,17. Ben Tameifuna, 18. Craig Clarke, 19. Tanerau Latimer, 20. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21. Charlie Ngatai ,22. Patrick Osborne
Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux, Johann Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Johan Goosen, Sarel Pretorius , Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Frans Viljoen, Francois Uys, Lood de Jager, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Coenie Oosthuizen, Landman Ligtoring, Boom Prinsloo, Piet van Zyl, Riaan Smit, Ryno Benjamin.