Sale Sharks' Sam James scores a try as his side held on for the win
After missing out on a place in the play-offs last season by two points, the home side looked way off that form as Wasps surged 21 points clear before the break.
Both matches paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday, with poignant moments of silence followed by renditions of God Save the King.
Players at the AJ Bell stadium paid respect to Queen Elizabeth II ahead of the match between Sale and Northampton
Wasps were reduced to 13 players, with Gloucester taking advantage, and lock Freddie Clarke completed a stirring response by crashing over from close range and securing a bonus point in the process.
Adam Hastings added a conversion and penalty, before Gloucester were awarded a penalty try with just over 12 minutes remaining.
Sale fended off a late fightback from Northampton to begin their season with a 29-22 victory.
Sale scored the only try in a well-contested opening period, but Saints were blown away by three quick-fire scores midway through the second half to trail 29-3.
Gloucester produced a stunning comeback in the second half
Tries from fly-half Charlie Atkinson, back row Brad Shields and centre Burger Odendall and three conversions from Atkinson put Wasps in the driving seat.
Phil Dowson's men hit back through two tries from Tom Collins and an Ollie Sleightholme score, but Sale held on for the win.
Last Updated: 11/09/22 7:09pm
But Gloucester, inspired by Louis Rees-Zammit, looked a different team after the interval, with the Welshman running from deep inside his side's own 22 to score before scrum-half Charlie Chapman added a second try within two minutes during the third quarter.