I like it. There is a donnybrook going on in here so I gotta jump in. I'll just offer my 2 cents worth on several points raised in this thread instead of trying to copy and paste a million quotes to reply to.
1) On who was to job - Hogan has consistently stated in interviews that he had no problem with doing the job to Austin. Hogan saw a big paycheck for everyone involved no matter what the ending, and was motivated by dollars alone.
Austin, at this time, was developing a job refusal attitude that as has been pointed out included Brock Lesnar (whom Hogan did the free TV clean job to), so I could easily believe that Austin would refuse to job to Hogan, though I don't have any proof that this did happen. Actually, I don't think deciding who was going to do the job had anything to do with this match not taking place.
* For those that believe using "job" here is not appropriate, the IWC has forced the definition of "job" to be equal to getting pinned or submitting in a scripted match. I am 100% guilty of this sin, so it is what it is.
2) Vince's decision - From what I have read in the past it was Vince's decision to go with Hogan vs Rock, and that this was his first choice as the Rock was the future of business. This match would finally be a legit passing of the torch from Hogan to the next big thing whereas the previous attempt with the Ultimate Warrior didn't pan out.
And you certainly cannot fault Vince here as the match was one of those rare atmospheres for wrestling. In my opinion, and like The Body I call it like I see it, Rock vs Hogan was a top 5 Hogan match in his legendary career. It had an atmosphere only matched by Hogan vs Iron Sheik (the world changed that day), Hogan vs Andre (ratings spikes never matched before or since), and Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior (biggest face vs face match up to that point, and maybe ever).
3) Crowd favoring Hogan - I do believe that Austin feared this. Rock handled it well, and even played to it a bit during the match, but I don't think Austin wanted to deal with that kind of thing. To have the crowd boo you despite being the face would be a shocker to anyone in that position.
4) Bigger star - Rock was bigger than Austin at this time. Austin was having a souring relation with management, and his morale was lower. You could tell just by looking at him. Rock was peaking. Hogan was also having his last great run IMO. I consider him retired after this run in WWF/E ended.
5) Styles clash - I do agree that Hogan vs Austin did not make for a great styles match up. Austin was a fast paced brawler supplemented with some power moves. Hogan was a methodical brawler and power moves wrestler. Rock was similar, but with more emphasis on power moves and the occasional shaprshooter.
6) Payment for jobbing to The Rock - Yes, the Undisputed title run was part of the payment for Hogan to job to Rock clean, but also keep in mind that Hogan got paid in advance with a clean pin on Rock in a tag match prior to the WM match. Hogan also returned the favor to Triple H after he lost the title to the Undertaker.
The tag match mentioned above was also the closest we ever got to Hogan vs Austin. Hogan, Hall & Nash vs The Rock and Steve Austin doesn't get the recognition it deserves IMO as one of the most important tag matches of all time. The original nWo that was so legendary vs the two guys who broke some of Hogan's records. This is the only match in history
that involved all three guys recognized as being on professional wrestling's Mount Rushmore (the fourth place being an eternal IWC debate).