Don't know why this popped into my head today, and I'm sure it's been addressed by Its bugging me:
Let's pretend Bret doesn't decide to leave WWE in 97. All logic throughout from late 96 through 97 seemed to build towards an Austin/Bret rematch at WM 14 where Austin gets his big clean win over Bret to finally become WWE Champion. Was that the long term plan? If so, with the Kane angle going, what was Michaels' role supposed to be there? A feud with HHH over DX? Owen?
Yes, Bret putting over Austin was absolutely the long term plan until Montreal fucked it up. Owen was TOLD that plans were for him to work with Shawn Michaels at that show after Montreal went down, but that's clearly a lie, so I have no idea what the real plan for Shawn was going to be. Shawn's probably done a shoot interview somewhere where he clarifies.