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With the timing belt off is the crankshaft still locked?
If it stops turning that makes it sound like the crankshaft or a piston is bent? Did the engine get hot when the water pump failed?
If you have a hydrolock removing the spark plug will allow you to get around it. If the engine still won't turn with the spark plugs out I would remove the oil pan. I think something bent and removing the oil pan will help you find the issue.
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It's possible but if you rotate the camshaft a to a neutral position the crank should rotate. If a valve is stick open the piston can just be locked against it without actually causing any damage. This engine doesn't have pushrods either you are correct on that as well.