The England international showed no signs of rustiness, opening the scoring after a lovely through ball from Philippe Coutinho released him one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
There was to be only one outcome from there, with Sturridge showing his usual class and composure in front of goal to send Liverpool on their way.
Two quick-fire goals in the second-half from the Brazilian playmaker eased any lingering doubts about whether Jürgen Klopp's side could see the game out, before Divock Origi got in on the act to make it 4-0.
The result means if Liverpool secure a win against already-relegated Middlesbrough next Sunday they will be back in the Champions League next season.
Sturridge delighted to be back
Making a rare start from the off, Sturridge was at it from the off for Liverpool at the weekend. Sharp, composed and oozing in class, he showed exactly what the Reds have been missing in recent weeks with some incisive movement in between the lines.
Having struggled so often to break down teams, the 27-year-old's runs from wide were crucial in stretching West Ham's back-four. It was a brilliant performance from a man who has suffered another tough season on Merseyside, and one that reeks of a man desperate to make a lasting impact should he depart in the summer.
"It's a great feeling. This was an important game for us; it was a big one. We came here with the right attitude, we knew what we had to do, and it was great to get the victory," reflected Sturridge afterwards.
Asked about whether he was confident of scoring after being played through by his teammate, Sturridge continued: "Of course. These are the things that you don't train too much, when you're through one-on-one, because you don't get that much time, but I felt sharp. I'm glad to be starting, glad to be providing some chances for the boys as well, and as I said, it's a great victory for us."
Champions League beckons for Liverpool
With Middlesbrough all but on the beach at this point in the season, having had their fate decided earlier on in the campaign, Liverpool's Champions League hopes largely rested on their trip to the London Stadium.
"It's important for everyone at the club," Sturridge added, noting that they have "been good the last few weeks" but "maybe should've taken more points in some of the games."
The striker stated: "It was an important game for us and we rose to the occasion. We showed what we're about today - we worked hard, we kept the ball well, we did everything the manager asked of us."
Headed into the game with an attack that had been somewhat out-of-sorts lately, few would have expected it to be such a walk in the park for Klopp's charges.
All that remains is a home tie against Boro for Liverpool to regain their spot amongst Europe's elite and set up a platform from which they can build on in the summer - both in terms of transfers and belief headed into next season.
Even in a season with as many twists and turns as this one, surely now Liverpool must be headed for a top-four finish.