Considering the WWF was cooling off the Bret/Austin program after Canadian Stampede, what do you think the original endgame was for their feud? Austin was programmed with Owen, and Shawn's role in Bret's title win was the start of his heel turn, which led to DX. So, if Austin's neck isn't hurt and Bret doesn't get screwed, do think they would have gotten a proper blowoff? I could see Vince letting Bret relinquish the belt and say goodbye like he wanted, but, in return he has one last match with Austin and puts him over on the way out.
The endgame, as least as far as Bret had always believed up until Vince started throwing the wacky scenarios at him around September, was Austin winning the World title from him at Wrestlemania in one last match where Bret puts him over big. Obviously we never got there but it 100% makes sense as the payoff for their previous match at Wrestlemania 14.