Welp, There is a decent amount of evidence for this being a work, but I really don't think so. Vince can't wait around for a few years to rebuild his product now, and he knows it. That's where the lack of quality competition comes in; there's no one to hold the viewers you're losing until you can make a comeback. In either case, bully for Austin, I hope he stays out of the product. In either case, anyone remember when Bret went home for 6 months because his character was getting f*d over?
"I'm bi a lot of things, but lingual's not one of them."
For all those pointing to the advertising of Confidential as evidence of this being a work, keep in mind the Raw 2 weeks after Survivor Series 1997. McMahon discussed the Bret situation and it was promoted a week in advance. Yes, it was the WWF putting their spin on a shoot, but there is some historical perspective for what they're doing with Confidential.
I don't think he ever hit a top-rope move either. YES HE DID! I remember at Slamboree 1994 he defeated Barry Windham with a top rope body press. And I saw a Thunder in early '99 where he hit a double axehandle onto Disco Inferno.