Normally I would begrudgingly agree with you that this was their reasoning for their decision but literally 5 min. Ago the new patchnotes for injustice was revealed and 3-4 gear moves were adjusted. Mostly recovery frames on hit and block and some bug fixes but this shows that the devs have the capability to nerf/adjust gear moves as they see fit right now. This wouldn’t change much if gear moves was allowed in ranked.
Rather now that I think about I really feel it’s because they locked gear moves under severe random luck based loot drop and similar to our shadow Jago problem we had before they don’t feel it’s right that people can bring moves that are not readily available to the public into ranked. While they still the don’t want to let go of the giant juicy replay value grinding for gear moves create for the game.
I can only hope that they won’t lock off cool gameplay stuff like this in the next mk/injustice game.