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.
Everything Kurt Angle does in the ring, much like Bret Hart, seems real. It's even better the the other sells like hell, Example: Angle-RVD. Remember those SICK suplexes he hit RVD with? Landing on his damn HEAD.