I think I agree with most of what you said, at least from a high concept point of view where you want to retain OJP's unrivalled (at least in terms of JKA) cinematic look and feel. Saberlocks are iconic, feel good and are visually pleasing and the crowd control mechanics that you got from kickspamming and kick push had their place in an FFA game.
That said, saberlocks always struck me as an unfinished mechanic that was often buggy, lead to crashes and didn't really have a clear place in the game other than a bizarre low dp finisher. In OJRP we tried to save saberlocks by having them be executes with the power attack execution thing we have going but that ended up being unfun when you could endlessly dominate people who didn't have extremely good defence and therefore had no chance to make a comeback. Kickpush and kickspam cheapened combat by making instantly killing someone very simple in comparison to a duel where skills are on display.
The current disarm and force drain you get from not parrying a power attack when below 35 dp does result in disarm city but with this path of changes it seems like a good solution that isn't broken/overpowered.
Duals are honestly pretty weak in this version and it was probably an overnerf. Considering how ridiculous and cheap duals run attacks felt before, though, I'd rather this dodgy stance be weak and only for players who're great at it rather than duals being a noobslayer stance.