Originally Posted by The People's H2O
That HHH-Rock-Austin match was supposed to happen at Wrestlemania X7 also, but out of "respect", HHH thought Rock vs Austin 1 on 1 was the right call, so...
My memory of this isn't the best, but I remember going through the Torch archives for 2000/2001 a few years ago and explicitly recall that Austin vs. Rock was always the go-to main event for Mania 17. Trips was actually going to either face HBK (if he came out of retirement) or Hogan (if the WWF could lure him away from his guaranteed Turner contract). That could explain why Taker and Trips were thrown into a match just a few weeks out as Vince had given hope on both the other two options.
I would go back and find the article in the archive, but I no longer subscribe to it. On a side note, if you want some "dirt sheet" information Keller should have most of the 2000s (2000-2010) up in the archives now.