So I've settled on the type of mechanic: it will be a mix of Fire Pro Wrestling + Yu Yu Hakusho. The character's actions are determined by which direction you hold and which button you press. Each direction will allow you to access one of four different actions, each costing different amounts of "mana" to execute.
The different types of attacks are: agility, block, strike, and grapple. Blocks and Strikes are all free and standard across all wrestlers. Agility moves are also all standard across wrestlers, but players will need to learn what each one does. I'm thinking Irish Whip, Climb the Turnbuckle, Taunt, and Roll Out/Into the Ring.
Mana distribution is shown by the little people standing above the wrestlers in the center of the screen, but right under the tug-o-war bar. Whoever wins the grapple will get those pieces of mana added to their wrestler. You could call that "momentum", I guess. The loser of the grapple will always get at least one of those.
A block will always block a strike, but a wrestler will still receive damage. They will also never receive the majority of the mana when blocking. How will reversals work? If the opponent is able to play a block and beat the opponent executing the grapple during the skill game mechanic. They will also have to play the "right" block. For example, if the opponent is executing a Level 3 grapple, the player will also have to attempt a Level 3 grapple. So you will always have a 25% chance of guessing the right one. The player is then able to execute their Level 3 grapple, in this example, for free.
If the player is successful in beating their opponent in the skill based game with a block vs. grapple, but they guessed the wrong button, then the grapple is canceled and the opponent loses the mana. If the player is unsuccessful in beating their opponent in the skill based game with a block vs. grapple, the grapple will do 1.5x or even 2.0x damage.
Gameplay also has to keep moving, so there will be a timer that counts down forcing players to choose an action. If they don't choose any action by the time the timer runs out, then they are locked out of the skill based game and the other player gets to execute their move for free.