It is interesting when great Russian pair teams of the past come up Valova & Vasiliev are never even mentioned it seems. The ones that come up are Gordeeva & Grinkova, Rodnina and Partners #1 and #2, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, Miskutienok and Dmitriev, Protoppopovs, and sometimes Totmianina & Marinin.
Valova & Vasiliev though were at or near the top a long time as amateurs, winning World titles in 1983, 1985, and 1988, European titles in 1984, 1985, and 1986, and an Olympic Gold and Silver. They were the dominant team for several years on hand before a poor performance at the 86 Worlds saw them lose their title to Gordeeva & Grinkov who they would then never really overtake as the top pair again, despite an upset victory over them at the 88 Worlds.
So are they underrated or are they as some people seem to think a team in the right place at the right time, who capatilized on a strange and erratic period of Soviet pairs and top pairs around the World in general in 81-84, who were fast politiked to the top with a questionable World title (to some people who thought Baess & Theirbach and/or Underhill & Martini should have beaten them) in 1983 just due to being the best of a mostly unstable lot of top Soviet pairs at the time, and who were just a filler for the Soviet federation until a greater pair like G&G or someone else came along. Or is there just nothing memorable enough about their skating or their impact. I could see how people might see them as just a stopgap between the Rodnina and Gordeeva & Grinkov eras in Soviet and World pairs skating. As well Underhill & Martini who many thought should have won the 83 Worlds (not neccessarily my opinion but I have heard alot of others say this), who did beat them at the 84 Worlds after bombing at the Olympics, and went on to far outshine them in the also often highly political pro world of skating, seem to be thought of by many as the best pair of that generation now as well.