It was legit and it was fucking stupid. A brainchild of the retard Vince Russo. People got hurt for real, especially Dr Death (who was expected to win the thing until Bart Gunn knocked him the fuck out). Shamrock and Severn (MMA guys if you didn't know) were told they couldn't be a part of it, then they let Severn compete in one match and made him pull out the next week because the plan was for Dr Death to win and get a big push out of it (winner got a title match with Austin. Then Bart won and didn't get fuck all until WM the next year where Butterbean knocked him out). They didn't bring anyone in for it, just guys on the roster who volunteered for it I believe.
Russo had nothing to do with it. Even Jim Cornette who would blame Russo for anything that's bad said that it was McMahon's fault